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This is why Antwerp is called the Cookie-city

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Antwerp is often called the "Koeke-stad" by the locals. The term refers to a name they use for all kinds of pastries and other similar dough preparations. "Koeke-stad is a local dialect word for "Cookie-city" Here are two historical reasons why that could be: There are two explanations about the expression "koeke-stad". This expression was originally used by people from outside the city, but nowadays the inhabitants of Antwerp also use this term when they refer to their city. Picture by Pixabay One of the most common explanations is that in the early 20th century there was a biscuit factory named "Cordemans" located at the Van Der Keilenstraat, very near to the city's central station. In addition of selling high quality biscuits, customers could also buy "rebate", that were rejected biscuits during production because they were not perfect enough to sell at their normal price. These cookies or biscuits were usually bought by pe

Tulips from Antwerp

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The Netherlands is generally known as the land of tulips, yet that is not entirely true: The first tulips in Europe were grown and traded in the area around Antwerp, Belgium. Picture by Pixabay The first tulip bulbs in Europe arrived by boat in the port of Antwerp in 1562. The story goes that a merchant found these strange crops among a load of fabrics from Turkey. Thinking they were onions, he tasted some. Because the taste was disappointing he threw the remaining bulbs onto a compost heap, where beautiful tulips bloomed the following year. Until the middle of the 20th century, tulip cultivation was the main economic activity in the border region between the northern part of the city of Antwerp and the Dutch border, which is now called the districts of Berendrecht, Zandvliet and Lillo. Around 1900 the largest number of tulip growers were to be found in this region. The slightly more southerly location ensured that the tulips started to bloom earlier, that they could they could  be

The lace museum in Bruges

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Belgium and especially Bruges is known for its renowned lace history that dates back many centuries. There is also a real lace center in Bruges, with its own museum. The Bruges Lace Center is housed in the renovated old Lace School of the Sisters Apostolins. The Lace Museum on the ground floor tells the story of Bruges lace: multimedia installations and testimonials from international lace experts zoom in on the various lace types and their geographic origin, the lace industry and lace education in Bruges. Demonstrations and numerous courses are given in the lace workshop on the second floor. A maximum of 50 visitors are currently admitted per day. Picture by Pixabay In the shop of the museum you can buy real handmade lace. It is the only place in Bruges that sells this lace with the official label of the city of Bruges "Handmade in Bruges". The museum and shop are open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. You can find the center at this address: Balstraat 16, Bruges

From Military Hospital to a green place to live and work

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The place has been known as the Military Hospital of Antwerp since the beginning of the last century. It indeed fulfilled that function until 1993. The city of Antwerp then bought the site. They wanted to integrate the area into the existing city and turn it into a residential area with new green spaces. Nowadays, "'t Groen Kwartier" as it is called is a place to live and work in the middle of the city. Almost 400 families can live there. The development of the new district started in 2005 and ended in 2019. Picture by Matexi During the development of the project, the historic buildings have been preserved as much as possible, the former pavilions and the preserved North-South buildings were furnished as homes, the original chapel has become a restaurant, creative start-up companies are brought together in the former boiler rooms, the monastery is a hotel and offices are housed in the General Staff building. A suitable destination was also sought for the gatehouse. In

Discover Ghent by Bike

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Ghent is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium. Not only because of its rich history but also for its culinary offer the city in the north of Belgium is an excellent choice. The city not only has an eye for those interested in Flemish history and art or other traditional tourists, it also has many other surprises in store. Recreational cyclists, for example, can also go there for active trips by bicycle through the city center and the idyllic Flemish landscape and villages around it. Picture by Pixabay In Ghent and the surrounding area you can indulge surprising landscapes, varied by the very old atmosphere of the little villages and their amazing landscapes. The many organized cycling routes that the city of Ghent offers are certainly worth trying during your next visit to this European tourist pearl! With the online cycle route planner, you can quickly and easily map out your own cycle routes. The planner is a digital map that works like a GPS system. You enter

The unlucky logo of Brussels Airlines

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That superstition is still important to many people is shown by the following somewhat strange story. The logo of the Belgian airline company Brussels Airlines (BA) initially consisted of thirteen spheres that together wrote the letter B in the air, as it were, the B for Belgium and Brussels. When it turned out that this is an unlucky number for many, the design was changed to fourteen spheres. Picture by Brussels Airlines But that now appears to be unlucky in Chinese culture. Brussels Airlines' Chinese Coachair partner, Hainan, pointed out to the Belgian airline company that fourteen is an unlucky number for the Chinese. Still, nothing is going to be changed in the logo. "We have a beautiful design, we are proud of it and we will keep it that way", says Katrien Scholaert, Brussels Airlines communication service employee. "It is difficult to do good for all people and cultures" she added. So the fourteen spheres continue to adorn the planes. Only one airplan

The For Freedom Museum

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The For Freedom Museum portrays the gloomy times of the Second World War in a vibrant and realistic way. This black period in history is the main theme of the museum. The building in which the museum is located is the former municipal school of the Ramskapelle district together with the associated town hall from 1876 and was restored between 2005 and 2007. The founders of the museum are Brothers Danny and Freddy Jones, sons of the late Dennis Jones, British Normandy veteran from Crewe / Cheshire (UK) who married a girl from Knokke-Heist in 1947. The museum was founded in his honor. Both sons were taught the history of the Second World War from an early age. The military uniform that Jones wore during his marriage was therefore the very first uniform in their collection. Each doll in the museum has a personal story. Many Canadian families donated uniforms from their beloved husbands or fathers to the project. The For Freedom Museum Now the museum houses three impressive collections.