Adolphe Quetelet the inventor of the 'Body Mass Index'

Adolphe Quetelet was born in Ghent on February 22, 1796. He got his doctoral degree in mathematics in 1819 from the University of Ghent. That same year he relocated to Brussels, where he convinces dignitaries and donors to build an observatory. He became the first director of that observatory but later moved on to Uccle to the Royal Observatory of Belgium, where Quetelet specializes in the study of meteors, something not very common in those days. Because of his contribution to astronomy in general and by helping to explained the Phenomenon of a 'falling star', a crater on the back of the moon is named after him and also an asteroid.

But Adolphe Quetelet got more famous with the invention of the Body Mass Index (BMI), which he has developed, an index that reflects the ratio between the length and mass in a subject or person. That BMI formula is still used by doctors all over the world.

In honor of Adolphe Quetelet there is a statue of him in the Hertogstraat in Brussels.

The Tudor castle of Bruges

The Tudor estate is a castle with gardens in the Sint-Andries district of Bruges. The property consists of a forest with park, flower gardens and a unique herb garden. The main attraction in the park is the neo-Gothic country house in "Tudor-style" also called the castle.

It was built in 1904 and is one of the last castles in Bruges. In 1980 the castle and the estate was bought by the city of Bruges. Now the castle has a restaurant with lounges and a bar, all open to the public . In 1991 the castle and its gardens was listed as a protected estate.

You can find the castle at this address: Zeeweg 147, St Andries Bruges.

The town hall and belfry of Mechelen

The original town hall of Mechelen is situated on the Grote Markt (the big square) of the city, it consists of two parts: the cloth hall with unfinished belfry and the Palace of the Great Council. The reason that the belfry was never finished is that the cloth trade went into decline at the moment the belfry was built, that was the fourteenth century, there was no money to complete the building. For 200 years the belfry was no more than a shell, until it was eventually provided with a temporary roof in the sixteenth century. Well temporary? That roof is still there today.

The belfry is now a UNESCO world heritage site. On the right of the belfry you can see the oldest part of the town hall, the remains of the earlier cloth hall. On the left is the Palace of the Great Council. The Great Council actually never met in the building, because it was completed in the twentieth century in accordance with the original sixteenth-century plans of the then leading architect Rombout Keldermans. Since 1914, the buildings all serve as the town hall for festivities.

The butcher's house of Antwerp

The first meat house was built in 1250 near the fortress of Antwerp (Het Steen). The building was used by butchers guilds to group their busyness into one location, specifically to process and sell meat.

Around 1500, at the beginning of the Golden Age of Antwerp, the building was getting too small so the guild of butchers decided to build a new butcher house, nearby at the Veemarkt (Cattle Market). The new building was to provide space for up to 62 butchers. 'Herman de Waghemakere' designed the building and between 1501 and 1504 it was built. It became a late-Gothic building constructed of red brick and white sandstone. In the impressive cool basement meat could be stored and sold in the shops on the ground floor. At the rear of that ground floor a chapel was build. On the first floor there were meeting rooms and a kitchen. Possible there were also some smaller butchers shops on that floor. The second to the fifth floors, situated under the roof, served as storage rooms.

Now the building isn't a butcher's house anymore, it's a museum for music and musical instruments, but it still has the same name as where it was originally used for. You can find the museum at this address: Vleeshouwersstraat 38, Antwerp.