Grand Place Brussels

The festive period is often hailed as the most wonderful time of the year. But is that really true? It’s hard to say, because in Flanders you’re guaranteed a wonderful time regardless of the season. Flanders is home to unique Masters and Burgundian libraries, liquid heritage and a modernist icon. There are many treasures to discover, and some of them even can be enjoyed from the comfort of your living room!

Flemish heritage in your living room

If you can't get to our museums, we'll bring the museums to you. In the Flemish Masters Museum Tour series, we take you on a few unique VIP tours through some of Flanders’ extraordinary museums. Guided by an expert, you will learn about their impressive details and hear incredible stories about our heritage. Join us as we visit St. John's Hospital in Bruges, St. Peter's Church in Leuven, Museum Mayer van den Bergh in Antwerp and the brand-new Library of the Dukes of Burgundy in Brussels. Hungry for more heritage? (Re)discover the first season of the Stay At Home Museum here.

The Flemish Masters museum tours - (c) Intro Pancarte

An idiosyncratic Master

A pioneer, an artistic great and a key figure in modern art history. There is only one James Ensor (1860–1949). The oeuvre of this modern master is spread across the whole world, but there's nowhere better to learn about him than in his hometown. And his hometown was Ostend, a pearl on the Flemish coast. Discover Ensor’s artistic legacy in the Ensor House, the house where he lived and worked for 30 years. You can also marvel at The Baths of Ostend 2.0, a modern recomposition by fine art photographer Athos Burez.

The James Ensorhouse - (c) Toerisme Oostende vzw - James Ensorhuis - Nick Decombel Fotografie

The library of the Burgundian dukes

600 years ago the Dukes of Burgundy ruled over our region. It was a fruitful era for art. This was the period during which the oeuvres of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden emerged. The KBR Museum in Brussels is now revealing a new treasure trove: the library of the Dukes of Burgundy. This unique collection of 600-year-old manuscripts—illustrated with awe-inspiring miniatures—has now been opened to the public for the very first time. The KBR takes you on a journey through one of Flanders’ golden ages. 

KBR-museum - (c) KBR - Creativeroom - Simon Beuzart

Liquid heritage

2020 has been a strange year. But we can learn a lot from this unprecedented period. One lesson is to take the time to enjoy yourself. And what better way to do that than by sampling our liquid heritage: Belgian beer. Belgium is the undisputed home of beer. It brews as many as 1,500 unique beers in over 700 flavour profiles. That age-old beer culture is also enjoying being in the spotlight this winter: from the iconic Trappists, centuries-old gueuze and classic Flanders red ale to the huge range of craft beers. There's something for everyone – if you take the time to enjoy yourself. Cheers!

Bruges Beer

A modernist icon

Flanders is overflowing with history and heritage, the seeds of which often lie in the Middle Ages or the Renaissance period. Yet, occasionally, that heritage is a touch more contemporary. The iconic Book Tower in Ghent is a perfect example. The university library is a veritable architectural gem designed by the pioneer of the Art Nouveau genre, Henry Van de Velde. Its impressive tower has recently re-emerged from scaffolding, following an extensive renovation. Thus, Ghent’s so-called ‘fourth tower’ — in addition to the historic St. Bavo's Cathedral, St. Nicholas' Church and the Belfry — can again be admired in all its glory. And Ghent’s fairy-tale skyline is once more complete, rewarding visitors with a breathtaking, picture postcard winter scene.

Boekentoren Gent - (c) E. Sergysels

The winter wonderland of Flanders is looking forward to welcoming you again, once this difficult period is behind us. Take care of yourself and we hope to see you again soon.

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