December 01, 2015


Getting back to business /  'normal', or almost ...?

November 25, 2015

Winners of the prize for Belgian heritage abroad

 "The historical complex of ├ľsterbybruk (Sweden): The chosen location is a "Vallonbruk", a social and economic building complex surrounding a forge. ├ľsterbybruk is one of the most beautiful examples of the remains of the presence and input of Walloon immigrants in Sweden in the 17th century. More than 1.200 families emigrated in that era to Sweden, where the expertise of our master blacksmiths was highly sought after. They helped to launch the Swedish iron and metal industry. The number of their descendants is estimated today between 500.000 and 1 million people.

Stained-glass window in the Saint Catherine of Alexandria church in Bethlehem (Palestinian territories): The stained-glass window was donated by Belgium in 1926 and completely restored in 2004 by atelier Mestdagh in Ghent. The Belgian gift is highly representative of the historical and religious ties between Belgium and the Holy Land throughout the centuries and attests to the remarkable talents of our glass artists. The stained-glass window can be viewed worldwide during the yearly midnight mass in Bethlehem on 24 December and can be permanently visited by all tourists and visitors of the church.

The Sacred Heart Cathedral in Lahore (Pakistan): The roots of the Sacred Heart Cathedral lie in the historical presence of the Belgian Capuchins in Pakistan. Monseigneur Godefroid Pelckmans (bishop of Lahore, 1893-1904) commissioned the Antwerp architect Dubbeleere to build a cathedral using Belgian support and materials. Construction of the cathedral was completed in 1907. In 2007 the cathedral’s hundredth birthday was celebrated. The Pakistani Government released a special stamp with the image of the cathedral and Pope Benedictus XVI sent a congratulatory telegram. In the following year, 2008, the cathedral was damaged by a heavy bomb attack on a government building nearby. The stained-glass windows were particularly damaged by the impact of the explosion. In the meantime they have been restored in Belgium.

The Prize for Belgian heritage abroad (....) does not only award the most outstanding local conservation initiatives, but is also meant to be an indirect incentive for better long-term conservation. 
From the proposals sent in by Belgian embassies all over the world, the jury of experts chose 3 winners:2015 is the first year that the prize is being awarded. There is no monetary compensation attached to the prize. The winners are the local governments or private institutions responsible for the protection of the particular heritage site. Every winner will also be honoured by the local Belgian Embassy. The criteria for choosing the winners included: size and visibility of the heritage site, the historical, art-historic, economic and cultural significance of the heritage site, its importance for the bilateral relations and the possibilities of the winner to promote the prize locally in order to create public interest".

Source: Belgian Public Federal Service of Foreign Affairs

November 22, 2015


I will let these flags at the University of Brussels speak for themselves.

November 11, 2015

November 11

Remembering what happened almost 100 years ago - the end of the Great War

November 09, 2015

Lonesome, Silent and Colorful

This man's un-Belgian look has me still wondering where he is from and what he was doing here wandering the streets of Brussels by himself.  While he was happy to have his photo taken, he was even happier to get rid of me without speaking - he practically ran away.