Belgium: Cinquantenaire and Brussels Essay

Submitted By roxiefun12
Words: 1990
Pages: 8

Belgium
Source 1 – Han-Sur-Lesse Caves
The Caves of Han-sur-Lesse are very often referred to as Grottes de Han or Caves of Han. Located in the town Han-sur-Lesse they are the most stunning limestone caves in Europe and a major Belgian tourist attraction. Millions of people come here annually to admire their beauty.
They were first discovered in the year 1815 and by 1895 have become a popular attraction. They appeared as the result of the limestone erosion. The entrance to the caves is near 2 km from the town. They can be approached by a train from the center of the town or on foot. The caves are about 16 km long with only 3km open for visitors. The tour usually takes about one hour and a half. The problem may be that the guides speak Dutch, French and German whereas English excursions should be booked in advance. The temperature in the caves itself is 10 -15°C so you better bring some warm clothes with you. During the tour you will be able see the stalactites and stalagmites. All the caves have their own peculiarities. The tour ends in cannon shot to impress the tourists and to show the acoustic peculiarities of the caves. It is also said to be an old tradition to scare all the evil spirits away from the caves. The story is originated from the times when the caves were used as a place of worship and pilgrimages. The tourists usually leave the caves by boat or by foot.
The caves are located in the biggest in the country animal reserve. The caves and the reserve belong to the same domain and the tickets for visiting are sold with a discount if you buy one for both attractions. The animal reserve is a perfect place for both adults and children. The reserve occupies the area of 250 hectares. It possesses the unique species, Przewalki’s horses for example, tarpan and auroch. In the Han-sur-Lesse there is also a museum of the underground world which is a home to artifacts once found in the caves such as jewelry, tools and weapons from the Bronze Age. For those willing to find out more about the history of the caves and its appearance a visit to museum is a must.
Source 2 – Han-Sur-Lesse Caves
Limestone caves at han-Sur-Lesse in the Belgian Ardennes.
Source 3- The Parc du Cinquantenaire
Not only a park but a national landmark in Brussels. The name means “Park of the fiftieth anniversary”. It was built during the reign of Leopold II to commemorate fifty years of Belgian independence.
Symbolically, the Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels is also built in the shape of a pentagon, like the inner and outer rings of the city. Cinquantenaire sits just outside the inner close to the European Quarter. At the south eastern point, a giant arch with two arms extending out to house museums rests behind a fountain marking the grand entrance.
The two arms of the arch are home to three museums in Brussels: in the left arm is Autoworld, a museum dedicated to cars which showcases the evolution of cars throughout modern times; the one on the right has an art museum and an army museum.
Visitors can climb to the top of the arch for free from an entrance in the army museum to see a nice view of Brussels and then European Quarter. On a clear day, you will be able to see far and wide.
Most visitors will stop at the fountain, take a photo of the arch and move onto other sites. But if you have some time to walk through the park you realise this is one of the most beautiful parks in Brussels. There are many tranquil places to rest and play, have a picnic, go for a jog or spend time on the benches reading. On a hot summer’s day, the areas within the park will be filled with sunbathers, thirsty for every drop of sun-ray.
What locals know is that the entire area is populated with international people working among European institutions and large corporations, which have offices in Brussels. In order to keep everyone entertained throughout the year this Brussels’ park plays host to an endless number of events such as concerts, club nights,…