Belgium

Belgium may be small but it's packed full of sights. Bruges is the major highlight here with its perfectly-preserved medieval streets rimming peaceful canals that lure flocks of travellers each year. Major towns like Ghent and Mechelen - retain excellent architectural examples from the Middle Ages as well. This small nation has been right at the forefront of Europe's history with many of the continent's most important events played out across its countryside. It was in Belgium that Napoleon met his match at the battle of Waterloo, and during both the First and Second World Wars, Belgium found itself thrust into the frontline. The World War I battlefields of Ypres are now important pilgrimage sites that thousands visit each year to pay their respects. Whether you're here for the ancient or modern history, Belgium doesn't disappoint and provides a huge chunk of European heritage within a bite-sized piece of land.

Bruges: Belfry & Halle

The most recognizable sight in Belgium is the beautiful belfry and Halle, which dominates the main square in Bruges. Spanning from the medieval era, this impressive building once functioned as the main town market hall and has been wonderfully preserved allowing visitors a real taste of the architectural artefacts of the Middle Ages. For most travellers to Belgium, a hike up the 366 steps to the top of the belfry is a must-do activity while in Bruges. Once at the top, the views of church spires and steeple-roofs provide one of the country's most well-known panoramas.

 

Begun in the 13th century but destroyed by fires and thunderstorms three times over the course of several centuries, the Belfort got its present structure in 1822 when the builders finally decided against a wooden structure and added the stone parapet. 

Bruges: Belfry & Halle Belgium

Belfry & Halle

Bruges: Belfry & Halle Belgium night

Belfry & Halle night

Cathedral of Saint Bavo

This majestic cathedral with its high Gothic choir and Romanesque crypt showcases the best of religious architecture in Belgium and is Ghent's most outstanding tourist attraction. Although the soaring building, with its harmonious stained glass windows, is a highlight in itself. Many people come here to see the famous artwork that graces the interior; specifically the Flemish masterpiece known as The Altar of Ghent. Once you've viewed the painting though, don't miss the mammoth crypt under the cathedral, which contains important tombs and some beautiful wall paintings.

Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent

Cathedral of Saint Bavo

Inside Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent
Inside Cathedral of Saint Bavo, Ghent

Inside view Cathedral of Saint Bavo

The Altar of Ghent

The Altar of Ghent

Gravensteen Castle

This hugely impressive fort was once the grand home of the counts of Flanders who took their inspiration for castle-building from the bulky castles the Crusaders built in Syria. Today, Gravensteen is one of Europe's best surviving examples of a moated fortress and has been incredibly well-preserved. Its strong and remarkably thick and high walls soar up from the waters of the river Lieve right in the middle of the old town of Ghent, rising above the rooftops of the surrounding streets. Inside, the vast curved halls and chambers contain exhibits of medieval life, but it's the castle's architecture itself that is the real star of the show. If you climb up the staircase to the roof for panoramic views across town.

Ghent's Gravensteen Castle

Ghent's Gravensteen Castle

Ghent's Gravensteen inside view
Ghent's Gravensteen Inside view

Ghent's Gravensteen Inside

Basilica of the Holy Blood

It’s a must visit church in Bruges. The Basilica of the Holy Blood is not only impressive for its blending of medieval architecture  and late Gothic architecture but also for the sacred relic kept inside. The upper chapel is home to the famous vial for which the church takes its name; said to contain a drop of Jesus Christ's blood that was brought back to Belgium after the Second Crusade. The interior of the church is a dazzling riot of gild work that was completed in the 16th century and provides plentiful reason for a visit even if you're not interested in holy relics.

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Exterior Basilica of the Holy Blood

Inside Basilica of the Holy Blood

Inside Basilica of the Holy Blood

Basilica of the Holy Blood

Meuse Valley

The Meuse Valley located in the south of the country, is one of the best places to get a feel luxurious countryside in Belgium. This is the perfect opportunity to take a trip along the river watching the beautiful scenery through dense forests. Also have a great look of limestone cliffs. The towns of Namur and Dinant act as a gateway to this region, which has a host of mountaineering and cycling trails for travellers who want to add some activities into their holiday. Both towns boast rocky cliff top citadels as well as a clutch of other historic sights, but the real highlight in this area is the scenery itself.

Meuse Valley Belgium

Meuse Valley

Meuse Valley River

Spectacular view of Meuse Valley from river

Grand Place, Antwerp

Right in the centre of Antwerp, stands the town's wonderful Grand Place (also known as the Grote Markt), which contains some of Belgium's finest examples of guild house architecture with their typical steeple-roofed shape. The Town Hall here is a well-preserved example of 16th-century construction, and the interior is worth viewing for its collection of paintings that show Antwerp's history. The union houses that still rim the plaza are the major reason to visit the Grote Markt though. This is one of the well-preserved examples of this Belgian-style of architecture.

Grand Place, Antwerp, Belgium
Grand Place Antwerp Belgium

Grand Place

Inside Grand Place Antwerp Belgium

Inside Grand Place view

The Royal Palace (Palais Royal)

The history of the Royal Palace in its current form is not very old as it was built in 1900 at the request of King Leopold II. The new Palace was built over the ruins of old history of royal palace.

The official home of the Belgian king, you will always know if he is in the country when you see the Belgian flag flying on top of the building. The building is a highlight of Neo-Classical architecture and overlooks Brussels Park. The Royal Palace is open to the public during the summer months.

 

Although the Royal Palace is only open to the public for several short weeks each year during the summer, it is still a sight to be admired from its opulent gates. The façade is huge and splendid, and the overall impression is even better with the precisely cut green bushes in the front yard.

The Royal Palace (Palais Royal) Belgium

The Royal Palace

The Royal Palace Belgium

Waterloo

The place where Napoleon was defeated in the famous battle almost 200 years ago. Today, the countryside where the battle once roared is a bucolic landscape of agricultural fields, but an artificial hill rises up from the surrounding flatlands with a memorial lion sculpture atop the summit to commemorate the day when Napoleon's army was finally stopped. From the top, there are excellent views across the countryside. For anyone interested in the history of Belgium and of greater Europe, Waterloo remains an important stop on the itinerary.

The most obvious monument to the battle, the Lion’s Mound, a 141ft man-made hill topped with a huge lion statue, was actually built to mark the location where William II of Netherlands was wounded and knocked from his horse by a musket ball during the battle. His father, William I, ordered its construction in 1820. 

Waterloo Belgium Lion over hill
Waterloo Belgium Lion on hill

Waterloo

Atomium

Built for the 1958 World Fair, the Atomium signifies a molecule's nine atoms – magnified 165 billion times. Its a symbol of the city, it provides a panoramic view of Brussels and its surroundings. The 9 spheres that make up the Atomium are linked by escalators. The Atomium hosts a museum and is also a venue for special events. Take part in a unique activity- a Death Ride from the top sphere of the Atomium! A breathtaking descent of more than 100 meters!

Atomium Belgium

Atomium

Atomium Night light Belgium

Atomium at night

Magritte Museum

In the building of the Royal Museums for Fine Arts of Belgium, visitors will be able to discover the world's largest collection of René Magritte's works. The collection is a perfect proof of René Magritte's oeuvre and covers all the periods from his life. The works on display, among which his most important masterpieces, are mainly from the legacies of Irene Scutenaire-Hamoir and Georgette Magritte and from purchases made by the Royal Museums for Fine Arts of Belgium, completed with works on loan from private persons.

Magritte Museum

Magritte Museum

Magritte Museum Belgium

Battlefields of Ypres

During the entire war period of World War-I, Ypres was one of the most important battleground, later referred to as the Great War. This place was the scene of the heaviest battles during the Great War. Traces of war is found in the trenches all around Ypres extremely bloody battles were fought. 
Many of these battlefields have left their traces in the landscape around Ypres now a days.
The World War one museums in Ypres a place to remind you of the war. Many soldiers died from more than 15 nationalities here in the great war.

 

It was became an experimental battlefield to use chemical weapons, flame throwers, mustard gas which resulted casualties on both sides.

Ypres War momorial
Ypres War momorial
Ypres war trench

Ypres war trench by Germans

Ypres war Canadian-Memorial

Ypres war Canadian-Memorial

Ypres war Canadian-Memorial
Ypres Museum Belgium

Ypres War Museum

Ypres Museum inside items

Ypres Museum Inside  World war-I remainings

Ypres Museum Inside- World war-I remainings

Ypres Museum Inside- Old military stuffs