Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country. The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares, including 1,075 hectares off the coast, the historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval and about 430 hectares in size, the citys total population is 117,073, of whom around 20,000 live in the city centre. The metropolitan area, including the commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km2 and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port and was once one of the worlds chief commercial cities. Bruges is well known as the seat of the College of Europe, the name probably derives from the Old Dutch for bridge, brugga. Also compare Middle Dutch brucge and modern Dutch bruggehoofd, the form brugghe would be a southern Dutch variant.
The Dutch word and the English bridge both derive from Proto-Germanic *brugjō-, Bruges was a location of coastal settlement during prehistory. This Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement is unrelated to medieval city development, in the Bruges area, the first fortifications were built after Julius Caesars conquest of the Menapii in the first century BC, to protect the coastal area against pirates. The Franks took over the region from the Gallo-Romans around the 4th century. The Viking incursions of the century prompted Count Baldwin I of Flanders to reinforce the Roman fortifications, trade soon resumed with England. Bruges received its city charter on 27 July 1128, and new walls and canals were built, in 1089 Bruges became the capital of the County of Flanders. Since about 1050, gradual silting had caused the city to lose its access to the sea. A storm in 1134, however, re-established this access, through the creation of a channel at the Zwin. The new sea arm stretched all the way to Damme, a city became the commercial outpost for Bruges.
Bruges had a location at the crossroads of the northern Hanseatic League trade. They developed, or borrowed from Italy, new forms of merchant capitalism, whereby several merchants would share the risks and profits and they employed new forms of economic exchange, including bills of exchange and letters of credit. The city eagerly welcomed foreign traders, most notably the Portuguese traders selling pepper and other spices, the citys entrepreneurs reached out to make economic colonies of England and Scotlands wool-producing districts
Kirkfield Lift Lock
The Kirkfield Lift Lock is a boat lift located in the city of Kawartha Lakes, Canada, near the village of Kirkfield. It is designated Lock 36 of the Trent-Severn Waterway, situated at the highest section of the canal and it is Canadas second lift lock, the other one is the Peterborough Lift Lock, located on the same canal system. Construction of the lock took place between 1900 and 1907 and it was contrived by Richard Birdsall Rogers, a Canadian engineer, who adopted the design of the Lifts on the old Canal du Centre in Belgium. The concept of the lift lock had never been implemented in the harsher Canadian climate prior to the construction of the Peterborough Lift Lock. The successful completion of the locks was considered a significant technological breakthrough. During the late 1960s, the Kirkfield Lift Lock underwent a series of renovations, the original manual controls were electrified and automated, enabling all lock operations to be activated from a single console in the new control tower.
The water-driven gate engines and pumps were removed, as well as the walls, concrete piers. The shops and lockmasters houses built along the canal were demolished, the lock was reinforced with a massive concrete structure, a new two-lane underpass was constructed underneath. Currently, the lock is used exclusively by pleasure boats, like the rest of the canal, becoming obsolete for commercial traffic after the present version of the Welland Canal was completed in 1932
Belfries of Belgium and France
UNESCO inscribed 32 towers onto its list of Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia in 1999. In 2005, the belfry of Gembloux in the Walloon Region of Belgium and 23 belfries from the Nord-Pas-de-Calais, one notable omission is the Brussels City Hall belfry, as it is already part of the Grand Place World Heritage Site. Most of the structures in this list are towers projecting from broader buildings, however, a few are notably standalone, of which, a handful are rebuilt towers formerly connected to adjacent buildings. ID numbers correspond to the order in the complete list ID 943/943bis from UNESCO, see External links
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
A beguinage, from the French term béguinage, is an architectural complex which was created to house beguines, lay religious women who lived in community without taking vows or retiring from the world. In most cases, beguines who lived in a convent agreed to certain regulations during their stay. Several of these beguinages are now listed by UNESCO as World Heritage, by the mid-thirteenth century, the French king Louis IX founded a beguinage in Paris, which was modeled on the court beguinages of the Low Countries. The Oxford English Dictionary, citing Du Cange, gives the origin of the beguine in the name of Lambert le Bègue, Lambert the Stammerer. They were encircled by walls and separated from the town proper by several gates which were closed at night, during the day the beguines could come and go as they pleased. Beguines came from a range of social classes, though truly poor women were admitted only if they had a wealthy benefactor who pledged to provide for their needs. Our understanding of womens motivations for joining the beguinages has changed dramatically in recent decades, thirteen Flemish beguinages have been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites since 1998.
Beguines and Beghards Frauenfrage, specifically associated with a medieval demographical period, in relation to women Belgiums beguinages offered refuge for women CNN
The Tournai Cathedral, or Cathedral of Our Lady, is a Roman Catholic church, see of the Diocese of Tournai in Tournai, Belgium. It has been classified both as a Wallonias major heritage since 1936 and as a World Heritage Site since 2000, the transept is the most distinctive part of the building, with its cluster of five bell towers and apsidal ends. The nave belongs mostly to the first third of the 12th century, prefiguring the Early Gothic style, it has a second-tier gallery between the ground-floor arcade and the triforium. Pilasters between the windows in the clerestory help support the 18th-century vaulting that replaced the original ceiling, which was of wood. The square towers flank the transept arms reach a height of 83 metres. They vary in detail, some of the work with which they are enriched being in the round-arched. The construction of the new choir began in 1242, and ended in 1255, the rood screen is a renaissance masterpiece by Flemish sculptor Cornelis Floris and dates from 1573.
The Cathedral was damaged by a tornado on the 24 August 1999. Assessment of the damage revealed underlying structural problems and the Cathedral has been undergoing extensive repairs, the Brunin Tower was stabilised in 2003. In recognition of Tournai cathedrals cultural value, UNESCO designated the building a World Heritage Site in the year 2000, eleutherius of Tournai Nicolas Gombert Adolf, Duke of Guelders Roman Catholic Marian churches Citations Bibliography Tournai Cathedral. French Gothic architecture of the 12th and 13th centuries, media related to Cathédrale Notre-Dame, Tournai at Wikimedia Commons Complete catalogue of images of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Tournai. Royal Institute for the Study and Conservation of Belgiums Artistic Heritage, architectural images of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Tournai. Royal Institute for the Study and Conservation of Belgiums Artistic Heritage, Our Ladys Cathedral - from Belgium Travel Network Tournai Cathedral - UNESCO site, contains detailed description and history Cathedral Notre-Dame - from official site of the city of Tournai