The game ©Monopoly Bruges - Stad Brugge

As from late December you will be able to buy up as many of the best hotels and houses in Bruges as you like. Without breaking the bank, because you’ll acquire them in a brand new game of Monopoly, the Bruges edition. Move your pawns through the historical city, buy up strategic real estate and put one over on your opponents. Bruges is not the only Flemish city to figure in a game. Flemish cities are also frequent extras in films, series and songs.

A Dog of Flanders: blockbuster in Japan

A Dog of Flanders is a novel by English author Ouida. Not particularly well known in Flanders, but a hit abroad. This 1995 Japanese Anime film depicted the friendship between a little boy and his dog. The film, with its inclusion of Rubens’ paintings in the Antwerp Cathedral of Our Lady, filled cinemas. These days, hordes of Japanese tourists amass there to admire the works of art. Nello and his dog Patrasche take a nap beneath a cobblestone blanket - a work of art by the Ghent sculptor Batist Vermeulen - at the Handschoenmarkt (Glove market) in front of the church.

Nello & Patrasche - ©Stad Antwerpen - Tist

Art nouveau in the game: Brussels 1893

Are you a fan of the decorative lines from the Art Nouveau style of art? Then you will thoroughly enjoy Brussels 1893. In this party game, you are the architect. With the help of ‘assistants’, you create or sell your works of art, or build elegant façades. You set down your buildings in Brussels – surprise, surprise, the Art Nouveau city par excellence. There you will find the masterful buildings of Victor Horta and Paul Hankar, founders of this Jugendstil. Admire the Hanker House in Saint-Gilles, and take a stroll through the master architect's former residence in the Horta Museum. Totally enthralled by Art Nouveau? Then visit the Fin-de-Siècle Museum!

seiling in the Horta House - ©Sofam2016

The perfect haunted house in Brasschaat

Renowned director, Tim Burton – known for Edward Scissorhands, Batman and Big Fish – descended upon Antwerp in the summer of 2015. After a fruitless international search, he found his dream location for the film Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children in Brasschaat. ‘The Torenhof had the right degree of creepiness, yet still had the look of a normal house’, explained Burton enthusiastically. The ideal setting for a story about seemingly ordinary children, who nonetheless each possess extraordinary powers....

MovieStill from the film ©Miss Peregrine - Kinepolis - Antwerp

Ostend: a wealth of inspiration

There is a lot more to the coastal city of Ostend than salty sea air. Both international soul star Marvin Gaye and northern neighbour Erik de Jong – better known as Spinvis – found their inspiration here. Marvin Gaye found solace in Ostend after a turbulent period. The recuperation period by the sea was good for him; he wrote the worldwide hit ‘Sexual Healing’ there. And the related video clip was recorded in the Casino Kursaal! Would you like to follow Marvin's footsteps? Plug the Midnight Love Digital Tour into your ears and allow yourself to be guided along memorable places from his life. 

As a child, Erik de Jong was a frequent visitor to the Ostend coast. When he revisited the city later on as an artist, those fond memories came flooding back, which he swiftly expressed in the song ‘Ostend’; the ideal soundtrack for a walk along the beach.

view on Ostend

The White Queen: prestigious BBC series on Flemish location

The BBC also sees a great deal of potential in the Flemish cities. The British broadcaster released the historical drama series The White Queen in 2013. The series presents the story of the conflict between two noble families, Lancaster and York, which takes place in the fifteenth century. Nevertheless, the BBC found the perfect setting in Ieper (Ypres), Bruges  and Ghent. Filming also took place in the picturesque Damme in the gardens of Oostkerke Castle. The Van Ronse Musical Forest was also given a layer of artificial snow specially for the shoot. Follow in the wake of the BBC crew and feast your eyes on these magnificent locations.

Skyline of Ypres

Hitmen on the run: In Bruges

The English-Irish writer and director Martin McDonagh has a thing about Bruges. So, what better location than this for his first feature film in 2008. In the award-winning ‘In Bruges’ Ray – played by Colin Farrell – and his mate Ken go into hiding in the charming and quaint Venice of the North. Ray is not so keen on Bruges - to say the least. That is until he meets the pretty Chloe, a local drug dealer moonlighting as a production assistant. The film takes you through the city, with the climb up the Belfort as a spectacular climax. Follow Colin Farrell's footsteps? Visit all the hotspots from the film yourself.

evening view on Bruges - ©toerisme Brugge
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