February 27, 2013

Reading between the lines

Last Sunday, Lillian Le, a young Australian architect living in Belgium,  made these wonderful pictures of "Reading between the lines", a project by the duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, a collaboration between Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs (Leuven, 1983) and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh (Leuven, 1983).
To me, the snow covered rural  Borgloon, in the Flemish province of Limburg, enhances the beauty of the gorgeous setting and of Lillian's photos.
The design is based on the local church and the construction consists of 30 tons of steel and 2000 columns. It is built on a fundament of armed concrete. Through the use of horizontal plates, the concept of the traditional church is transformed into a transparent object of art.
The project received the building of the year 2012 prize by ArchDaily in the category religious architecture.

February 22, 2013

Brugge by Carla and Natasha

Totally thrilled to share these gorgeous pictures with This is Belgium.
"Carla loves photography"  is the absolutely wonderful blog of Australian- living in Paris- photographer,  Carla, who is also a published author, fashion lover and blog-friend, not necessarily in this order. On my first day as a blogger, it was merely by accident that I stumbled upon "Carla loves photography". I have been an extremely dedicated follower ever since. As Carla would say, these Bruges pictures took my breath away.
This is an opportunity, if you are not yet familiar with her work, to have a look at her blog and read about her life's story, her book "Italian Joy", her discovery and love of photography, Italy, Paris and much much more.....
Carla published Natasha's entry "24 hours in Brugge" and these photographs are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen even though millions of pictures have undoubtedly been made of this picturesque Belgian town, by tourists and professionals alike.

Thank you, ladies, for allowing me to re-post your 24 hours in Brugge. 

So, here we go, and I hope  you enjoy it as much as I did!

You can find Natasha Calhoun here: http://beautifullysuddenly.blogspot.be/ and 
Carla Coulson here: http://carlacoulson.com/


"Natasha from the delightful blog Beautifully Suddenly returned from a European holiday with her husband not long before I met her at my Sydney workshop in December. I asked Natasha if she were to  be a guest blogger what springs to mind as a stand out on her travels, without hesitaion she said Brugge…. so here are Natasha’s suggestions for the lovely Belgium city..Thank-you Natasha x"


"Visiting Brugge, Belgium is like stepping into a fairytale – a charming, chocolate-laden fairytale full of cobblestone streets, impossibly pretty canals with semi-friendly swans, medieval buildings and so much beauty that I spent the majority of my visit regularly proclaiming “it’s just so beautiful!“ followed by an exaggerated jaw drop, and my husband would invariably respond with “I know!”  So it probably goes without saying that I loved the place.  The city is fairly compact and therefore extremely walkable (although I would recommend flats on account of the cobblestones!), and a wonderful place to simply wander and, of course, take copious amounts of photographs.
 If you ever find yourself in Brugge, you could:
visit Markt and climb the belfry (366 stairs) for a wonderful view over the square ....

 have a coffee at one of the many cafes …

wander along the beautiful canals …

visit the peaceful Begijnhof which, in 1937, became a nunnery for the Benedictine sisters, who still live there today (in Spring, the garden is covered in daffodils) …

indulge in some Belgian chocolate from a chocolaterie …

hire bicycles and ride to the small town of Damme, which is approximately six kilometers west of Brugge.  Take the path along one side of the canal on the way there, explore the town, and then cycle back through the tunnel of trees on the other side at sunset …

                         All Images Copyright Natasha Calhoun

Carla, thank you so much for inviting me to guest post on your blog – I just about fell over with excitement!  You have been a complete inspiration to me ever since I picked up Italian Joy at Berkelouw in Leichhardt one evening many moons ago (is it strange that I remember that?), and I am so glad to have had the opportunity to meet you in person at your Get Published workshop – you are lovely!

Hope you all enjoyed the post!  

                     Thank you ladies!

February 19, 2013

Red retrospective

After the gorgeous pictures of Jean Van De Vondel,  I could not resist having another try at street photography myself.

February 16, 2013

Jean Van de Vondel, a street photographer

Sharing photographic and other "discoveries" is one of the things I find so rewarding and fun about blogging. 
Today I would like to introduce you to the work of Belgian photographer Jean Van de Vondel, a talented and versatile photographer as you can tell from these few examples.
He is working on his website at the moment. More Brussels pictures will be up in the near future.
Keep an eye out for more on http://jeanvandevondel.weebly.com/

February 14, 2013


                         a happy day to all

February 13, 2013

The public

In commenting on yesterday's carnival pictures, Elektra, blogger and talented photographer at http://elektralaurent.blogspot.be/ mentioned that the carnivals of Binche and Aalst belong to Unesco's Heritage.
During my short carnival visit last Sunday it struck me that the people in the streets of Aalst watching the parade offered a perfect photo opportunity, not to be missed! 

February 11, 2013

Carnival in Aalst

Last year I showed the Binche carnival at http://whatisbelgium.blogspot.be/2012/02/binche-carnival.html. Binche is located South of Brussels in the French speaking part of the country.
As with most things Belgian, the equivalent can be found on the other side of the linguistic border.  I therefore had to drive Northwest of Brussels this year to the Flemish counterpart of Binche, to a town named Aalst (or Oilsjt in dialect - see last photograph) where they have been celebrating carnival since 1443 or so the earliest records indicate.
The last picture shows an onion, symbol of Aalst because of the large number of onion farmers which the region had in the past. 

February 07, 2013

Lisette Model

Solo exhibition in Brussels' Gallery Keitelman of pictures by Austrian-American Lisette Model (Vienna 1901 - New York 1983),  who remains popular and inspiring today, 30 years after her death.

February 06, 2013

Special ad for a special business

Have you ever seen or heard of a business for animal funeral transport? I drove by this one located near the ring in the southern part of Brussels. 
The second photo is about hair color, in case you hesitate.
Ads can be interesting and deceiving.

February 02, 2013


Delvaux is the oldest fine luxury leather goods brand in the world. It was founded by Charles Delvaux in 1829 – one year before Belgium became a constitutional monarchy.
The most famous, most iconic  and timeless one is the Brillant, originally designed for the World Fair held in Brussels in 1958. 

February 01, 2013

St Gertrudis Leuven/Louvain

I have no idea whether there is any truth to the story but it is said that this church, built between the 13th and 15th century, and rebuilt almost entirely after its destruction in 1944, is a true wonder because the tower was built without any pins. The tower "without nails" dates from 1454. Its architect is Jan van Ruysbroeck, the master builder of the Brussels's town hall.