Showing posts with the label History

The Irish Peace Park

The Irish Peace Park is a war memorial for the Irish soldiers who were killed, injured or missing in the First World War. The monument is close to where the Second Battle of Mesen was fought in June 1917. Inside the park there is a central round tower. The 30.5 meter high tower is designed in the traditional design of an Irish round tower. These round towers were probably built in the 10th century by the Celts as a defense against the Vikings. Today, There are still about 65 of these towers in Ireland.

The stones used to line the outside of the tower are largely Irish rubble stone. These stones come from St. Mary's Hospital in Mullingar. This hospital was built between 1846 and 1849, during which time there was a major famine that left an estimated 1 million Irish people dead and another 1 million Irish immigrated abroad. The tower has a diameter of 6.3 m - 4.9 m and has a conical roof. The inner wall of the tower is built in solid concrete blocks.
The tower was inaugurated after a …

Do you know where the word Spa comes from?

A spa is a location where mineral-rich spring water is used to give medicinal baths. Spa towns or spa resorts typically offer various health treatments, which are also known as balneotherapy. The belief in the curative powers of mineral waters goes back to prehistoric times. Such practices have been popular worldwide, but are especially widespread in Europe and Japan. Day spas are also quite popular, and offer various personal care treatments.
But did you know where the word Spa comes from?  The term is derived from the name of the town of Spa, Belgium, whose name is known back from Roman times, when the location was called Aquae Spadanae, sometimes incorrectly connected to the Latin word spargere meaning to scatter, sprinkle or moisten.

In 1326, Collin le Loup, an iron-master from Liège, Belgium, discovered the chalybeate springs of Spa. Around these springs, a famous health resort eventually grew and the term "spa" came to refer to any health resort located near natural sp…

The walk of the dead in Diksmuide

The Diksmuide walk of the dead (dodengang) is the only preserved Belgian trench system from the First World War. The corresponding interpretation center was completely renewed in 2014. With the help of fifteen interactive applications, life-size photos, films and more than a hundred original objects, you will discover the story of the infamous Death Walk.
There is ample attention to life and death in the Belgian trenches and the personal stories of the dead crawl under your skin. You walk over a giant aerial photo from 1916 with which you can compare the landscape of then and now. In addition to the Belgian trench network, a German bunker has been included in the course since last year that allows both sides of the war story to be told. During the war the hell of the soldiers, a tourist attraction since 1919 that leaves no one untouched.
You can find it at this address: Dodengang visitor center, Ijzerdijk 65 Diksmuide. Opening hours: From April 1 to November 15: daily from 10 am to 6…

The quay of the Rosary in Bruges

It's one of the most photographed sites throughout the city of Bruges. No wonder, the Quay of the Rosary definitely is one of the most beautiful city sights in the world.

It looks like a living postcard. It is also very close to Tanners square and the Fish Market, not even two minutes away. In addition, the main square, De Grote Markt is five minutes away. From here you can start several hiking tours alongside the channels, and throughout the city.

Everything looks like something straight out of a medieval tale, with buildings like castles touching the water, all perfectly maintained. The bridge and the wooden docks are still intact despite their age. Also, the houses and shops are decorated with classic facades. A truly amazing place.

The unfortunate story of the Antwerp Rubens statue

The city of Antwerp wanted to commemorate the 200th anniversary of its most famous painter Rubens' death in 1640 with a statue. However, there were problems. The public money collection had not yielded enough, so there was no money for a bronze statue. That is why they opted for a plaster cast of what was to become the real statue later. However, when leaving the studio of sculptor Guillaume Willem Geefs, the statue fell off the cart and it got damaged pretty badly.
Fortunately there was a second plaster copy ready to be placed. It is important to know that the statue was not placed on the Groenplaats in the first place. It was given a place from which it could look out over the Scheldt river: the Sint-Wilburgis square, which was situated in the immediate vicinity of the Het Steen castle. This square is disappeared when the river was straightened.
The bronze statue was finally finished in 1843. And it was placed on the Groenplaats, just where until 1739 a cemetery's crucifix …