.All Trips / Belgium / Europe

Brussels love-affair with TinTin!

01 TinTin, Brussels

Before I visited Brussels I had no idea the city had a love affair with comics.  Not so much the DC and Marvel type of superheroes, but comic strips of the type seen 100 years ago.
The most popular character seemed to be TinTin,  whose likeness we spotted many times around the city  He’s an intrepid reporter who first appeared in 1929.  Accompanied by his faithful pouch, Milou, TinTin has adventured around the world.

(TinTin Street art in Brussels)

Brussel has a Comic Arts Museum which we didn’t have time to visit, but I think would be quite interesting to explore.  I liked this aspect of Brussels!

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“Pic of the Week”, April 16, 2021: Tapestry shop, Brussels


Brussels (and surrounding Flanders) was historically a center of excellent tapestry production, especially since the time of the Renaissance. Many castles in Europe were filled with tapestries from Brussels, providing them with color, warmth and sound insulation.
This tradition continues to this day. We visited a large tapestry shop while rambling around the streets of Brussels which seemed to specialize in tapestries of famous paintings.  The prices, while not cheap, were not extravagant and another item was added to our checked baggage for our home journey.
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.All Trips / Belgium / Europe

Brussel’s Amazing Market Square (Grand-Place)

17 Brussels. House of the Dukes of Brabant

Grand-Place (Grote Markt in Dutch) is the central square of Brussels which is know of its beautiful and decorative architecture in a variety of styles (e.g. Baroque, Gothic).  The square is lined by City Hall, Maison du Roi, and a number of guild houses. In 1998 it was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Many famous events in Brussels’ history occurred in the Grand-Place, including the martyrdom of protestant leaders Hendrik Voes and Jan Van Essen, and a brutal attack by the French in 1695 targeting the fa├žade and tower of City Hall, resulting in extensive damage to many buildings of the square. Obviously all has been repaired and today many of the buildings house museums and tourism-related shops.

Some of …

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Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Brussels


Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is a shopping arcade notable for its innovative architecture.  It preceded other famous 19th-century European shopping arcades, like Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. The Galerie has glazed shopfronts and two upper floors, all under an arched glass roof overlying a cast-iron framework.

The gallery consists of two major sections, each more than 100 meters in length.  Construction started on May 6, 1846. and lasted for 18 months.  The Galerie was inaugurated on June 20, 1847 by King Leopold. 

It is a bright pleasant and cheery place in which to escape a brisk Brussels day and has excellent (and warm) coffee shops and some wonderful chocolate outlets.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


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The ART of Chocolate. Brussels, Belgium


When it comes to crafting great food, Belgians do a number of things exceptionally well.  They make excellent french fries (frites) with an interesting assortment of dipping sauces.  They brew some great beer — many say the world’s best.  But no where is their culinary talent on better display than in their passion for chocolate.  Belgian chocolate is considered to be the gold standard by which other chocolate is measured, even that of the Swiss.

Belgium has over two thousand commercial chocolatiers, a remarkably large cottage industry.  Chocolate is mostly produced in small batches and by hand, this process lending itself to many small, independent chocolate outlets.  More than 170,000 tonnes of chocolate are produced each year, a lot of it consumed domestically …

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