The Hallepoort of Brussels

The Hallepoort is a former city gate in Brussels. It was built in 1381 and is the only Brussels city gate that has been preserved. It is also the last part of the former second city wall of Brussels that has been preserved.

The military function of the Hallepoort was abolished in 1564, after which the gate received several new destinations. The building was used as a grain-lender, Lutheran church, prison and city archive. The neo gothic facade and the high roofs, added by architect Henry Beyaert in the 19th century, do not detract from the luxury of the medieval halls on the inside of the building. At the top of the lookout tower, you can enjoy an impressive panorama of Brussels and its surroundings.

A nearby metro station is named after the gate, the Hallepoort subway station. The Hallepoort is surrounded by a park also bearing the name of the gate. Today, the building  serves as a museum. The gate is located at the end of the Hoogstraat and at the beginning of the Waterloosesteenweg.

The Martino sandwich

In Belgium the most popular sandwich is not ham and cheese, it is a very spicy sandwich that was invented by Albert De Hert, a former football player how owned a restaurant in Antwerp for more than 50 years. 

Albert De Hert also worked in a snack bar called 'Quick', it was located at 'The Coninck Square', near to the central station. A square that at that time was full of nightclubs. There he would have launched his famous martino sandwich.

The story goos that Belgian football player and friend of Albert, Theo Maertens, who called himself Martino, once ordered a spicy sandwich of meatloaf to get over his hangover.

"Put everything what you have in the cooler on it, he asked," So Albert served him a sandwich with chopped onion, slices of pickle, tabasco, pilipili, cayenne pepper, ketchup and worcester sauce.

The recipe struck and became a concept in Antwerp and later the rest of Belgium, the sandwich is still very popular today.

The Bond Moyson buildings in Ghent

On the 'Vrijdagsmarkt' in Ghent you can find the "Ons Huis' and 'Bond Moyson' buildings. They were built around 1898 in a so-called macaroni style, an eclectic set of all kinds of building styles and forms put together.

'Ferdinand Dierkens', the head architect of the socialists party in Ghent was in charge of the works. He intended to build a polyvalent complex: party palace, grocery store, cinema, pharmacy, trade union, hospital fund; It would all be accommodated. The second building was officially inaugurated in 1902 but it was ultimately used for purely functional and administrative purposes. The Bond Moyson (the Socialist health Service) and the Socialist Trade Union (ABVV) got their offices here.

Later architect  'Ferdinand Dierkens' build another complex that was used, and still is used today as a cultural center with concert hall, the 'Vooruit', meaning 'the future'.

You can find the Bond Moyson buildings at this address: Vrijdagsmarkt, Ghent.