The perfect shape of the Brilliant was invented in Antwerp

Did you know that the shape of the brilliant was discovered in the Antwerp diamond district? The most commonly used diamond cutting shape, with 57 facets, was invented a hundred years ago by a Jewish sharpener in Antwerp. He was a Belgian member of a Jewish family of diamond cutters from Poland.

Picture by Pixabay

The Antwerp engineer Marcel Tolkowsky scientifically established in 1919 how the perfect brilliant is cut. Thanks to 57 facets that are placed with respect to each other with mathematical precision, a maximum glare is achieved. First Tolkowsky, as part of his PhD topic at the University of London, systematically studied the grinding of diamonds. Marcel Tolkowsky found that if a diamond was cut too deep or shallow then light would escape out the sides or bottom of the diamond resulting in a loss of brilliance.

Picture by Pixabay
Around the same time, in his book Diamond Design, he published the specifications of what would later be called the American Standard. Marcel Tolkowsky died on February 10, 1991. He is generally acknowledged as the father of the modern round brilliant diamond cut. Many of his family member became noted diamond cutters.

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You can find the Antwerp Diamond center next to the central station. Antwerp also has a Diamantmuseum DIVA, you can find that at this address: Suikerrui 17-19, Antwerp.

The Chocolate Nation museum in Antwerp

When you say Belgium, among other things, like beer and historical buildings, you immediately think of chocolate. Belgian chocolate is indeed world famous. The story between this small European country and the sweet glory has been around for many generations. Today Antwerp has its own prestigious chocolate museum, the chocolate nation.

Picture by G. De Martelaere

In fourteen themed rooms the museum takes you on a trip into the history of Belgian chocolate. The journey starts in the cocoa plantations on the equator and follows the cocoa bean to the largest cocoa storage port in the world in Antwerp. A giant fantasy machine shows how Belgian chocolate is made and how the velvety taste is created.

On your journey you will pass the chocolate traditions, brands, products and innovations that made the worldwide reputation of making high quality products. And on the way you can taste to your heart's desire, that goes without saying ...

Picture by G. De Martelaere

The museum is situated across the Central Station, in the heart of the city and underneath the Radisson Blu Astrid hotel. Chocolate Nation welcomes you every day from 10.30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (last tour starts at 7.30 p.m.). The ticket prices include audio guide and various chocolate tastings.

The museum also has its own restaurant, Octave. Octave brings a pure, intuitive kitchen that combines classic flavors with contemporary influences. Executive Chef Thomas Van de Weyer provides culinary gems that stir all the senses. Octave is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. Closed on Sunday and Monday.

Picture by G. De Martelaere

More information and tickets click here. You can find the museum at this address: Koningin Astridplein 7, Antwerp.

The most romantic hotel in the world

You need to be in Bruges, Belgium for a night of genuine romance.  Hotel Heritage, in the middle of the historic city, was voted the most romantic hotel in the world on the thirteenth edition of the World Luxury Hotel Awards.

The Bruges hotel, part of the Relais & Châteaux group, may call itself the "most romantic hotel in the world" since the award ceremony at the Arctic Treehouse Hotel in Finnish Lapland on 12 October.  The award is partly due to the classic, luxurious and romantic appearance of the hotel, but the commitment to corporate social responsibility was also mentioned during the award ceremony. 

The professional jury also took into account brand experience, location and - of course - the opinion of tourists.