Belgium

Remembrance: the Centenary of World War I

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The fields of Belgium and France are green and bucolic, filled with quaint villages, farms and church spires. It is nearly impossible to imagine the stripped trees, bombed-out towns and mud quagmire of those same fields, as they would have looked one hundred years ago. The year 2014 marks the centenary of World War I. It’s been one hundred years since the beginning of the Great War, the War to End All Wars. The nations of Europe have been commemorating this…

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World War I left a profound impression on Ypres, Belgium, that is visible to this day. History and remembrance come alive on a visit to In Flanders Fields. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

A Visit to In Flanders Fields, Ypres, Belgium

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In the Great War between 1914-1918, Belgium became one of the main battlegrounds between the great European powers. A trench system stretching from the North Sea to Switzerland was built in the farmland and mud of Belgium and France. The trench warfare employed by military commanders resulted in over 8 million soldiers’ deaths during the four year span of World War I. As part of the British Empire, Canada enthusiastically volunteered its men to participate in what was assumed to…

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Bruges may seem like a disney-esque medieval theme park due to its popularity with tourists, but this incredible European destination is a must visit. How to spend a perfect day in beautiful Bruges, Belgium.

The Top 6 Things to do in Bruges for Families

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One of our favorite cities in the world is Bruges (or Brugge as it’s known in Flemish). Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Bruges was once a bustling and wealthy city in the Middle Ages, its wealth built upon its skill and trade in weaving. After its access to the North Sea – the Zwin – started silting in the 1500s, Bruges began a slow decline and became a forgotten city – ‘Bruges-la-Morte’ or ‘Bruges-the-dead’. Progress (and warfare) passed it by and…

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Belgium produces the most delicious and exquisite chocolate pralines in the world. Full stop. Our top five favorite sources for Belgium chocolate. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

An Obsession for Belgian Chocolate

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First, a confession. I am of Swiss ancestry. My husband is Belgian. To say that chocolate is of importance to our very essence is a serious understatement. But whose nation’s chocolate reigns supreme? The heated discussions on this topic over the years have tested our time together as a married couple. Belgian! No, Swiss! No, Belgian! Fortunately, it is a delicious duel. Over the years, I’ve conceded only this. That Belgium does produce the most delicious and exquisite chocolate pralines in the…

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The In Flanders Fields Museum in the reconstructed Cloth Hall in Ypres, Belgium, is a must visit for any museum fan or World War 1 historian. (via thetravellingmom.ca)

Visiting the In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres

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One of the bloodiest battlefields during the four years of World War I was located in and around Ypres, in Flanders, Belgium. The prosperous market town was completely destroyed during the War. Its most impressive symbol and landmark, the magnificent 13th-century Cloth Hall (Lakenhalle) overlooking the Market Square, was burned down in the early part of the war. In recognition of its terrible history, Ypres embraced the importance of remembrance; through the construction of the Menin Gate Memorial, the ritual…

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