Skip to main content

The city hall and belfry of Mechelen

The original town hall of Mechelen is situated on the Grote Markt, the big square of the city, it consists of two parts: the cloth hall with unfinished belfry and the Palace of the Great Council. The reason that the belfry was never finished is that the cloth trade went into decline at the moment the belfry was built, that was the fourteenth century, there was no money to complete the building. For 200 years the belfry was no more than a shell until it was eventually provided with a temporary roof in the sixteenth century. Well temporary? That roof is still there today.


The belfry is now a UNESCO world heritage site. On the right of the belfry, you can see the oldest part of the town hall, the remains of the earlier cloth hall. On the left is the Palace of the Great Council. The Great Council actually never met in the building, because it was completed in the twentieth century in accordance with the original sixteenth-century plans of the then-leading architect Rombout Keldermans. Since 1914, the buildings have all served as the town hall for festivities.

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.

Belgium has the largest chocolate factory in the world

The largest chocolate factory in the world is located in Wieze, Belgium. Barry Callebaut produces around 270,000 tonnes a year, from cocoa bean to chocolate, making it the largest chocolate supplier in the world. Picture by Pixabay In Wieze you will also find the first of the seventeen Chocolate Academy centers that have since been distributed all over the world. A completely new building was recently opened, making the Chocolate Academy center in Wieze the largest center in the world. Picture by Pixabay The Belgian chocolate sector exports its quality chocolate to the entire world. Two-thirds of both the industrial chocolate and the end products are exported abroad. That's because there is a Belgian chocolate code developed in 2007. The Belgian chocolate code must ensure that the term 'Belgian chocolate' is only used for chocolate that actually comes from Belgium.