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. It also has plenty to offer in addition to the traditional Christmas and winter markets, including a tribute to two celebrated Flemish Masters, our unique beers, a fairy-tale light festival and much, much more.

Tribute to the Master

Flemish Master Pieter Bruegel is one of the most distinguished painters in the history of Western art. 2019 marks precisely 450 years since the artist's death, making it the ideal moment for showcasing his extraordinary oeuvre. If you've yet to experience that tribute at close range, then seize your chance. You can do just that in the majestic Dynasty building in the heart of Brussels city centre. Its impressive multimedia Beyond Bruegel exhibition immerses you in Bruegel's masterpieces, temporarily transforming you into a soldier in Dulle Griet's army, or a skipper in the shadow of the Tower of Babel. In fact, it's guaranteed to change how you view Bruegel's paintings for ever more.

Bruegel - (c)KMSK Brussel

Tribute to the Master (cont.)

If 2019 was dominated by Pieter Bruegel, the 2020 is the turn of his fellow Master, Jan van Eyck. His Ghent altarpiece, which he painted with his brother Hubert, is one of the definitive art canon masterpieces and can still be admired to this day in St Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent. The city therefore considered it high for an uncompromising declaration of love: 'OMG! Van Eyck was here' is an awe-inspiring city festival encompassing visual arts, theatre, design, fashion and much, much more. The cathedral's new visitor centre immerses visitors in the tumultuous history of the Ghent Altarpiece using virtual reality glasses. The Museum of Fine Arts (MSK) meanwhile presents his oeuvre alongside that of his European conemporaries. And that's just the start of an entire year dedicated to celebrating the great Jan van Eyck.
Explore the full programme!

Lam Gods -

A glittering capital

Brussels is the vibrant, bustling capital city of Europe, Belgium and Flanders. And, from 13 to 16 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. This dazzling light festival is set to shed new light on Brussels' beautiful canal district, both literally and figuratively.

Bright Brussels - (c)Bright.Brussels

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

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

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
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