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The bellringers of the St. Michael's church in Roeselare

The bellringers guild of the city of Roeselare was founded in 1987, initially to protect the bell's patrimony in the five-hundred-year-old Saint Michael's Church, but also to promote manual bell ringing. Because in many places electricity and computers have supplanted manual labor. According to the bellringers you should not ring a church bell too hastily or carelessly, every occasion has its own sound.  That is why 4 bells are still sounded manually on church holidays and special occasions. Picture courtesy of the tourist office Roeselare The city has a renovated museum that is dedicated to the church and its bells. It introduces you to a long-standing bell-ringing culture via easily accessible floors in the church tower. You can play a tune on the carillon yourself or sound one of the bells. In total there are 75 bells and 2 carillons located on the 12 floors. The museum is arranged in such a way that you get a good overview of the history of the church and the profession as
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The national holiday of Belgium

Belgium's national day is celebrated on July 21. It is the date on which, in 1831, the first King of the Belgians, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, took the constitutional oath as  king of the new country. The swearing-in was the final piece of Leopold I's entry into Belgium. Picture by Pixabay This day is a legal holiday which amounts to a general holiday. On this day, shops, banks, post offices, and other public services are closed. On the national holiday, several ceremonies are held to commemorate the taking of the oath. The current king and other members of the Belgian royal family attend the concert in the morning in the Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula in Brussels. This service is also attended by the country's political institutions, ambassadors, and representatives of various European institutions. In the afternoon there is the national parade in front of the Royal Palace, both civil and military. In the evening, the festivities are traditionally concluded

Ludwig van Beethoven has Belgian roots

The German composer Ludwig van Beethoven's family actually comes from the Belgian city Mechelen. That also explains the prefix of his name 'van'. Ludwig inherited his musical talent from his grandfather, Lodewijk van Beethoven (1712-1773). As a boy, he had a beautiful voice and sang along in the choirboy school Het Koralen Huis at St. Rumbold's Cathedral in Mechelen. Later he received private church organ lessons. After a short stopover in Leuven, Lodewijk arrived in Li├Ęge in 1732, where he was appointed as a singer in Saint Lambert's Cathedral. A year later he moved to Bonn in Germany. Ludwig van Beethoven Lodewijk's son, Johan Van Beethoven, was appointed court musician in Bonn and married Maria-Magdalena Keverich there. His son Ludwig was born in Bonn in 1770 and was only three years old when his grandfather Lodewijk died in 1773. Johan tried to make Ludwig a child prodigy. What he eventually succeeded in, Ludwig van Beethoven became one of the greatest comp

Belgium has the highest density of roads and railways in the world

Did you know that Belgium has the highest density of roads and railways in the world? It is the country with the 3rd most vehicles per square kilometer after the Netherlands and Japan. With all the lights that illuminate those roads at night, the Belgian road network is the only man-made structure visible from space. Picture by Pixabay The longest tram line in the world is the Belgian coastal tram, which is 68 km long, the line runs along almost the entire Belgian coastline between the cities of De Panne and Knokke-Heist, from the French border to the Dutch border. The tram takes about 143 minutes to drive from one border to the other.  The line is more than 130 years old. You can admire the old Coastal Tram in the old depot in De Panne. Picture by Pixabay The first passenger train ride on the European continent took place in Belgium, it was a ride between Brussels and Mechelen that took place on May 5, 1835. More information about this historical event can be found here .

Climbing the St. Rumbold's Tower in Mechelen

The symbol of the Belgian city of Mechelen is undoubtedly the imposing St. Rumbold's Tower. You can climb this historic cathedral tower all the way up the 538 steps to the roof. Along the way, you can visit the six tower rooms where, among other things, the history of the tower is told, the 2 carillons and the original technical rooms are also open to the public. Picture by Harry Fabel What is the overhead crane doing in the Crane Room? Why is there a pile of roof tiles in the Forge? Why is there a clock room but no clock and hands on the outside of the tower? And why are there two carillons? Climb the St. Rumbold's Tower, find out, and discover more than 500 years of Mechelen history in the heart of the city! Picture by Harry Fabel The climb to the top is impressive and intense. Once there, the impressive view from the sky-walk will leave you speechless. On a clear day, you can even see the Brussels Atomium and the port of Antwerp. Discover the climb with this YouTube video.

An English cottage on their apartment roof

On this roof in the City of Antwerp, you will find trees, hedges, an English cottage, a dovecote, and even a sheep stable with different kinds of animals. Jan and Kristina Engels have made a perfect compromise between the city and the countryside in their home on the fifth floor. Their roof bears an English cottage complete with trees, hedges, and a real conservatory. The stable dwellers complete the rural home: sheep, chickens, and ducks trot against the backdrop of the Antwerp cathedral right in the center of the city. Picture Google Maps On Google Maps aerial footage, it looks like a small city park. But whoever stands at their door encounters the facades of a 5 story high warehouse from the 1930s. "This is our heaven", say the residents. It's got the best of two worlds, The busy city life and the harmony of nature and tranquility.

Yorkshire First World War trench and dug-out

The Yorkshire trench & dug-out is a restored trench near the city of Ypres with entrances and exits from a 1917 'deep dug-out', just as it looked during the horrors of the First World War. You just have to imagine the stench of the dead, the poor hygiene, the bombs, and the mud. They were terrible places for soldiers who often stayed in them for months in all weather conditions. Picture by Pixabay Today you can take a walk through the area through a series of information panels and the original floor plan of the dug-out. It shows you the trench warfare of soldiers in the great war. The horror of a horrible time becomes visible to the visitors.