Travel destinations and tips in Belgium. Discover unforgettable Belgians.
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Moules-frites - Mosselen met friet
Moules-frites or Mosselen met friet, (Clams with fries) is a popular dish in Belgium and the north of France. It is considered one of the national dishes of Belgium.
The dish consists of mussels cooked in salted water with vegetables including celery and onion. Along with a portion of fries. In Belgium the mussels are prepared in the special black enamelled mussel pots and served with Belgian fries. Per person is an average one kilo of mussels is needed. The fries are usually eaten with mayonnaise or mussel sause made of a cocktail of mayonnaise and mustard.
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 North of 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.
The 'Vlaeykensgang' is a unique small street in the centre 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 metre-wide entrance there is a oasis. A step into the passage with its quiet courtyards transports visitors back in time, back to the 15th and 16th century.
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 cathedrals summer carillon concerts. At its heart you find the Axel Vervoordt Gallery.
The "Vlaeykensgang" exists as a key piece of Antwerp’s architectural and sociological history, offering a rare glimpse of life in 15th and 16th century Antwerp. It…
Heaven of Delight is an artwork by artist Jan Fabre It looks like a beautiful painting, but in reality, it’s made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases. Jewel-beetles are not a protected species so it was easy for Jan Fabre to gather them from countries like Thailand, where they are eaten as a delicacy, and use them for his Heaven of Delight.
In the 19th century, it was customary for the king of Belgium to give a space in the Royal Palace to contemporary artists. This tradition died with King Leopold II, in 1909. Fortunately, Queen Paola is an art enthusiast and decided to revive the custom.
With the help of 29 young artists, Fabre created Heaven of Delight, a fresco in the Hall of Mirrors at the Royal Palace of Brussels completely out of the glowing shells of jewel-scarabs. It took them 3 months to complete this drudgery. It contains various shapes that glow in a greenish-blue light, depending on the angle from which they are viewed.