The Comic City – Brussels

Brussels is the capital city of Belgium. It has grown from a fortress town founded in 10th century to a metropolis of over 1.8 million inhabitants which makes it the largest in Belgium.

 

After the Second World War, the city became the centre of international politics as it is home to the European Commission and to the Council of ministers of the European Union (EU) as well as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). On the other hand, this is a city with two official languages, namely Dutch and French. However, during the 19th and 20th century, the city has become increasingly French-speaking. As a result, the majority of its inhabitants today are native French speakers.

 

Brussels is not only famous for its political status, but for its unique comic strip route which makes the seemingly boring city more lively and intriguing. Therefore, Brussels is also called the Comic City.

 

For many years Brussels has been the capital city of comics which has come up with a vast amount of comic creativity. From the worldwide well-known icons such as Herge’s Tintin and Peyo’s Smurfs to today’s unprecedented amount of modern comic characters, according to legendary comic writer and organizer of the annual Comics Fest Alain de Kuyssche, one thing remains the same: “Every one of them gets their start in Brussels.”

 

The comic culture stemmed from the World War II when people who were suffering the war turned to escapism for help and thus the magic comic strip became their ideal choice. Even after the war, the early readers started to create their own characters and when it came to 1960s, there was a big demand for comics.

 

The reason why a small country like Belgium could achieve such a profound influence on the international comics may result from the development of television cartoons. At that time, it was hard to find a TV which was not showing a Smurfs cartoon.

 

After the golden age of comic culture in Brussels, today it is experiencing its renaissance which is why the Comic Fest starts.

 

The unique comic strip route established at first by the Belgian Comic Strip Centre is made up of thirty murals located on buildings and walls scattered across the city. Each mural is depicting a Belgian comic character within a unique Brussels’ scene.

 

The route began with the statue of Manneken Pis which is a naked boy who has become a famous icon. To date, this little boy has gotten more than 600 pieces of clothes which are presented by political heads from different nations who come to visit the King of Belgium.

 

Besides the mural displaying, there are museums and festivals for its comic culture in Brussels.

 

There is no better way to explore this one of the most diverse city in Europe. Hire cheap cars from the following suppliers: Opodo, Avis, Expedia, Sixt, Thrifty, Budget, EasyCar, Holiday Autos, Economy, 121carhire.

City Break to Brussels

Everyone seems to want to travel to Brussels, Belgium. Currently there are over 1 million people living in Brussels the capital of Belgium it is also the country’s cultural and political center. The name actually mans “Marsh City” and the first people to take up residency settled there in the Sixth Century.

There are lots of places to explore in this charming city. Once you have been to Brussels, you love to visit it again and again. I would suggest you to start with a visit to Grand Place-Grote Markt. This is awesome place in the heart of city surrounded by city tower and beautiful buildings. If you will make a short walk from Grand Place-Grote Markt, there is another sight to see. It is called Manneken Pis, which is a statue depicting the strong spirit of Brussels holidays.

While many of us think of beer when Belgium is mentioned, it’s certainly not all that Brussels city has to offer – though it’s only natural that you’d want to sample some of the local goods. You’ll also find plenty of history and culture, from fascinating museums and architecture to colourful festivals, parades and parties – a far cry from the notion that all Belgium has to offer is some of our favourite lagers!

Plus if you decide to fly in to London and then travel on to Brussels from there you may want to consider letting the train take the strain. Today you can travel from Waterloo Station in London to Brussels on the Eurostar train. This journey takes approximately 2 ½ hours to complete and the service is available 7 days a week. Also you have a wide range of accommodation to choose from when it comes to travelling by this fast and luxury train.

The key to enjoying a vacation or visit to Brussels is making the trip your own. Plan an schedule that meets your needs, do as much as you can, and take pleasure in all of the sights, beauty, and historical past this charming area offers. Brussels has a rich heritage and is central to the current affairs of the European Union so you should appreciate a weekend break and soak up the way of life.

Antwerp, the city known for its crafted diamonds

One of the most outstanding characteristics of the diamond city of the world is the predominant Jewish culture. Most of the streets are occupied by the Jewish community with a population of approximately 20,000. Some of the streets here are Pelikaanstraat, Charlottelei and Belgielei.

For the travel enthusiasts, this place has a wealth of attractions especially if you are looking for a relaxed environment. The places that were once farms have been converted into accommodation facilities and hotels. These businesses have become prominent and a source of income for many locals in the area.

There are also many restaurants in the city serving different mouth watering cuisines. They have traditional foods with menus that are ever changing to give the customers a diverse variety. Their cuisines are specially made to suit the diverse composition of the visitors in Antwerp. Some restaurants specialize in French cuisines, Belgian cuisines and others just to mention a few.

This Belgian gem would not be complete if there were no bars. Several bars provide the locals and visitors alike with a variety of drinks. Beer is the most common of the drinks. The variety is so diverse and the labels are nothing less than 500. Some are fruit beers, gueuze among other varieties. There are not too many bars in this place but the ones that are there offer the best services with a variety of drinks for their customers.

The entertainment sector has also taken a major influence of the diamond city. Apart from enjoying a sip of your drink as you unwind; there are other options to keep your self entertained. There are concert halls and theaters that are ideal places to catch some action for the enthusiasts of art. They feature frequent musical performances, shows and movies.

Antwerp has been recognized as one of the shopping capitals in Belgium. Hopland and Schttershofstraat are known as the shopping areas for the famous. They have exclusive stores that stock items from some of the world’s leading brand names. Fashion is also a major highlight of shopping in Antwerp.

The diamond business in Antwerp can not be compared to any other. They produce an estimate of 85% of jewelry made from this precious stone worldwide. However, one should be careful as they shops lest you fall prey to the tourist trap stores.

Visiting Antwerp will reveal to you that this city offers much more than diamonds and get the best deal of Antwerp hotels at http://www.stayinantwerp.com .