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. And Flanders has so much to offer than the traditional Christmas and winter markets, including a newly renovated former colonial palace and museum, a fairy-tale light festival, Burgundian grandeur and much, much more.

The Africa Museum reopens

The Africa Museum in Tervuren has been a leading institue for more than a century. During this time, the museum, which issituated under 10 miles (15km) from Brussels, has amassed a vast and impressive collection of exhibits, including a stuffed elephant, hundreds of musical instruments, tens of thousands of photos and video clips, and countless historical objects from Central Africa. It even houses the complete archives of famous explorer, Henry Morton Stanley. Closed for five years for extensive renovation, the Africa Museum's beautifully refurbished monumental building complex has now reopened its doors and is ready to welcome visitors. what's more, the museum's colonial past is confronted in an open way, and exhibits include contemporary artworks from Central African artists.

Afrika museum Tervuren

A glittering capital

Brussels is the vibrant, bustling capital city of Europe, Belgium and Flanders. And, at the end of February, this stunning metropolis will be even more dazzling than ever before. Indeed, thirteen artistic, enchanting, whimsical and stirring light artworks will festoon the city during the eagerly anticipated Bright Brussels. One of the highlights can be admired at the former Citroën garage where Kanal, the new museum for contemporary art, is taking up residence. Virtually the entire façade of this historic building will be adorned in lights that move and sway to their own rhythm, during what promises to be a scintillating festival of light. Rediscover Brussels and shed new light on the city.

Grand Place Brussels winter

Ode to our liquid heritage

Belgium is the undisputed home of beer. In Flanders alone we brew more than a thousand unique beers in hundreds of flavour profiles. Our age-old beer culture is also enjoying being in the spotlight this winter: the Bruges Beer Festival is attracting no less than 70 breweries to Bruges, where they'll serve up more than 300 unique beers. Come visit and discover what makes our liquid heritage so world-renowned.

Bruges Beer

The modern master

Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Jan van Eyck and Pieter Paul Rubens. The Flemish Masters have left an indelible impression on art history. the legacy of these trailblazers has been perpetuated throughout the centuries by numerous generations of artists. The great Raoul De Keyser belongs to that distinguished list. This modern master made his mark in the 1960s with his quirky and colourful paintings of objects from his immediate surroundings: a door handle, a cloud, a piece of barbed wire... And the Ghent Museum of Contemporary Art (S.M.A.K.) is proudly presenting an inaugural posthumous overview of the oeuvre of this lesser known artist's paintings, watercolours and drawings.

S.M.A.K. Ghent - (c) Dirk Pauwels

Cosy winter festivals

The final weeks of the year are traditionally celebrated in Flanders with cosy Christmas markets and festive winter events. The scent of pine needles fills the bustling streets, skaters take to the ice rinks, and bystanders enjoy a seasonal bite to eat and a warming drink. You can soak up these convivial end-of-year festivities in almost every city centre: Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Hasselt, Leuven and Ostend, to name but a few.

Winter Bruges

Burgundian pomp and splendour

Between 1384 and 1530, Flanders enjoyed a renaissance of its own. During this Flemish Golden Age, the Burgundian dynasty blew a wind of change through our region, resulting in a quantum leap in art, music, philosophy, science, architecture and politics. That extraordinary wealth is celebrated in the stately, 16th century Hof van Busleyden, a majestic Burgundian Renaissance palace in Mechelen. Here, visitors can experience court culture first hand and become intimately acquainted with he legacy of venerated greats such as Charles the Bold, Margaret of Thomas More. All that glorious heritage is further enriched by an intriguing look into the future, until 12th May, visitors to the Hof van Busleyden can admire It almost seemed a lilly, a mesmerising exhibition by acclaimed sculptor Berlinde de Bruyckere.

Hof Van Busleyden
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