Japanese English
Part1 Amsterdam Part4 Antwerp, Brugge
Part2 Keukenhof, Haag Part5 Gent, Gaasbeek
Part3 Kröller-Müller, Kinderdijk Part6 Brussels
Part7 Luxembourg
4th Sightseeing day, May 10
Antwerp and Brugge
Antwerp (Antwerpen)
Our bus started from the hotel Scandic at 9:00 am, 15℃, a little wind. The avenue lined with plane trees on both sides is attractive.

Antwerp with the population of 500 thousand is famous for the sea port, diamonds and the artist Peter Rubens.
We saw the sights of the city in the morning, where there were remains of rain last night.

We walked around Markt Square (Grote Markt) most of the time, and the square was the best of all. In the center was "The Fountain of Silvius Brabo", and I don't find any other words than "Superb!" for the buildings surroundig the square. City House (Stadhuis), Guild buildings...., and Notre-Dame Cathedral (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Kathedraal).

Markt Square

The origin of "Antwerp (Antwerpen)"
 Brabo, the ancient Roman soldier, shown in the above Fountain picture, cut the hand (Ant) of the giant, acting violently on Schelde River and threw (Werpen) it in the river.
City House (Stadhuis)
(A number of flags hoisted here
are national flags of the ships,
which come in and out Antwerp Port.
They are different flags everyday.)
Marvelous scenery of the Guild houses
captivates you.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
(Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Kathedraal)

This cathedral is the largest church in Belgium. It was under construction for 200 years from 1352.
In the Cathedral, we found four works by Peter Paul Rubens on display. He is the best known and versatile Antwerp Baroque painter.
The four paintings of Rubens displayed on the walls are "The Raising of the Cross", "The Descent from the Cross", "The Resurrection of Christ" and "Assumption of the Virgin".

The Japanese guidebook says,

"A Dog of Flanders" is a juvenile literature by an English author, published in the 19th century.
It is about a Flemish boy named Nello and the titular dog, Patrasche.
The story, English origin, has not been read widely in Belgium, but is becoming better known because of the tourists it attracts to Antwerp.
There is a small statue of Nello and Patrasche at the Kapellestraat in the Antwerp suburb of Hoboken, and a commemorative plaque in front of the Antwerp Cathedral donated by Toyota Motors.
The story is widely read in Japan, and has been adapted into several films and anime."

The last part, according to Wikipedia, is like this.
"Having no place to stay, Nello goes to the cathedral of Antwerp to see Rubens' The Raising of the Cross, but he doesn't have enough money to enter. On the night of Christmas Eve, he and Patrasche go to Antwerp and, by chance, find the door to the church open. The next morning, the boy and his dog are found frozen to death in front of the triptych."

We walked to see Steen Castle (Het Steen) near the square, which used to be a fortress so that its rugged appearance looks different. It was built in the 10th century, and has been used as a jail house and an execution ground. Now it is National Marine Museum.

Bruges (Brugge)
After lunch, We drove 110km to the south and arrived at Bruges at 2:00 pm.
It is the water city or the city of canals and bridges. Also it is the old city of the Middle Ages.

We, first of all, left our luggages at the hotel, and then saw the sights of the city and cruised the canal.
Just before the start from the hotel, the continued raining stopped. We enjoyed Bruges, feeling lucky.

Markt Square

The Belfry, 88m in height, was built
during 13th-15th century.
We were enchanted by the beautiful sound
of the carillon with 47 bells.

Canal Cruising

More than 500 bridges are on the canals.
Short poem, Haiku, by Emiko
手を振れば手を振る舟や春の風 恵美子
Some information says that Bruges is one of the Top 3 towns in the world wished to live in. (I can't tell if it's true or not.)

Walking around Markt Square, the guide says, "Dutch language spoken by Belgian people is called Flemish."
It suddenly made me remember Bernie, beautiful young lady who was president secretary, about 30 years ago when I worked with Daido Steel America in New York.
She said, "I am from Bruges, Belgium and Flemish language is my important asset".
The mistery book by Agatha Christie she gave to me has been one of my treasures.

Old Town of Antwerp
Notre-Dame Cathedral, Antwerp
Old Town of Bruges
Canal Cruise, Bruges
Part 4 Reading 8:18
Sorry, some PC systems do not support
my sound-transmission software.
< Part 3 Part 5 >
Part1 Amsterdam Part4 Antwerp, Brugge
Part2 Keukenhof, Haag Part5 Gent, Gaasbeek
Part3 Kröller-Müller, Kinderdijk Part6 Brussels
Part7 Luxembourg