Skip to main content

The Newspaper is invented in Belgium

Abraham Verhoeven (1575–1652) was born in Antwerp and was the publisher of the first newspaper of the Southern Netherlands, now Belgium. It was probably also the first newspaper in the world.


In 1605 he got his license to print news of military victories in woodblock or copperplate. Later he also produced illustrated news pamphlets. In 1620 he renewed his license in broader terms and began to print his news in booklets and as a series. The regularly printed news bulletin was the first newspaper in the Southern Netherlands.

It was also the first regularly illustrated newspaper, and the first news bulletin to print a headline on the front page. The newspaper had no consistent name but was widely known as the "Nieuwe Tijdinghen" (New Tidings), a retroactive designation given to it by historians and bibliographers. The British Library, however, catalogs it as the Antwerp Gazette. The publication of the Nieuwe Tijdinghen ceased in 1629 to be succeeded shortly after by the "Wekelijcke Tijdinghen" (Weekly Tidings), an unillustrated paper with a reduced format that was printed until 1632.

Verhoeven was an engraver by profession, So he often placed his own engravings in his newspaper, which made it look nicer and easier to sell. Originally, the magazine had two to three editions per month. But Verhoeven announced in edition number 1617, that his Gazette would appear with intervals of eight or nine days.


Verhoeven did not get rich with the production of his newspaper. He only asked two pennies for each edition, which was in no way enough to cover his costs. Therefore after a while, he could not pay his creditors. Verhoeven was summoned in court and convicted for not paying his debts. His press and possessions were seized and later his "Gazette" was sold to William Verdussen, another publisher in 1637. His newspaper stopped to exist shortly after.

Popular posts from this blog

Belgian kids got to drink beer during their school lunch

There are almost 800 different kinds of beer in Belgium. One kind was very popular till the70's, it was even given to kids at school during their lunch break. Beer to kids? You must be kidding! Well, let's go a bit further into this. The beers we are talking about were so-called table beers, a kind of beer that was specially made for people who can't drink alcohol. So it's was a kind of alcohol-free beer, a kind, because there was some alcohol in it. between 1 and 4 percent alcohol. The most popular table beer was Piedboeuf, it had 1.1 percent alcohol in it and there was a lot of sugar added to make it as sweet as Coca-Cola. A good marketing strategy made that it was well distributed in almost all schools in Belgium. The reason was that it would be very healthy for them, because of the natural ingredients and of course the sugar. It would make them grow fast and strong. It would even be good for pregnant women and for women that were breastfeeding their baby'

How the Belgians founded New York

In order to avoid any confusion in this story, it is important to know that in the sixteenth century, the Netherlands covered a part of northern France and Lorraine, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the present Netherlands. Its inhabitants were called the Belgians, and the maps represented the country in the shape of a lion: the "Leo Belgicus". Besides, numerous maps from the sixteenth century showed this territory under the name of Belgium. The latter failed into disuse for the benefit of the Netherlands and only reappeared in 1789 on the occasion of the first Belgian revolution. In 1831 Belgium became an independent country. Today Belgium is a lot smaller and is divided into two big regions mostly based on the language they speak in that particular region. In the north, there is Flanders where they speak Flemish (Dutch) and in the south, there is the Walloon part where they speak French. Almost in the center and between the two parts is the region of the capital Brussels.

A secret medieval street in Antwerp

The Vlaeykensgang is a unique small street in the center of Antwerp. Hidden between two busy Antwerp streets and close to the Cathedral. This medieval times street can easily be walked past unnoticed. Behind its meter-wide entrance, there is an oasis. A step into the passage with its quiet courtyards transports visitors back in time, back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Picture by Harry Fabel Previously, the street was the domain of shoemakers, who had to sound the alarm bell of the Cathedral, also some of the poorest people of the city lived in that very small street. Now you will find antique shops, art galleries, and an exclusive restaurant, Sir Anthony Van Dyck. There is a subdued atmosphere and the street is a popular place to listen to the cathedral's summer carillon concerts. At its heart, you find the Axel Vervoordt Gallery. Picture by Harry Fabel The "Vlaeykensgang" exists as a key piece of Antwerp’s architectural and sociological history, offering a rar