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Belgium Tours

Travel to explore Belgium’s fine medieval cities of Brussels, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp with fine Gothic architecture and exquisite Flemish paintings. Encounter the brilliance of Belgian’s Art Nouveau and its very latest contemporary architecture and design.

Modern Belgium, medieval Flanders, was once Europe’s economic powerhouse. Merchants of Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp built fine Gothic communal palaces with high towers. They commissioned grand private palaces, beautiful churches and myriad exquisite Northern Renaissance paintings. Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Lamb (c. 1430) in Ghent is a vast, extraordinarily detailed masterpiece. The country’s excellent museums hold Flemish masterpieces by Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling, Frans Hals, Peter Bruegel, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck. Antwerp has Rubens’ fine house. Surrealist René Magritte’s work is celebrated in his own Brussels museum. Bruge’s Church of Our Lady, meanwhile, has Michelangelo’s Bruges Madonna.Belgium led the world in the development of Art Nouveau. Its geat innovator was Victor Horta. His masterpieces include Hotel Solvay and his private house and studio. His Hôtel Max Hallet has a decorated staircase, mosaic floor, painted walls, wrought iron work and custom designed furniture. Other early modern spectacles include the Musée David et Alice van Buuren with sublime furnishings, stained glass and fine art. There is also Michel Polack’s lovely Villa Empain. Belgium boasts fascinating modern and contemporary architecture and design. The ADAM Brussels Design Museum displays 20th-century works. Antwerp has Le Corbusier’s Maison Guiette (1926). Also notable is Antwerp’s home of Renaat Braem (1910-2001), Belgium’s mid-century master. Antwerp’s Middelheim open-air museum displays modern sculpture. Ghent’s new Market Hall and Zaha Hadid’s incredible Port House represent the very latest in European architecture.

Belgium has many great country houses and gardens. Ooidonk Castle is one of Europe’s finest. The water gardens of Annevoie are an 18th-century masterpiece. The ‘kasteel’ gardens of Hex and Coloma have abundant rose collections. Contemporary gardening and landscape masters include Daniël Ost, Erik Dhont, and Piet Blanckaert. Daniël Ost is a master of flower design. Erik Dhont has revived a neglected city precinct in his fine Parc Reine Verte, Brussels.Jacques Wirtz’s own garden was featured in Monty Don’s Around the World in 80 Gardens.

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