Coast Tram (Belgium)
The Coast Tram is a public transport service connecting the cities and towns along the entire Belgian coast, between De Panne near the French border and Knokke-Heist. At 68 km in length, it is the longest tram line in the world, as well as one of the few interurban tramways in the world to remain in operation; the line is built at 1,000 mm metre gauge and electrified at 600 V DC. The first section of the line between Ostend and Nieuwpoort was opened in 1885, although the original route was further inland than the modern one and only short parts of the original section in Oostende and Nieuwpoort centres are still in operation. On its creation, the line was managed by the NMVB, that operated an interurban tram system throughout Belgium. In 1991, the NMVB/SNCV was broken into two regional companies, one Walloon and the other Flemish, with the Flemish successor company, Vlaamse Vervoermaatschappij De Lijn taking responsibility for operation of the coastal tram; the service makes 69 stops along the 68 km line, with a tram running every 10 min during the peak summer months, it is used by over 3 million passengers.
The service has been made more accessible by new low-floor centre sections to existing vehicles and a few new HermeLijn low-floor trams. While most of the older trams are unidirectional and so have to be turned on a loop in order to reverse direction, the newer ones are bidirectional, with driving positions and doors on both end/sides. An interesting feature is the two alternative routes that exist around both ends of the Leopoldkanaal locks, just east of Zeebrugge, the similar single track diversion around the inland end of the Boudewijnkanaal lock; that avoids delays when the road bridge that the tram line follows is raised for boats passing under it. There is a similar feature at the southern end of Ostend station around the lock entrance to the Vlotdok. De Lijn NMVB / SNCV De Kusttram De Lijn Buurtspoorweg foto archief TRAMANIA Buurtspoorweg sponsoring UrbanRail.net page
The Flemish Region is one of the three regions of the Kingdom of Belgium—alongside the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. Colloquially, it is simply referred to as Flanders, it occupies the northern part of Belgium and covers an area of 13,522 km2. It is one of the most densely populated regions of Europe with around 480 inhabitants per square kilometer; the Flemish Region should not be confused with the Flemish community: the latter encompasses both the inhabitants of the Flemish Region and the Dutch-speaking minority living in the Brussels Capital-Region. After its establishment in 1980, the region transferred all its constitutional competencies to the Flemish Community. Thus, the current Flemish authorities represent all the Flemish people, including those living in the Brussels-Capital Region. Hence, the Flemish Region is governed by the Flemish Community institutions. However, members of the Flemish Community parliament elected in the Brussels-Capital Region have no right to vote on Flemish regional affairs.
The Flemish Region comprises five provinces, each consisting of administrative arrondissements that, in turn, contain municipalities. The seat of the Flemish parliament is located in Brussels, which itself is not part of the Flemish region, being specified that the Brussels Capital-Region is established as an administrative region of Belgium in its own right. Contrary to its Flemish counterpart, the Walloon parliament has established its own parliament on Walloon territory. Brussels however contains both the Flemish Community and the French Community, both having their institutions in Brussels. Flanders is home with emphasis put on research and development. Many enterprises work with local knowledge and research centres to develop new products and services. "De Lijn" serves as the main public transport company, run by the Flemish government. It consists of trams. TEC is the equivalent company in Wallonia, MIVB-STIB in Brussels; the railway network run by the NMBS, however, is a federal responsibility.
The Flemish government is responsible for about 500 kilometers of regional roads and about 900 kilometers of highways in the territory of the Flemish Region. Other types of roads are municipal roads. Largest cities in the region include: Antwerp Ghent Bruges Leuven Mechelen Aalst Hasselt Sint-Niklaas Kortrijk Ostend Genk Roeselare The Flemish Diamond is the name of the central, populous area in Flanders and consists of several of these cities, such as Antwerp, Ghent and Mechelen. 5,500,000 people live in the area. The official language is Dutch, sometimes colloquially referred to as Flemish; the main dialect groups include West Flemish, East Flemish and Limburgish. French may be used for certain administrative purposes in a limited number of the so-called "municipalities with language facilities" around the Brussels-Capital Region and on the border with Wallonia. "Rim municipalities" are Drogenbos, Linkebeek, Sint-Genesius-Rode and Wezembeek-Oppem. Brussels was a Dutch-speaking city, but it was francised in the 19th and 20th century and is now French-speaking.
A few municipalities in the Flemish agglomeration of Brussels are now francised. Municipalities with language facilities on the border with Wallonia are Bever, Mesen, Spiere-Helkijn, Voeren. Aichi, Japan Communities and regions of Belgium Provinces of regions in Belgium De Vlaamse Leeuw Count of Flanders Flanders Flemish Flemish authorities. Flanders online. Toerisme Vlaanderen French Flanders Frans-Vlaanderen The Flemish region reaches 6 million inhabitants
West Flemish is a dialect of the Dutch language spoken in western Belgium and adjoining parts of the Netherlands and France. West Flemish is spoken by about a million people in the Belgian province of West Flanders, a further 120,000 in the neighbouring Dutch coastal district of Zeelandic Flanders and 10,000 in the northern part of the French département of Nord; some of the main cities where West Flemish is spoken are Bruges, Kortrijk, Ostend and Ypres. West Flemish is listed as a "vulnerable" language in UNESCO's online Red Book of Endangered Languages; the language has its own dedicated Wikipedia. West Flemish has a phonology that differs from that of Standard Dutch; the best known traits are the replacement of Standard Dutch velar fricatives g and ch in Dutch with glottal h and the overall lack of diphthongs. The following differences are listed by their Dutch spelling, as some different letters have merged their sounds in Standard Dutch but remained separate sounds in West Flemish. Pronunciations can differ from region to region.
Sch - /sx/ is realised as, or. Ei - /ɛi/ is realised as or. Ij - / ɛi / is realised in some words as. Ui - / œy / is realised in some words as. Au - /ʌu/ is realised as ou - /ʌu/ is realised as, it is similar to the long "oe", used in Standard Dutch, which can cause confusion e - /ɛ/ is realised as or. I - /ɪ/ is realised as. Ie - /i/ is longer aa - /aː/ is realised as; the nonexistentce of /x/ and /ɣ/ in West Flemish makes pronuncing them difficult for native speakers. That causes hypercorrection of the /h/ sounds to a /x/ or /ɣ/. Standard Dutch has many words with an -en suffix. While Standard Dutch and most dialects do not pronounce the final n, West Flemish drops the e and pronounces the n inside the base word. For base words ending with n, the final n sound is lengthened to clarify the suffix; that makes many words become similar to those of English: beaten, listen etc. The short o can be pronounced as a short u; that happens spontaneously to some words. The short a can turn into a short o in some words spontaneously.
The diphthong ui is replaced by a long u or a long ie. Like for the ui, the long o can be replaced by an for some words but a for others; that causes similarities to ranchers English. Here are some examples showing the sound shifts that are part of the vocabulary: Plural forms in Standard Dutch most add -en, but West Flemish uses -s, like the Lower Saxon Germanic dialects and more prominently in English in which -en has become rare. Under the influence of Standard Dutch, -s is being used by fewer people, younger speakers tend to use -en; the verbs zijn and hebben are conjugated differently. West Flemish has a double subject. Standard Dutch has an indefinite article, unlike in West Flemish. However, a gender-independent article is used. Like in English, n is pronounced. Another feature of West Flemish is the conjugation of nee to the subject of the sentence; that is somewhat related to the double subject, but when the rest of the sentence is not pronounced, ja and nee are used with the first part of the double subject.
There is an extra word, negates the previous sentence but gives a positive answer. Ja, nee and toet can all be strengthened by adding mo- or ba-. Both mean "but" and are derived from Dutch but or maar) and can be used together. West Flemish inherited many words from Saxon settlers and on had English loanwords from the wool and cloth trades. Both categories differ from Standard Dutch and show similarities with English and so is difficult to separate both categories. During the Industrial Revolution, the increasing trade with France caused many industrial loanwords from French; when words exist in both Dutch and West Flemish, their meaning can be different. That sometimes causes confusion for native speakers who do not realise that words are used differently. Dutch dialects Flemish people French Flemish Hebban olla vogala Westhoek Euromosaic report on West Flemish in France
Provinces of Belgium
The country of Belgium is divided into three regions. Two of these regions, the Flemish Region or Flanders, Walloon Region, or Wallonia, are each subdivided into five provinces; the third region, the Brussels-Capital Region, is not divided into provinces, as it was only a small part of a province itself. Most of the provinces take their name from earlier duchies and counties of similar location, while their territory is based on the departments installed during French annexation. At the time of the creation of Belgium in 1830, only nine provinces existed, including the province of Brabant, which held the city of Brussels. In 1995, Brabant was split into three areas: Flemish Brabant, which became a part of the region of Flanders; these divisions reflected political tensions between the French-speaking Walloons and the Dutch-speaking Flemish. The division into provinces is fixed by Article 5 of the Belgian Constitution; the provinces are subdivided into 43 administrative arrondissements, further into 581 municipalities.
The medieval Low Countries, including present-day Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as well as parts of modern Germany and France, comprised a number of rival and independent feudal states of varying sizes. These each had their own identities and governments, though in the early modern period all the Belgian states became part of larger entities. Prominent early states in the area of modern Belgium included the Duchy of Brabant, the County of Flanders, the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and the Duchy of Luxembourg; when these territories were annexed by France in 1795, they were reorganised into départments. At the end of French rule and the creation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815, the departmental territories were retained but were renamed into provinces and the historical names returned. At the time of the independence of Belgium from the Netherlands in 1830, Belgium's territory consisted of the existing nine southern provinces; the first article of the Belgian Constitution said: "Belgium is divided into provinces.
These provinces are Antwerp, West Flanders, East Flanders, Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg, except for the relations of Luxembourg with the German Confederation." As such, each of the modern provinces of Belgium takes its name from one of the medieval predecessors, whereas the borders correspond to those of the French departments, which in most cases differ from the historical entities. In 1839, as part of the Treaty of London, half of the province of Limburg became part of the Netherlands, which has its own province of Limburg. In 1920, following the First World War, Belgium annexed the Eupen-Malmedy territory, which became part of the province of Liège. During the second half of the 20th century, Belgium transitioned from a unitary state to a federal state with three Communities and three Regions; as part of the state reforms, the province of Brabant was split in 1995 three ways: into two provinces and into the Brussels-Capital Region. The two new Brabant provinces became part of the Walloon Region respectively.
The remaining eight provinces became part of these regions as well, so the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region each contain five provinces. The following table presents a simplified overview of the evolution of the French departments into the present-day Belgian provinces; the provincial government consists of three main branches: the Provincial Council, the elected body, the Deputation or Provincial College, the executive body, the Governor, appointed by the regional government. The Provincial Councils are the representative bodies of the population of the provinces; this is the equivalent of the States-Provincial in the Netherlands. The numbers of seats in the Provincial Councils are proportional to the population of the province, they are directly elected each six years, at the same time of the municipal elections. Before 1994, the provincial elections instead coincided with the national elections; until the provincial councils appointed Provincial Senators to the Belgian Senate. The last elections were held on 14 October 2018.
The executive branch was called the Permanent Deputation. In the Flemish Region it is now called the Deputation and it consists of the Governor and six Deputies elected by the Provincial Council from among its members. Following the next 2018 election, there will be i.e. five Deputies. In the Walloon Region it is called the Provincial College which consists of the Governor and four to five Deputies elected by the Provincial Council from among its members. In Flemish Brabant, there is a Deputy Governor; the Deputy Governor is appo
Ypres is a Belgian municipality in the province of West Flanders. Though the Dutch Ieper is the official name, the city's French name Ypres is most used in English; the municipality comprises the city of Ypres and the villages of Boezinge, Dikkebus, Hollebeke, Sint-Jan, Voormezele and Zuidschote. Together, they are home to about 34,900 inhabitants. During the First World War, Ypres was the centre of the Battles of Ypres between German and Allied forces. Ypres is an ancient town, known to have been raided by the Romans in the first century BC, it is first mentioned by name in 1066 and is named after the river Ieperlee on the banks of which it was founded. During the Middle Ages, Ypres was a prosperous Flemish city with a population of 40,000 in 1200 AD, renowned for its linen trade with England, mentioned in the Canterbury Tales; as the third largest city in the County of Flanders Ypres played an important role in the history of the textile industry. Textiles from Ypres could be found in the markets of Novgorod in Kievan Rus' in the early 12th century.
In 1241, a major fire ruined much of the old city. The powerful city was involved in important treaties and battles, including the Battle of the Golden Spurs, the Battle at Mons-en-Pévèle, the Peace of Melun, the Battle of Cassel; the famous Cloth Hall was built in the thirteenth century. During this time cats the symbol of the devil and witchcraft, were thrown off Cloth Hall because of the belief that this would get rid of evil demons. Today, this act is commemorated with a triennial Cat Parade through town. During the Norwich Crusade, led by the English bishop Henry le Despenser, Ypres was besieged from May to August 1383, until French relief forces arrived. After the destruction of Thérouanne, Ypres became the seat of the new Diocese of Ypres in 1561, Saint Martin's Church was elevated to cathedral. On 25 March 1678 Ypres was conquered by the forces of Louis XIV of France, it remained French under the treaty of Nijmegen, Vauban constructed his typical fortifications that can still be seen today.
In 1697, after the Treaty of Ryswick, Ypres was returned to the Spanish Crown. During the War of the Spanish Succession, the Duke of Marlborough in 1709 intended to capture Ypres, at the time a major French fortress, but changed his mind owing to the long time and effort it had taken him to capture Tournai and apprehension of disease spreading in his army in the poorly drained land around Ypres. In 1713 it was handed over to the Habsburgs, became part of the Austrian Netherlands. In 1782 the Habsburg Austrian Emperor Joseph II ordered parts of the walls torn down; this destruction, only repaired, made it easier for the French to capture the city in the 1794 Siege of Ypres during the War of the First Coalition. In 1850 the Ypresian Age of the Eocene Epoch was named on the basis of geology in the region by Belgian geologist André Hubert Dumont. Ypres had long been fortified to keep out invaders. Parts of the early ramparts, dating from 1385, still survive near the Rijselpoort. Over time, the earthworks were replaced by a partial moat.
Ypres was further fortified in the 17th and 18th centuries while under the occupation of the Habsburgs and the French. Major works were completed at the end of the 17th century by the French military engineer Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban. Ypres occupied a strategic position during the First World War because it stood in the path of Germany's planned sweep across the rest of Belgium and into France from the north; the neutrality of Belgium, established by the First Treaty of London, was guaranteed by Britain. The German army surrounded the city on three sides. To counterattack, British and allied forces made costly advances from the Ypres Salient into the German lines on the surrounding hills. In the First Battle of Ypres, the Allies captured the town from the Germans; the Germans had used tear gas at the Battle of Bolimov on 3 January 1915. Their use of poison gas for the first time on 22 April 1915 marked the beginning of the Second Battle of Ypres, which continued until 25 May 1915, they captured high ground east of the town.
The first gas attack occurred against Canadian and French soldiers, including both metropolitan French soldiers as well as Senegalese and Algerian tirailleurs from French Africa. The gas used was chlorine. Mustard gas called Yperite from the name of this town, was used for the first time near Ypres, in the autumn of 1917. Of the battles, the largest, best-known, most costly in human suffering was the Third Battle of Ypres, in which the British, Canadian, ANZAC, French forces recaptured the Passchendaele Ridge east of the city at a terrible cost of lives. After months of fighting, this battle resulted in nearly half a million casualties to all sides, only a few miles of ground won by Allied forces. During the course of the war the town was all but obliterated by the artillery fire. English-speaking soldiers in that war referred to Ieper/Ypres by the deliberate mispronunciation Wipers. British soldiers published a wartime newspaper called the Wipers Times; the same style of deliberate mispronunciation was applied to other Flemish place names in the Ypres area for the benefit of British troops, such as Whyteshaete becoming White Sheet and Ploegsteert becomi
Dallas the City of Dallas, is a city in the U. S. state of Texas and the seat of Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin, Denton and Rockwall counties. With an estimated 2017 population of 1,341,075, it is the ninth most-populous city in the U. S. and third in Texas after Houston and San Antonio. It is the eighteenth most-populous city in North America as of 2015. Located in North Texas, the city of Dallas is the main core of the largest metropolitan area in the Southern United States and the largest inland metropolitan area in the U. S. that lacks any navigable link to the sea. It is the most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country at 7.3 million people as of 2017. The city's combined statistical area is the seventh-largest in the U. S. as of 2017, with 7,846,293 residents. Dallas and nearby Fort Worth were developed due to the construction of major railroad lines through the area allowing access to cotton and oil in North and East Texas.
The construction of the Interstate Highway System reinforced Dallas's prominence as a transportation hub, with four major interstate highways converging in the city and a fifth interstate loop around it. Dallas developed as a strong industrial and financial center and a major inland port, due to the convergence of major railroad lines, interstate highways and the construction of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. A "beta" global city, the economy of Dallas has been considered diverse with dominant sectors including defense, financial services, information technology, telecommunications, transportation. Dallas is home to 9 Fortune 500 companies within the city limits; the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex hosts additional Fortune 500 companies, including American Airlines, ExxonMobil and J. C. Penney. Over 41 colleges and universities are in its metropolitan area, the most of any metropolitan area in Texas; the city has a population from a myriad of ethnic and religious backgrounds and the sixth-largest LGBT population in the United States as of 2016.
WalletHub named Dallas the fifth most-diverse city in the U. S. in 2018. Preceded by thousands of years of varying cultures, the Caddo people inhabited the Dallas area before Spanish colonists claimed the territory of Texas in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. France claimed the area but never established much settlement. In 1819, the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain defined the Red River as the northern boundary of New Spain placing the future location of Dallas well within Spanish territory; the area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain, the area was considered part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, with a majority of Anglo-American settlers, gained independence from Mexico and formed the Republic of Texas. Three years after Texas achieved independence, John Neely Bryan surveyed the area around present-day Dallas, he established a permanent settlement near the Trinity River named Dallas in 1841.
The origin of the name is uncertain. The official historical marker states it was named after Vice President George M. Dallas of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. However, this is disputed. Other potential theories for the origin include his brother, Commodore Alexander James Dallas, as well as brothers Walter R. Dallas or James R. Dallas. A further theory gives the origin as the village of Dallas, Scotland, similar to the way Houston, Texas was named after Sam Houston whose ancestors came from the Scottish village of Houston, Renfrewshire; the Republic of Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845 and Dallas County was established the following year. Dallas was formally incorporated as a city on February 2, 1856. With the construction of railroads, Dallas became a business and trading center and was booming by the end of the 19th century, it became an industrial city, attracting workers from Texas, the South, the Midwest. The Praetorian Building in Dallas of 15 stories, built in 1909, was the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi and the tallest building in Texas for some time.
It marked the prominence of Dallas as a city. A racetrack for thoroughbreds was built and their owners established the Dallas Jockey Club. Trotters raced at a track in Fort Worth; the rapid expansion of population increased competition for jobs and housing. In 1921, the Mexican president Álvaro Obregón along with the former revolutionary general visited Downtown Dallas's Mexican Park in Little Mexico; the small neighborhood of Little Mexico was home to a Latin American population, drawn to Dallas by factors including the American Dream, better living conditions, the Mexican Revolution. On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Elm Street while his motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza in Downtown Dallas; the upper two floors of the building from which alleged assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy, the Texas School Book Depository, have been converted into a historical museum covering the former president's life and accomplishments. On July 7, 2016, multiple shots were fired at a peaceful protest in Downtown Dallas, held against the police killings of two black men from other states.
The gunman identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, began firing at police officers at 8:58 p.m. killing five officers and injuring nine. Two bystanders were injured; this marked the deadliest day for U. S. law enforcement since the September 11 attacks. Johnson told police during a standoff that he
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, at Zeebrugge; the historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval in about 430 hectares in size; the city's total population is 117,073. The metropolitan area, including the outer 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, it is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. Bruges has a significant economic importance, thanks to its port, was once one of the world's chief commercial cities. Bruges is well known as the seat of the College of Europe, a university institute for European studies; the place is first mentioned in records as Bruggas, Brvccia in 840–875 as Bruciam, Brutgis uico, in portu Bruggensi, Bricge, Brycge, Bruges, Bruggas and Brugge.
The name derives from the Old Dutch for "bridge": brugga. Compare Middle Dutch brucge and modern Dutch bruggehoofd and brug; 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 Caesar's conquest of the Menapii in the first century BC, to protect the coastal area against pirates; the Franks took over the whole region from the Gallo-Romans around the 4th century and administered it as the Pagus Flandrensis. The Viking incursions of the ninth century prompted Count Baldwin I of Flanders to reinforce the Roman fortifications. Early medieval habitation starts in the 9th and 10th century on the Burgh terrain with a fortified settlement and church Bruges became important due to the tidal inlet, important to local commerce, This inlet was known as the "Golden Inlet".
Bruges received its city charter on 27 July 1128, 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 direct access to the sea. A storm in 1134, however, re-established this access, through the creation of a natural channel at the Zwin; the new sea arm stretched all the way to Damme, a city that became the commercial outpost for Bruges. Bruges had a strategic location at the crossroads of the northern Hanseatic League trade and the southern trade routes. Bruges was included in the circuit of the Flemish and French cloth fairs at the beginning of the 13th century, but when the old system of fairs broke down the entrepreneurs of Bruges innovated, they developed, or borrowed from Italy, new forms of merchant capitalism, whereby several merchants would share the risks and profits and pool their knowledge of markets. They employed new forms of economic exchange, including letters of credit; the city eagerly welcomed foreign traders, most notably the Portuguese traders selling pepper and other spices.
With the reawakening of town life in the twelfth century, a wool market, a woollens weaving industry, the market for cloth all profited from the shelter of city walls, where surpluses could be safely accumulated under the patronage of the counts of Flanders. The city's entrepreneurs reached out to make economic colonies of England and Scotland's wool-producing districts. English contacts brought Normandy grain and Gascon wines. Hanseatic ships filled the harbor, which had to be expanded beyond Damme to Sluys to accommodate the new cog-ships. In 1277, the first merchant fleet from Genoa appeared in the port of Bruges, first of the merchant colony that made Bruges the main link to the trade of the Mediterranean; this development opened not only the trade in spices from the Levant, but advanced commercial and financial techniques and a flood of capital that soon took over the banking of Bruges. The Bourse opened in 1309 and developed into the most sophisticated money market of the Low Countries in the 14th century.
By the time Venetian galleys first appeared. Numerous foreign merchants were welcomed in Bruges, such as the Castilian wool merchants who first arrived in the 13th century. After the Castilian wool monopoly ended, the Basques, many hailing from Bilbao, thrived as merchants and established their own commercial consulate in Bruges by the mid-15th century; the foreign merchants expanded the city's trading zones. They maintained separate communities governed by their own laws until the economic collapse after 1700; such wealth gave rise to social upheavals, which were for the most part harshly contained by the militia. In 1302, after the Bruges Matins, the population joined forces with the Count of Flanders against the French, culminating in