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
Boat Lifts on the Canal du Centre
The lifts on the Canal du Centre are a series of four hydraulic boat lifts near the town of La Louvière in Belgium which are classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. All four are located on the Canal du Centre in Belgiums historic sillon industriel industrial belt, along a particular 7 km stretch of the Canal du Centre, which connects the river basins of the Meuse and the Scheldt, the water level rises by 66.2 metres. To overcome this difference, the 15.4 metres lift at Houdeng-Goegnies was opened in 1888, the other three lifts, each with a 16.93 metres rise, opened in 1917. The elevators are double, consisting of two vertically mobile tanks or caissons, each supported in the centre by an iron column. The two columns are linked in such a way that one caisson rises as the other descends. These lifts were designed by Edwin Clark from the British company Clark, the lifts were part of the inspiration behind the Peterborough and Kirkfield Lift Locks in Canada. In the late 19th century Richard Birdsall Rogers visited the locks as to understand and these industrial monuments were designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998.
The assemblage combines the four lifts with a variety of associated auxiliary buildings, of the eight hydraulic lift locks built in the late 19th and early 20th century, the four on the Canal du Centre are the only ones still functioning in their original form. Since 2002, operation of the lifts has been limited to recreational use, commercial traffic now bypasses the old lifts and is handled by the enormous Strépy-Thieu boat lift, whose rise of 73m was the highest in the world upon completion. Following an accident in January 2002, in which a malfunctioning elevator began rising as a barge was exiting. During the repair work, which began in 2005, a restoration was undertaken. Description from UNESCO Maps and photographs of canal lifts
The Plantin-Moretus Museum is a printing museum in Antwerp, Belgium which focuses on the work of the 16th century printers Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus. It is located in their residence and printing establishment, the Plantin Press. The printing company was founded in the 16th century by Christophe Plantin, Plantins is now suspected of being at least connected to members of heretical groups known as the Familists, and this may have led him to spend time in exile in his native France. After Plantins death it was owned by his son-in-law Jan Moretus, in 1876 Edward Moretus sold the company to the city of Antwerp. One year the public could visit the areas and the printing presses. The collection has been used extensively for research, for example by historian Harry Carter, in 2002 the museum was nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2005 was inscribed onto the World Heritage list. The Plantin-Moretus Museum possesses a collection of typographical material. Vol.1, Christopher Plantin and the Moretuses, their lives and their world, london, Routledge & Kegan Paul, ISBN0710064667 Voet and Kaye, Raymond H.
The golden compass, a history and evaluation of the printing and publishing activities of the Officina Plantiniana at Antwerp, vol.2 The management of a printing and publishing house in Renaissance and Baroque, Vangendt & Co. London, Routledge & KeganPaul, ISBN0839000049 Museum Plantin-Moretus Pictures from the museum A review of the Plantin-Moretus Museum
Flint is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks, inside the nodule, flint is usually dark grey, green, white or brown in colour, and often has a glassy or waxy appearance. A thin layer on the outside of the nodules is usually different in colour, typically white, from a petrological point of view, flint refers specifically to the form of chert which occurs in chalk or marly limestone. Similarly, common chert occurs in limestone, the exact mode of formation of flint is not yet clear but it is thought that it occurs as a result of chemical changes in compressed sedimentary rock formations, during the process of diagenesis. One hypothesis is that a gelatinous material fills cavities in the sediment, such as bored by crustaceans or molluscs. This hypothesis certainly explains the shapes of flint nodules that are found. The source of dissolved silica in the media could be the spicules of silicious sponges.
Certain types of flint, such as that from the south coast of England, pieces of coral and vegetation have been found preserved like amber inside the flint. Thin slices of the stone often reveal this effect, puzzling giant flint formations known as paramoudra and flint circles are found around Europe but especially in Norfolk, England on the beaches at Beeston Bump and West Runton. Flint sometimes occurs in large flint fields in Jurassic or Cretaceous beds, flint was used in the manufacture of tools during the Stone Age as it splits into thin, sharp splinters called flakes or blades when struck by another hard object. This process is referred to as knapping, flint mining is attested since the Palaeolithic, but became more common since the Neolithic. When struck against steel, a flint edge will produce sparks, the hard flint edge shaves off a particle of the steel that exposes iron which reacts with oxygen from the atmosphere and can ignite the proper tinder. Prior to the availability of steel, rocks of pyrite would be used along with the flint.
These methods are popular in woodcraft and among those who wish to use traditional skills, a later, major use of flint and steel was in the flintlock mechanism, used primarily in flintlock firearms, but used on dedicated fire-starting tools. The sparks ignite the powder and that flame, in turn, ignites the main charge, propelling the ball, bullet. While the military use of the flintlock declined after the adoption of the cap from the 1840s onward, flintlock rifles. Flint and steel used to strike sparks were superseded by ferrocerium and this man-made material, when scraped with any hard, sharp edge, produces sparks that are much hotter than obtained with natural flint and steel, allowing use of a wider range of tinders. Because it can produce sparks when wet and can start fires when used correctly, ferrocerium is used in many cigarette lighters, where it is referred to as flint
A downland is an area of open chalk hills. This term is used to describe the chalk countryside in southern England. Areas of downland are often referred to as downs, deriving from a Celtic word for hills, downland is formed when chalk formations are raised above the surrounding rocks. The chalk slowly erodes to form characteristic rolling hills and valleys, where the downs meet the sea, characteristic white chalk cliffs form, such as the White Cliffs of Dover and Beachy Head. Chalk deposits are very porous, so the height of the table in chalk hills rises in winter. This leads to characteristic chalk downland such as dry valleys or coombes. The modern practice of extracting water from reservoir, in order to satisfy demand for water. In the valleys below the downs there is typically a clay soil, along this line and farms were often built, as on the higher land no water was available. This is demonstrated very clearly beneath the scarp of the White Horse Hills, in many chalk downland areas there is no surface water at all other than artificially created dewponds.
The soil profile of chalk downland in England is a thin soil overlaying the parent chalk, weathering of the chalk has created a characteristic soil known as rendzina. This is largely because of the purity of the chalk, which is about 98% calcium carbonate, steep slopes on chalk downland develop a ribbed pattern of grass covered horizontal steps a foot or two high. Although subsequently emphasised by cattle and sheep walking along them, these terracettes were formed by the movement of soil downhill, in temperate regions chalk downland is typically calcareous grassland, a habitat formed by grazing from both livestock and wild animals. Chalk downland is often unsuitable for agriculture, horticulture, or development because of the nutrient-poor, shallow soil. For this reason downland often survived uncultivated when other, more easily worked land was ploughed or reseeded and this shallow soil structure makes downland ecosystems extremely fragile and easy to destroy. The UK cover of lowland calcareous grassland has suffered a decline in extent since the middle of the twentieth century.
Much remaining chalk downland has been protected against future development to preserve its unique biodiversity
Langdale axe industry
The Langdale axe industry is the name given by archaeologists to specialised stone tool manufacturing centred at Great Langdale in Englands Lake District during the Neolithic period. The existence of a site was originally suggested by chance discoveries in the 1930s. The finds were mainly reject axes, rough-outs and blades created by knapping large lumps of the found in the scree or perhaps by simple quarrying or opencast mining. Hammerstones have found in the scree and other lithic debitage from the industry such as blades and flakes. The area has outcrops of fine-grained greenstone or hornstone suitable for making polished stone axes, such axes have been found distributed across Great Britain. The rock is an epidotised greenstone quarried or perhaps just collected from the slopes in the Langdale Valley on Harrison Stickle. The nature and extent of the axe-flaking sites making up the Langdale Axe Factory complex are still under investigation, geological mapping has established that the volcanic tuff used for the axes outcrops along a narrow range of the highest peaks in the locality.
Archaeologists are able to identify the nature of the Langdale stone by taking sections. The minerals in the rock have a pattern, using a method known as petrography. They have been able to reconstruct the methods and trade patterns employed by the axe makers. The Langdale industry produced roughly hewn axes and simple blocks, the highly polished final product were usually made elsewhere, such as at Ehenside tarn in the western fringes of the Lake District, and all were traded on throughout Britain and Ireland. The Langdale tuff was among the most common of the rocks used to make axes in the Neolithic period. Polishing the rough surfaces will have improved the strength of the axe as well as lowering friction when used against wood. Fractures occur more easily in brittle materials like stone when rough owing to the stress concentrations present at sharp corners, removing those defects by polishing makes the axe much stronger, and able to withstand impact and shock loads from use. Sandstone was usually used for polishing axes, and whetstones have been nearby at Ehenside tarn.
Large fixed outcrops were used for polishing, and there are numerous examples across Europe. That at Fyfield Down near Avebury is an exception, but there must be many more awaiting discovery, the stone axes from Langdale have been found at archaeological sites across Britain and Ireland. An unusual concentration of finds occurs in the East of England, francis Pryor attributes this to these axes being particularly valued in this region
Scree is a collection of broken rock fragments at the base of crags, mountain cliffs, volcanoes or valley shoulders that has accumulated through periodic rockfall from adjacent cliff faces. Landforms associated with these materials are called talus deposits. Talus deposits typically have a concave form, while the maximum inclination corresponds to the angle of repose of the mean debris size. The term scree comes from the Old Norse term for landslide, skriða, formation of scree or talus deposits the results of physical and chemical weathering and erosion acting on a rock face. During the day, water can flow into joints and discontinuities in the rock wall, if the temperature drops enough, for example in the evening, this water may freeze. Since water expands by 9% when it freezes, it can generate forces that either create new cracks or wedge blocks into an unstable position. Special boundary conditions may be required for this to happen, the efficiency of freeze/thaw processes in scree production is debated by scientists.
Many researchers believe that ice formation in large open crack systems cannot generate high pressures, many argue that frost heaving, like that known to act in soil in permafrost areas, may play an important role in cliff degradation in cold places. For example, Lech dl Dragon, in the Sella Group of the Dolomites, derives from the waters of a glacier. The melting process of the glacier is slowed by the protective layer of scree. Eventually a rock slope may be covered by its own scree. The slope is said to be mantled with debris, fellfield Lava stringer Mass wasting Weathering
Wallonia is a region of Belgium. Wallonia is primarily French-speaking, and accounts for 55% of the territory of Belgium, unlike Flanders, the Walloon Region was not merged with the French Community of Belgium which is the political entity that is responsible for matters related mainly to culture and education. The German-speaking minority in the east forms the German-speaking Community of Belgium, during the industrial revolution, Wallonia was second only to the United Kingdom in industrialization, capitalizing on its extensive deposits of coal and iron. This brought the wealth, from the beginning of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century. Since World War II the importance of industry has greatly diminished. Wallonia now suffers high unemployment and has a significantly lower GDP per capita than Flanders. The economic inequalities and linguistic divide between the two are major sources of conflict in Belgium and is a major factor in Flemish separatism. The capital of Wallonia is Namur but the city with the greatest population is Charleroi, most of Wallonias major cities and two-thirds of its population lie along the Sambre and Meuse valley, the former industrial backbone of Belgium.
To the north lies the Central Belgian Plateau, like Flanders, is relatively flat, in the south-east lie the Ardennes and sparsely populated. Wallonia borders Flanders and the Netherlands in the north, France to the south and west, Wallonia has been a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie since 1980. The term Wallonia can mean different things in different contexts. One of the three regions of Belgium is still constitutionally defined as the Walloon Region, but the regions government has renamed it Wallonia. In practice, the difference between the two terms is small and what is meant is usually clear, based on context, the root of the word Wallonia, like the words Wales and Wallachia, is the Germanic word Walha, meaning the strangers. Wallonia is named after the Walloons, the population of the Burgundian Netherlands speaking Romance languages, in Middle Dutch, the term Walloons included the French-speaking population of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège or the whole population of the Romanic sprachraum within the medieval Low Countries.
Julius Caesar conquered Gaul in 57 BC, the Low Countries became part of the larger Gallia Belgica province which originally stretched from southwestern Germany to Normandy and the southern part of the Netherlands. The population of territory was Celtic with a Germanic influence which was stronger in the north than in the south of the province. The ancestors of the Walloons became Gallo-Romans and were called the Walha by their Germanic neighbours, the Walha abandoned their Celtic dialects and started to speak Vulgar Latin. The Merovingian Franks gradually gained control of the region during the 5th century, the language border began to crystallize between 700 under the reign of the Merovingians and Carolingians and around 1000 after the Ottonian Renaissance
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
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
Open-pit, open-cast or open cut mining is a surface mining technique of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit or borrow. This form of mining differs from extractive methods that require tunneling into the earth, for minerals that occur deep below the surface—where the overburden is thick or the mineral occurs as veins in hard rock—underground mining methods are used to extract the valued material. Open-pit mines that produce building materials and dimension stone are commonly referred to as quarries, open-pit mines are typically enlarged until either the mineral resource is exhausted, or an increasing ratio of overburden to ore makes further mining uneconomic. When this occurs, the mines are sometimes converted to landfills for disposal of solid wastes. Open-cast mines are dug on benches, which describe vertical levels of the hole and these benches are usually on four to sixty meter intervals, depending on the size of the machinery that is being used.
Many quarries do not use benches, as they are usually shallow, most walls of the pit are generally blast mined on an angle less than vertical, to prevent and minimize damage and danger from rock falls. This depends on how weathered the rocks are, and the type of rock, the inclined section of the wall is known as the batter, and the flat part of the step is known as the bench or berm. The steps in the walls help prevent rock falls continuing down the face of the wall. In some instances additional ground support is required and rock bolts, cable bolts, de-watering bores may be used to relieve water pressure by drilling horizontally into the wall, which is often enough to cause failures in the wall by itself. A haul road is situated at the side of the pit, forming a ramp up which trucks can drive, carrying ore. Waste rock is piled up at the surface, near the edge of the open pit and this is known as the waste dump. The waste dump is tiered and stepped, to minimize degradation, ore which has been processed is known as tailings, and is generally a slurry.
This is pumped to a dam or settling pond, where the water evaporates. This toxicity can harm the surrounding environment, after mining finishes, the mine area may undergo land rehabilitation. Waste dumps are contoured to flatten out, to further stabilise them. This is covered with soil, and vegetation is planted to help consolidate the material. There are no long term studies on the success of these due to the relatively short time in which large scale open pit mining has existed. It may take hundreds to thousands of years for some waste dumps to become acid neutral, the dumps are usually fenced off to prevent livestock denuding them of vegetation