"BRUXELLES - BRUSSEL - BRUSSELS" Top 5 Page for this destination Brussels by breughel
Brussels Travel Guide: 5,645 reviews and 11,916 photos
Although I was born and lived 50 years in Brussels, I decided to write not much on my home town; other VT members wrote here numerous and excellent comments about Brussels. What could I write more that is not redundant?
I nevertheless made an exception for some comments on the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the distinction to be made between Flemish and Dutch painters .
Indeed a VT visitor, from over the ocean, wrote a comment which risks raising a problem with our Dutch neighbours:
" Highlights include "Belgian" Bruegel(s), Bosch, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Jordaens paintings (I put "Belgian" in " because Belgian as a country did not exist when these painters were alive)."
The last part is right but Rembrandt was never Flemish or Belgian, he was a genuine Dutchman from Leiden (between Rotterdam and Amsterdam)!
For those who like to visit museums, I added some tips about the best museums in Brussels.
Having revisited recently, here in Brussels, the Cinquantenaire and the two main museums located in this park i.e. the Army Museum and the Royal Museum of Art and History, I noticed that as what concerns quality and variety they are as good as better-known museums from abroad.
Grass is not necessarily greener elsewhere!
I had written some comments about the history of Belgium on my intro page but with the new VT layout this page is no more visible under "Belgium Travel Guide".
Therefore I rewrite here that great moment of the history of Belgium i.e. the Liberation of Brussels on September 3 & 4th, 1944.
Some days before the arrival of the Allied armies, all Belgian families cut a sheet in three parts which they coloured in black, yellow and red with the appropriate dyes. The three rectangles were then sewed together in the form of the national flag.
On the day of the Liberation coming on the street I was really dazzled by all these tricolour flags hanging on all houses. I have never forgotten this colourful vision.
On that day I saw for the first time friendly soldiers; they were British. A soldier on a tank gave me my first chewing gum.
Later I learnt that they were Welsh Guards. I believe that it is the reason of my sympathy for the Welsh people (ref. my tip on Barry Cymru am Byth.
It were the 1st (Infantry) and 2nd Battalion (Armoured) WELSH GUARDS, part of the British Guards Armoured Division, who after an advance of 100 miles in one day entered Brussels on the evening of 3 September 1944.
Lieutenant-Colonel Lewis, commanding the Welsh Guards recalled that great moment:
"Crowds of joyous, deliriously excited citizens barred the way, swarmed all over our tanks, screamed salutations to us, pressed fruit and drink upon the tired, dusty, hot tank crews. […] one was left wondering which was worse – to be kissed, hugged and screamed at by hysterical women while trying to give orders over the wireless and to control the direction of your tank; or to be free of the crowd and shot at by the Germans."
A great, great moment which I don't forget and for which I remain grateful to all those soldiers British, Americans, Canadians, Poles, of which many rest in the cemeteries of my country.
Is the climate cooling down in Brussels and surroundings?
We used to have here a rainy but mild climate. Snow was exceptional.
It changed dramatically in 2008.
Snow on 25th March. Easter of 2008 was the coldest since 40 years. On October 30th, it started snowing here just south of Brussels. Never seen that in 50 years!
After winter 2008-09 being the coldest since 1987 we Belgians thought it was time to react and we put a political party called Ecolo into our regional government. The ecologists had predicted a warming up of the climate so that we thought we would have nice warm weather in our country.
The disappointment was terrible, no global warming as promised by them but a terrible cold winter 2009-2010, a lot of snow blocking our roads.
The cold weather continues. This month of May reached a record of cold.
Only 3°C on May 3rd made of me a climatesceptic!
This is the third year of an unusual cold and snowy winter. 2010 with 53 days of snow did beat all records since one hundred years.
This winter 2012-13 is again a cold winter (four weeks of frost) with a record of snow more than 15 cm, not in the Ardennes but in the low lands. The global warming did cost me snow tyres!
March 12, 2013 again 10 cm snow and 1600 Km roads blocked. A record for Belgium!
May 24, 2013 the coldest May 24 since 1833. Should we start praying for the global warming?
- Pros:Was a wonderful city in the time of Jacques Brel.
- Cons:Increasing criminality.
- In a nutshell:Brussels in one sentence! Even our best politicians are unable to do that!
Two weeks ago we had in Belgium the week of the Frites. A petition was launched to make the "fritkots" of "friterie"... more travel advice
That a small statue of a peeing boy became the touristic icon of my city shows that we Brusseleirs appreciate self... more travel advice
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