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The biggest cigar in the world

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The Pipe and Tobacco Museum in the city of Sint-Niklaas, Belgium has the largest cigar in the world. With a length of 6.43 meters, a diameter of 47 centimeters, and a weight of 400 kilograms, this is truly the most impressive cigar you can encounter. Pipe and Tobacco Museum Sint Niklaas This fine example of cigar craftsmanship was realized by the Onkerzeelse Butter Milk Guild, an organization near the town of Geraardsbergen, which set to work together with 93 families and former cigar makers. The result is simply gigantic. It took between 340 and 350 hours to produce the cigar. The cigar is 100 percent tobacco. But there was no way to keep the cigar in their town for a long time. So in 1996, the cigar was brought into the Pipe and Tobacco Museum by 12 strong men, where it is still on public display today. In the museum, you will also find a nice additional collection of tobacco jars, water pipes, and smoking curios. The pipe and tobacco museum can be found at Regentiestraat 29 in S

The cable car that does not need snow

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This famous cable car is a unique tourist attraction in the West Flemish Province of Belgium. It was built in 1957 by real Austrian Alpine specialists, even though there is no ski slope nearby. The cable car connects two hills, the "Vidaigneberg" and the "Baneberg". And so it offers a unique view of the beautiful "Heuvelland" region with its characteristic landscape. Picture courtesy of cordoba Away from the hustle and bustle, you float above the vineyards of Entre-Deux-Monts. With good weather you can see the Flemish coastline or the Yser Tower, a monument in honor of the victims of the First World War. At some point you can also look over the northern French border. The cable car is open every afternoon during the summer holidays. From May to October only open on Saturdays and Sundays. Out of season only open on Sundays. The Cable Car has its own Tearoom called "Córdoba". where you can enjoy local specialties. You can find it at this addres

Nadar's own crowd barrier

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In Belgium crowd barriers are sometimes called Nadar Gates, after the 19th century French photographer and balloonist Nadar. Nadar was the pseudonym of Felix Tournachon, best known for his photographs of celebrities from his time. In 1863 he writes a work about an aircraft that moves under its own power and that "is heavier than air", although he himself invented several balloons. He had a huge balloon built, Le Géant, 40 meters high and filled with 6,000 m³ of gas. On September 26, 1864 he took off with his colossal balloon Le Géant from the Botanical Garden in Brussels to fly all the way to Austria or Turkey. photographer unknown As it was very dangerous to get too close to the gas balloon and as the crowd was at times quite pushy, a certain perimeter around the balloon was cordoned off with easily movable barriers. The former mayor of Brussels, Jules Anspach had the streets blocked off with crush barriers specially made for the occasion, which were later given the name

Keith Haring's love for Belgium

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The American artist Keith Haring had a special bond with Belgium. Already in 1983 the Galerie 121 in Antwerp exhibited his work. Haring stayed in Belgium several times between 1987 and 1990 during exhibitions devoted to his work and in connection with commissions from, among others, the famous collector Roger Nellens. Keith Haring in 1982 People still tell anecdotes of their encounters with the young man who was full of energy and one of the most prolific artists of his time. Because Keith Haring never stopped drawing and painting ... on any surface he managed to get his hands on. Picture by Pixabay When Keith Haring first came to Knokke in the summer of 1987, it was love at first sight. The seaside town would become the only place where Haring said he 'really came home'. Everyone wanted a piece of 'Keith' that year, even if it was just a drawing, a signed piece of clothing, a container, a memory ... Not much has changed today: many of the people who surrounded him the

The inventor of the parking sensors is a Belgian

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How things can turn out badly for one and thankful for others is the topic of this next story. Its all about something everybody uses these days. Parking sensors! Picture by Pixabay In 1987, the Belgian Rudy Beckers invented the parking sensors that are now used in cars all over the world. He had done the invention so that his wife would no longer have to get out of the car to give directions while parking. His wife and the rest of the world are still grateful to him and his ingenious invention. He took a patent on it and was officially recognized as the inventor in 1988. From then on he had to pay 1,000 Belgian francs annually, which is now about 25 euros to keep the exclusive right and the posibility to sell his invention later... But at one point he forgot to pay, so others could use the patent free of charge. Rudy earned nothing from his invention, but he will remain know as the inventor of the parking sensors.

Isala Van Diest and Marie Popelin, founders of feminism.

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Isala Van Diest (1842-1916) was the first female doctor in Belgium. She she had to do her studies abroad because Belgian universities did not allow women in 1870. In 1884 she was given permission to open her practice, A Special law had to be made to give her that permission. She opened her practice in Brussels, where she also worked in a shelter house for prostitutes. Van Diest was one of the founders of the Ligue belge du Droit des Femmes in 1892, along with Marie Popelin. There organisation is was the beginning of  feminism in Belgium and the rest of the world. Marie Popelin (1846-1913) had worked as a teacher for years when the ULB, university admitted female students in 1880. Almost immediately she enrolled at the law faculty and graduated with honors. However, her application to become a lawyer was rejected: the Court ruled that she was not suitable for that as a woman. Popelin subsequently emerged as one of the leading ladies of Belgian feminism. It was not until 1922, almost

The Tiger II tank from La Gleize

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The Tiger II tank from La Gleize is the only tank in the world to remain on the battlefield in 1945. The 69 tons giant is the largest tank used by the Germans in World War II and is roughly still standing where it was left at the time. In front of the rectory of the the little village of  La Gleize, Belgium. The Germans lost the Battle of the Bulge at La Gleize. A historic moment with a lot of anecdotes attached to it. One of these is the story of the Royal Tiger, which is said to have been exchanged for a bottle of cognac! Yes... When the Americans came to clean up all the wrecks from the battlefield in 1945, Mrs. Jenny Geenen-Dewez exchanged the tank for a bottle of cognac, the innkeeper's wife has thus preserved the tank for posterity and it is now the showpiece of the museum. Picture by December 44 Museum Today the tank stands in front of the former rectory, which then served as a nursing post for Peiper's Waffen SS. Now there is a museum, The December 44 Museum. Pictur