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Unusual Belgium

Unusual & Mysterious Belgium

Belgium is home to quite a few unusual and mysterious places.

But for those who are looking for a great experience without the crowds, we have compiled a list of hidden and mysterious activities and places.

These trips show us the trail we left in history and confront us with time and temporality.


Mysterious & Inspiring

Inspiring day trips* guided by neuropsychiatrist Dr Karel Ringoet. 

 

Psychiatry past and present - History of psychiatry.

Symbols and rituals of the Freemasons?.

Mysterious & Inspiring

Belgium

Mysterious & Unusual Brussels - *24 / 09 / 2022

 Freemasonry

A veil of secrecy hangs over Freemasonry. The secluded character of the lodges and the age-old initiation traditions contribute greatly to this. 

The Palace of Justice in Brussels

During this visit, you will discover not only the story of the architect, but also the architecture, the urban planning and the symbolism hidden behind this monumental facade. You will also get an insight into the workings of justice and the role of the palace.

 

Mysterious & Unusual Bruges - *15 / 10 / 2022 

Brugse zot: More than 100 years ago - in 1910 - the female psychiatric patients moved from the Boeveriestraat in Bruges to the Koning Albert I-laan in Sint-Michiels. From Open Poort to Brugse Zot sketches a picture of mental health care in Bruges.

Freemasons Bruges: During a walk in the inner city, you will learn more about the history of Belgian and especially Bruges freemasonry. The route takes in the places where the first lodges in Bruges met. The route also takes a look at the famous freemasons who were active in Bruges and who, following in the footsteps of illustrious predecessors such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, Lessing, Mozart, Haydn and Goethe, each contributed to society in their own way.   

 

Mysterious & Unusual Ghent - *12 / 11 / 202

Museum Dr. Guislain is a cultural reference point concerning the history of and current discussions about psychiatry and mental health, care, art and madness. A museum in the Rue Joseph Guislain, in Belgium's oldest insane asylum built in 1857: you'd be crazy not to pay it a visit.

Freemasonry in Ghent. Freemasonry still fascinates an unpredictable number of people. It found its way to ghent in the eighteenth century and was soon surrounded by a halo of secrecy that has stubbornly haunted it to this day.

 

Psychiatry past and present - On request.

Insane asylum Rekem

The castle d'Aspremont-Lynden in Meuse Renaissance, built in 1595 on the site of old fortresses. The castle was the residence of the counts of Rekem. During the French period (1795 to 1805) it served as a military hospital; between 1809 and 1891 as a beggar's home and from 1921 to 1980 as a state psychiatric institution.

Cemetery psychiatric hospital

This unique cemetery, at the edge of the Hoge Kempen National Park in a pine forest, was laid out to bury deceased patients of the psychiatric hospital of Rekem.

Psychiatric Care Centre

Visits aim to give a correct impression of present-day psychiatry and the functioning of a care centre. In this way OPZC Rekem helps to break the taboo that still exists around psychiatry. During the visits, the privacy of the patients and residents is taken into account.

 

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Unusual & Mysterious Belgium

Historical, legendary, horrifying, religious and mysterious. Revolutionary educational journeys.

Unusual & WW I & II experiences

Belgium / Holland

First World War.

Loncin Fortress.

Considered the symbol of the Battle of Liège and Belgium's heroism in the face of the German attack in 1914, Loncin Fortress remains an exceptional place of memory preserved in the state of its destruction during the First World War.

The trench path

A German bunker and trench system from 1917.
Considered to be one of the best preserved trench systems from World War I in all of Europe! It contains 4.7 km of trenches and about 21 bunkers, of which 4 are opened and accessible to visitors.

On the trail of LEUTNANT ZIMMERMANN

In the Fortress of Stabroek, there is the Zimmermann room, where a number of aerial photographs of this German pilot from 1918 are on display in large format. Back in time, you will discover the well-preserved remains of the unique military heritage around Antwerp. 

The Death Wire

The death wire was an electric fence on the border between Belgium and the Netherlands during World War I. It was the border between war and peace.
The death wire was installed because German soldiers did not succeed in hermetically sealing off the kilometer-long national border. Many people were able to cross the border because of this: volunteers for the Belgian army, spies, deliverers of clandestine mail, resistance fighters, smugglers and refugees.

Second World War

Kazerne Dossin

During the Second World War, in 1942-1944, the German occupiers used Kazerne Dossin in Mechelen as a collection camp for Belgian Jews and gypsies. From this camp, approximately 25,500 Jews and 354 gypsies were deported, most of them to Auschwitz-Birkenau. 

Breendonk Fortress

The SS occupied it during the Second World War and converted it into an Auffanglager for Jews,maquis and political prisoners. Today, the Memorial is one of the best-preserved witnesses to the Nazi horror in Europe.

Hitler's headquarters

The little village of Brûly-de-Pesche, in the South of the Province of Namur, was chosen to be Hitler's headquarters for three weeks in June 1940. The site was ideally located, only a few kilometres from France, nestled in a woodland. From there Hitler orchestrated his invasion of France. Also known as the Wolf's Gorge (Wolfsschlucht), the site still bears the scars of Hitler's stay and has a concrete bunker with two armoured doors, as well as two Bavarian-style chalets in which the Fuhrer and his officers stayed.

The broken bridge in Bohan

It has been almost 80 years since it was destroyed during the Second World War. It was destroyed on May 11, 1940 by the French who wanted to protect their pension. In 1941, the bridge was temporarily repaired with wood and the tram was able to pass again. But on August 6, 1944, like the French army engineers in 1940, the Germans also demolished it to protect their retreat. It was never rebuilt.

The Maquis Camps at Vresse

In the Basse-Semois sector (Group D), there were more than 20 Maquis camps during the last World War. Depending on the circumstances of this war, they were abandoned, razed to the ground by the enemy or rebuilt elsewhere. It is impossible to describe them all here.

 

 

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Unusual Belgium

Belgium

An exciting quest for forgotten, abandoned and doomed places.

1/ Abbaye de Villers

A magical and peaceful ruined Cistercian abbey in what is now southern Belgium.

2/ Fort de la Chartreuse

This abandoned Belgian fortress is purposefully being left to nature.

3/ Blegny-Mine

Descend into the tunnels to experience the life of a coal miner.

4/ Gare Du Montzen

Abandoned since 1998, this train station has become an oasis for urban explorers. 

5/ Sanatorium du Basil

An early 20th-century sanatorium, long abandoned and now being reclaimed by nature.

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Mysterious Belgium / Holland

Belgium / Holland

Belgium & The Netherlands: A combination of quite a few unusual locations. For those looking for a great experience without the hustle and bustle, we've compiled a list of hidden activities and places.

1/ Cemetery psychiatric hospital
Between 1921 and 1981 patients find their final resting place in the cemetery of the Rijkskrankzinnigengesticht,

2/ St. Pietersberg Caves
Incredible labyrinth of man-made caves.

3/ Fort Saint Peter's
This historic Dutch fortress still bears the traces of a single siege.

4/ Tower of Eben-Ezer
A Belgian self-built tower inspired by the Bible and ancient civilizations.

5/ Fort Eben-Emael
This vast Belgian fortress was once considered impenetrable, but now it's just an abandoned relic.

6/ Labyrint Drielandenpunt
A beautiful maze marking where *three countries meet.


 

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A search for secret spiritual places in Belgium.

Under the spell of the "Lamb

The Adoration of the Lamb", by the van Eyck brothers, unveiled in 1432, is recognised worldwide as an artistic highlight, one of the most influential paintings ever made.

Historic St Bavo's Abbey.

Are you a fan of the mystical? Then these ruins will not leave you unmoved. You are on historic ground here. In the 7th century, Amandus van Gent founded St Bavo's Abbey here, in an attempt to convert the inhabitants of Ganda.

The Majestic Abbey of Tongerlo
In the middle of a green, woody area, crossed by ancient lanes, stands the old and majestic abbey - beautiful! After a sometimes turbulent history, the abbey is still an oasis of peace, spirituality, history and religious mysteries.
The attraction of the abbey is of course the legendary, religious and mysterious painting,
The Last Supper by LEONARDO DA VINCI

Abbey of Villers

Belgium has a lot of great and original sights. Burgundian Belgium not only has a rich beer history, but also counts numerous abbeys. One of them is the remarkable Abbey of Villers, with its beautiful ruins. A beautiful, historic place to enjoy the sun and the autumn colours.

Fortified castle of Bouillon

This fortress, proudly overlooking the city from a steep rock, is located in a valley marked by the meanders of the Semois.

Despite its age, this feudal fortress has been well preserved and bears enormous witness to the events that took place here in the Middle Ages, at the time of the Crusades. The famous owner at that time, Godfrey of Bouillon, clearly left his mark on the place and was the figurehead of the first crusade.

Abbey of Orval

The Abbey of Orval is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1132.

A visit to the ruins of the old Cistercian abbey reveals a location with a fascinating history and of a very special beauty, embedded in a valley where the Mathilde spring originates.

 

 

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