Belgium has a lot of castles, actually, it has the most castles of all European countries. They come in all shapes and sizes. But there is one castle that strikes every imagination, castle Nottebohm. Located in the north of Antwerp, in the village of Brecht, this remarkable building seems to be escaped from some fantastic Hollywood movie or even more a Pixar animation cartoon. The design of the house is done in a very strange way, in an eclectic style incorporating elements from the neo-Flemish Renaissance, the traditional brick and sandstone style and the cottage style, all combined. Architect Ernest Pilgrims draw the plans for the castle. It was built in 1834 by the family Nottebohm as a summerhouse. The family used it till 1943 when the German army occupied it in the second World War. After the war, the family didn't use it a lot anymore and in 1950 they rent the castle as a hotel and restaurant. Later the company who rented the castle went broke and the family had the plan to
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'
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.