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Old October 10th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #1
Plaas
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BELGIUM: Flemish towns (Louvain, Hasselt, Diest and more)

The most famous Flemish cities are Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp. Whether Brussels is Flemish or not, that's a political debate. The towns and cities in the east of Flanders are sadly unknown. In this series, I will show you around in Aarschot, Hasselt, Zoutleeuw, Sint-Truiden, Diest and Louvain/Leuven.

Our first stop is Aarschot, near Louvain.

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Hasselt is the capital of Limburg province. In the 19th century this province was split in a Belgian part and a Dutch part. The most important city, Maastricht, became Dutch, so the Belgians had to find them a new Limburgish capital. Hasselt wasn't that thrilling by then, the inner city looked rather rural, but there are beautiful 19th century structures that give modern Hasselt an urban touch.

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Zoutleeuw feels like a village, but in the Middle Ages, it was a town. Nothing really has changed since then, so this is a Belgian time machine.

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Sint-Truiden is a beautiful historic city.

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Diest is a charming historic town in the hills near the border of Limburg province, Antwerp province and Flemish-Brabant province. The local dialect is a funny mixture of the dialects of these three provinces.

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Peer is a small town in the north of Limburg province.

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Louvain, in Dutch Leuven. Both names are used in English nowadays, referring to the same city, once bilingual, but since the 60's a Flemish city with a Flemish university, where evryone speaks Dutch, the French-speaking part banned to a newtown in Wallonia... Sad history, but I love the city, where I lived for two years.

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Heverlee is a suburb from Louvain. This series comes to an end in the countryside of Flemish-Brabant.

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Old October 10th, 2011, 07:20 PM   #2
christos-greece
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Amazing, very nice photos so far
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Urban Showcase: Athens Kalamata Trikala Thessaloniki
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