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left-pagerright-pagerFlanders at the heart of Europe

Discover Flanders

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Come to Flanders and you will be professionally taken by surprise. Situated strategically at the heart of Europe, Flanders offers a surprisingly wide range of opportunities. Come to Flanders and enjoy its rich culture and history. Surrounded by large countries and fostered by historical influences, it has developed a fascinating character throughout time.

Diversity - Innovation - Quality of life - Rich history - Avant-garde - Openness - Facts

ASSETS:

• Diversity

Flanders is located on the crossroads of three cultures: the Germanic, Roman and Anglo-Saxon. As a result of this realization, Flemish people easily allow foreign influences, both at cultural, culinary, social and professional levels. Many expatriates think living and working in Flanders is a luxury and they enjoy the openness and accessibility of Flanders and its inhabitants. More than 5% of Flanders’ inhabitants are foreigners holding more than 50 different nationalities.

High Quality Education: Flemings are polyglots. This is chiefly due to the quality of the Flemish educational system. The system prepares young people to perform optimally in a quickly changing and increasingly internationally focused society. The excellent reputation of Flemish education is justified and is confirmed by the results of the PISA research project. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA, an OECD initiative) measures the reading skills, the problem-solving capacity and mathematical and scientific knowledge of 15-year-olds. Flemish students obtain one of the best scores in mathematical literacy. Flemish students also speak more languages than their peers in other countries. Pupils from the second and third stages of general secondary education speak 2.5 languages on average, while pupils from other countries of the European Union speak 1.5 languages on average.

Social Flanders: Flanders is known for its high-quality and extensive welfare services and health facilities. The excellently organised social security system has more than once served as a model for other countries. It indeed contributes to the poverty risk in Flanders being one of the lowest in Europe. Moreover, as a result of the combination with sufficient, well structured and affordable child care and schools, men and women find their place on the labour market. As a consequence, the standard of living in Flanders is one of the highest in Europe.

• Innovation

Every year 1,200,000 Flemish people go to school, where they receive education from 120,000 teachers. The realisation that learning is a lifelong process that does not stop after attaining a diploma is growing. Almost one in ten Flemings between 25 and 64 years old follows additional schooling or training sessions.

Flanders has five universities (Leuven, Antwerpen, Gent, Hasselt and Brussel), among which the 'Katholieke Universiteit Leuven'.
Internationalisation plays an increasingly important role in education. European programmes such as Erasmus and Leonardo da Vinci ensure that both students and teaching staff get the opportunity to gain experience abroad. Thousands of Flemish students make use of this opportunity. Vice versa, thousands of foreign students come to Flanders within the framework of a European programme.

Flanders has various international schools. The Antwerp British School and the Antwerp International School are located in Antwerpen. Brussels offers a wide range, the International School of Brussels and the British School of Brussels being the two largest ones. The College of Europe in Brugge, providing education at university level, also houses the international research and traning centre of the United Nations University.

Several business schools of Flanders are ranked among the top of business schools in Europe. The 'Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School' holds a top 20 position in the annual Financial Times ranking. The University of Antwerp Management School (UAMS) also holds a good spot in the ranking.

Heading for the future: A society that invests in research and development (R&D) is able to keep up with a quickly changing world. Flanders is ready to take on that challenge.
Flanders’ R&D intensity, the percentage of the gross income that a region spends on research and development, shows that it is in the European second rank. Flanders places increasingly more emphasis on innovation. An estimated 25% of the total turnover of Flemish enterprises that work closely with knowledge centres are newly developed products and services.

Entrepreneurs can use the services of a knowledge centre to solve a specific technical problem, to support technological innovation or to test products. To determine which knowledge centre is the most suitable to solve a specific problem, the services of an innovation centre can be called upon. The innovation centre’s employees arrange appointments with various knowledge centres. The final decision regarding whom to work with is made by the entrepreneur.

Flemish knowledge centres are divided into strategic research centres and competence poles. Strategic research centres perform demand-driven, strategic basic research with a view to economic or social potential that can be realised within the foreseeable future. They are cooperative partnerships with an international scope and a permanent infrastructure. Competence poles build a bridge between the economy and technological innovation. These organisations all originated bottom-up and combine forces from different sectors, usually in the form of public-private cooperation projects.

• Quality of life

There is a lot to experience in Flanders: Whether you love classical music, rock, world music, jazz, the visual arts or performing arts, there is constantly something to experience in many parts of Flanders. Here is a selection from the many annual or biennial events.
For more than 30 years, the big names in the national and international rock and dance scene have shook up the sleepy village of Werchter in Flemish Brabant for four days at the beginning of July with the Rock Werchter festival. Some specialists consider this the best festival in the world.

The Zomer van Antwerpen (Summer of Antwerp) holds tourists and Antwerpen’s inhabitants spellbound for two months with the best circus acts in the world, musical performances in every district of the city and open-air film projections near the Scheldt River.
In the second half of July, Gent is turned upside down during the Gentse Feesten. You can enjoy music, street theatre and puppet theatre all over the city for ten days.

Sfinks. For three days in July, world music lovers come to Boechout near Antwerpen to dance to African, Asian and Caribbean rhythms and to enjoy exotic snacks and beverages at the very enjoyable Sfinks family festival.

Theater aan Zee (Theatre by the Sea) is a ten-day theatre and music festival held at unexpected locations in Ostend at the beginning of August. You’ll discover young theatre makers, great street theatre, comedy, and theatre productions for children.

Every two years Bruges hosts European jazz greats with several concerts, jam sessions, film screenings and lots of atmosphere
Visual Arts Flanders is a cluster of five prominent events: Beaufort at the Belgian coast, from March to September, Track in Ghent from May to September, the renovation of the Middelheim Museum in Antwerp in May, Manifesta in Ghent from June to September, and Newtopia in Mechelen from September to December.

The city of Bruges celebrates its age-old connection with lace during MarKANT with exhibitions at various locations and an extensive music programme.

Food & beverages: Epicureans feel right at home in Flanders. The more than 11,000 pubs, from village pubs serving Flemish beers under church steeples to trendy lounge bars in the cities, prove this.
Flemings love their traditions but also like culinary voyages of discovery in one of the 16,000 restaurants and brasseries. From “stoemp” or stew with chips to sushi or sashimi, everything is available in Flanders. If you want an enjoyable evening out, to celebrate with friends, or to spoil your partner, the offerings are numerous and diverse in Flanders and they suit every pocketbook.

Gourmets feel very much at home in one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants. Peter Goossens from 't Hof van Cleve in Kruishoutem (East Flanders), Geert Van Hecke from De Karmeliet in Bruges (West Flanders) or Wouter Keersmaekers from De Schone van Boskoop in Boechout (Antwerp) are only a few chefs who make the Michelin stars on Flanders' firmament shine.
What’s more delicious on a night out than a bag of chips from a chip stand? Unfortunately, the survival of small, free-standing chip stands is threatened, but you still find a few under church steeples.

Shop till you drop: In the historic city centres of larger cities in Flanders, you can find everything that your heart desires: from shopping centres and international chain stores to haute couture and clothing designed by Flemish designers. Pedestrian shopping areas like the Meir in Antwerp, the Nieuwstraat and Louisalaan in Brussels, the Veldstraat in Ghent or the Bruul in Malines are completely overrun by convivial shoppers on Saturdays.

The numerous markets in Flanders have great allure as well. On Sundays, you may imagine yourself near the Mediterranean at the South Market in Brussels. Those who love antiques must visit the Zavel in Brussels, the Kloosterstraat and the Lijnwaadmarkt in Antwerp, the area around St-Jacobs in Ghent and the antique market in Tongeren. It’s possible to rummage through flea markets all year long in diverse cities. There is a jumble sale every day on the Vossenplein in Brussels. The Zwarte Markt in Tessenderlo is one of the biggest covered markets in Europe where you can snap up fantastic second-hand stuff.

The majestic St. Hubert Galleries between the Central Station and the Grand Place in Brussels are also very special. The three neoclassical galleries with their eight-metre high glass roof make you dream about the rich life of the 19th century bourgeoisie. When this architectural marvel opened in 1846, it was the first covered shopping street in the world. It is also a place of pilgrimage for chocolate fanatics. In 1912 Jean Neuhaus created the first 'praline' on this spot.

Maasmechelen is located near the place where Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany meet. In this beautiful piece of Flanders, the city came up with the concept Maasmechelen Leisure Valley: a leisure location for people that love fashion, culture, sports and nature. The commercial heart of Maasmechelen Leisure Valley is Maasmechelen Village, a city within a city so to speak, where the big names in fashion hold clearance sales at competitive prices.

Fun without borders: Flanders produces top-class sportsmen in several disciplines. They are actively supported in Flanders. In order to dedicate themselves to their sport, BLOSO (Advancement of Physical Development, Sport and Outdoor Recreation) offers them a toplevel sports contract. In addition, every Fleming is motivated to participate in sports at his or her level in one of the 20,000 Flemish sports clubs. Walking and cycling are sports most frequently pursued, followed by fitness classes and swimming. The positive effects of sports – increasingly practised by women and the elderly – are seen in the average Fleming’s rising life expectancy.

Flat Flanders is ideal to explore by bicycle. The node points system allows you to map out a cycling itinerary according to your own abilities. The node points guide you safely along the most beautiful places in Flanders. Depending on your desires and budget, you can stay in a cabin, hotel or at a campground. Some of the accommodations have bicycle sheds and repair kits for cycling fanatics with bad luck.

• Rich history

The past is alive: The past is tangible in Flanders. Proud bell towers bear witness to a time when cities were still independent powers. Churches and cathedrals are adorned with impressive art collections that attract tourists from all over the world. You can walk through winding streets of the six art cities and completely forget the present.

Discover the history of the Flemish cities: Antwerpen, Brugge, Brussel, Gent, Leuven and Mechelen deservedly and proudly bear the title of Flemish art city. Many other Flemish cities also have a rich patrimony: Lier can be proud of its Zimmer Tower and charming city centre, Hasselt cherishes its traditions in the Genever Museum, and Tongeren, the oldest city in Flanders, interactively divulges our far past in the Gallo-Roman Museum.
In 2014, it will be exactly 100 years since the First World War broke out. Dreadful battles were fought in the Westhoek, an area in the province of West Flanders. The names of Passendale en Ieper are still engraved in the memories of the English, French, Germans and Belgians. Peace tourism to the Westhoek therefore often is a journey full of emotion. A penetrating image of daily life and dying on the front is presented in the museum In Flanders Fields, located in Ieper. The Last Post has been sounded at the Menin Gate in Ieper every night at 8 p.m. since 24 July 1927. A memorial has been erected here in order to pay tribute to the numerous fallen soldiers of the British Commonwealth whose bodies were never found.

• Avant-garde

Contemporary art in Flanders: Flanders has more than just a rich pictorial tradition. Its contemporary art scene is also alive and kicking. It’s surprising that so many artists from Flanders refer to that tradition and bend it to their own will. Flanders has always produced artists that portray the absurd and the surrealistic side of reality.

Panamarenko (pseudonym of Henri Van Herreweghe, born in 1940) is fascinated by science and the impossible. He makes objects that stimulate fantasy. Famous works include aeroplanes that cannot fly, mechanical chickens and sketches of his objects that are strewn with scientific formulas. Wim Delvoye (born in 1965) is also part of this tradition. He is a happily provoking free spirit that loves confronting his audience with art’s borders. For example, he tattoos living pigs and he created ‘Cloaca’, an installation that produces excrement.

Contemporary painters from Flanders mainly contemplate life’s and society's problems. At first sight, the paintings by Luc Tuymans (born in 1958) are rather banal objects, such as a lampshade. It turns out that the lampshade is from the Buchenwald concentration camp. His paintings become a symbol for undigested problems like the war years and colonialism. Jan De Cock (born in 1976) also prefers reflective art. He makes houses in chipboard that he later destroys. Photos of the destruction phase hang in museums. De Cock has stolen the hearts of curators across the world with that conceptual art. He is the first Flemish artist with a solo exhibition in the MoMA (New York).

Comics are a distinct and very typical art form in Flanders. The classics have held global audiences spellbound for generations. Some ‘Suske en Wiske’ (Spike and Suzy) albums were even translated into 27 languages. Newcomers arrive on the scene regularly and remain popular. They include Cowboy Henk and Cordelia, two of the most unique creatures that were created in the last 25 years: straightforward, with a very distinct and recognisable style.

Fashion puts Flanders on the world map: The Antwerp Six is a group of designers that made furore in the 1980s on the catwalks in Milan and Paris. They placed Antwerp on the fashion map. New, young stylists and brands have also seen the light in Brussels since the 1980s. They are now established names in international fashion design: Annemie Verbeke, Gérald Watelet, etc. Most have settled in and around the hip Flemish Dansaert district. They also attract new talent, such as Valerie Berckmans. Modo Bruxellae promotes Brussel designers.

Those who are interested in the history and evolution of fashion since the 18th century will enjoy a visit to the Fashion Museum in Hasselt. One highlight of the collection is the clothing from the private collection of a noble Flemish family from the 18th and 19th century. The museum focuses on the pre-war and post-war period of the 20th century.

Theater - all conventions thrown overboard: There was a big change in the performing arts world in the mid 1980s. Slow-witted and dull theatre for the bourgeoisie was blown away by young talents that threw every theatre convention overboard. Since then, four big city troupes have modernised.

Guy Cassiers runs Het Toneelhuis in Antwerpen. He loves using technological means to make theatre. At the same time, he has great respect for literary texts, which leads to monumental performances.

NTGent is a cast of Flemish and Dutch top-class actors. In the complex public debate about societal and world view, they place the voice of art next to science, politics and ethics. The company brings to life metaphorical texts by classical writers such as Calderon de la Barca, or contemporary authors like Arnon Grunberg. The Royal Flemish Theatre (KVS) in Brussels is located in the north of the city. The social commitment is still tangible in the works that you can see in the KVS. HETPALEIS in Antwerp is a theatre that aims at children and young people. Playwrights and artists make inventive performances with a limited repertoire. The many small theatre troupes hold their own. They perform in theatres around the world in Dutch, French, German and English.

Dancing around the world: The Ballet of Flanders is a first-rate, international ballet troupe. The Ballet of Flanders is able to draw up a well-balanced programme that is a combination of contemporary work and celebrated classics, for which it knows how to attract famous choreographers and dancers. That is why the troupe receives requests to perform all over the world. Luke Jennings, one of the world’s most respected ballet critics, placed the Ballet of Flanders in his top-10 list after their performance of Impressing the Czar.

A few Flemish contemporary dance troupes also deserve the designation ‘do not miss’.
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and her troupe Rosas gained international attention in 1982 with Fase, four movements to the music of Steve Reich. Since then Reich has formed the leitmotiv in her oeuvre. The tense system of Reichs’ work and De Keersmaeker’s equally pure movements connect together wonderfully, translated into minimalist tautness or complex group choreographies.
Graphic artist Jan Fabre attracted the public’s attention in the 1970s with performances in which he used blood or burnt money. Since the beginning of the 1980s, his troupe Troubleyn has given controversial performances that combine dance and speech.

With his troupe Ultima Vez, Wim Vandekeybus creates poetic performances in which he tries to intoxicate his audience with emotion. In “Puur” he was inspired by mythological stories of people that kill because of a fear of losing their position of power.

Alain Platel is one of the figureheads of Les Ballets C. de la B., a rather provocative dance troupe based in Gent. A performance on the roof of the Queen Elisabeth Hall in London, only Les Ballets C. de la B. could pull that off.

Musical wealth: In recent years the number of bands and singers from Flanders headlining and appearing on stages abroad has continued to increase, with stars such as dEUS, Ozark Henry, Admiral Freebee, Soulwax, Vive la Fête and Axelle Red to name but a few.

In the light classical genre, Helmut Lotti continues to outsell everyone worldwide. Classical music is popular in Flanders. Klara, one of the VRT’s (Flemish public broadcasting company) radio stations, is almost totally devoted to classical music. It’s no surprise that Flanders can count on some big guns where classical music is concerned: Philippe Herreweghe’s Collegium Vocale, Jos Van Immerseel (Anima Eterna), Sigiswald Kuijken’s La Petite Bande, Huelgas Ensemble (Paul Van Nevel), the Brussels Philharmonic Flemish Radio Orchestra & Choir, Paul Dombrecht and the Il Fondamento baroque orchestra, opera conductor and counter-tenor René Jacobs, composers Dirk Brossé and Luc Brewaeys,… Under the umbrella of the ‘Festival of Flanders’, hundreds of classical concerts are organised every year throughout Flanders.

And let’s not forget the contribution made by numerous Flemish top-class musicians on the jazz scene. ‘Brusseleir’ Toots Thielemans’ virtuoso harmonica style has long made him a household name and a star in his own throughout the international concert scene. Neither can we forget the new generation of jazz musicians like Bert Joris, Jef Neve and Frank Vaganée. Flanders actually boasts one of the best big bands at a European level: the Brussels Jazz Orchestra.

• Openness

The world comes to Flanders: Flanders is an attractive region for foreign investors. Just under one quarter of all new investments in Flanders are realised by American companies. Traditionally, the neighbouring countries (the Netherlands, France and Germany) are important investors, followed by India, Japan and the United Kingdom. The most remarkable trend is the increased attention Flanders is receiving from Indian investors. This trend is mainly perceptible in the diamond industry. Antwerpen has been the centre of international trade in diamonds for ages.

Transport by water, by air and by railways: The railway network in Flanders is one of the first and even the most extensive in the European Union. This makes the train an excellent alternative for the road. Figures show an intensive use of the railways, as the number of passenger rides is increasing year after year. Cargo transport by railways is also increasing. The importance of the railway network can hardly be overrated, particularly as there are plans to connect the four port of Flanders Port Area with the hinterland by rail. This involves large projects like the Liefkenshoek Railway in Antwerpen, the Iron Rhine Railway that connects Antwerpen with Germany, and the opening up of Zeebrugge’s back port. Finally, Flanders proves its central location with a range of high-speed trains that bring you to the great cities of Europe in a few hours. The Thalys only needs 1 hour and 25 minutes to take you from Brussels to Paris, and Amsterdam and Cologne are less than 2 hours away. You can be in the centre of London in 1 hour and 51 minutes with the Eurostar. Rome, Geneva, Marseille, Madrid, ... are within easy reach with super fast trains.

Public transportation for everyone: The Government of Flanders’ vision is that everyone in Flanders must get the opportunity to work, shop or benefit from the many recreational activities. To that end, it drew up a plan to make the threshold for using public transportation as low as possible: over 65s ride for free and pupils receive season tickets at strongly reduced prices. Taking the bus or tram in Flanders is also surprisingly inexpensive for adults. An adult can take the tram or bus throughout Flanders for a whole month at an attractive price. This approach works. De Lijn, the Flemish public transportation company, conducts almost 500 million passenger rides per year.

FACTS

Flanders is the northern federated state of Belgium with Brussels as its capital. It is the gateway to Europe.

• Location in the heart of Europe

Flanders is a region of producers; determined, persistent, professional and helpful Flemish people have been driven by knowledge and skill for centuries. It is the story of pioneering and cutting edge craftsmanship. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Flanders is the northern federated state of Belgium with Brussels as its capital. It is the gateway to Europe and is located at less than 500 km from the major European capitals. It shares its own capital with the EU, NATO and numerous other international institutions and companies. Together with the renowned seaports, the extensive railway and road network, the productive and highly educated population, the excellent healthcare and the R&D-friendly climate, this is what makes Flanders unique in Europe.

Federated state of Belgium: Since the 1993 state reforms, Belgium is a fully-fledged federal country. The Belgian politicians have both democratically and peacefully created a unique federal system to preserve the unity of the country and at the same time give large autonomy to the various Communities and Regions. Like Germany is made up of Länder and Switzerland has cantons, Belgium has constitutional components known as Regions and Communities.

The border between the Germanic and Romanesque cultures in Europe cuts small Belgium in half. In the north of Belgium (Flanders), the inhabitants speak Dutch; in the south (Wallonia), they speak French. Brussels, the capital inhabited by both cultures, is located in the middle of federal Belgium. Finally, there is the small German-speaking Community in the south-east of the country.
To solve the increasing differences of opinion and conflicts of interest in a peaceful manner, a unique form of federalism was invented in Belgium: the country was divided into communities and regions with their own powers and financial resources. There are three territorial Regions and three language-based Communities: the Flemish, French and German-speaking Community.

• Powers, government, autonomy

The Flemish Region and the Flemish Community have a Flemish Parliament and a Government of Flanders. This Flemish federal state, with Brussel as its capital, has its own legislative and executive powers including broad and exclusive domestic and international responsibilities.

Government of Flanders' competences: Flanders is competent for economics, foreign trade, health care, energy distribution, housing, agriculture and horticulture, environment, public works and transport, employment policy, culture and education, science and innovation.

Maximum autonomy of the Government of Flanders: Flanders has maximum autonomy in many domains. That’s because the Government of Flanders and the federal government are on equal footing and their powers do not overlap. Therefore, only one government serves as legislator for each policy domain and in principle, interference by another government is out of the question.

Autonomous foreign policy: Since the state reform of 1993, the Government of Flanders can conclude treaties with foreign partners for each of its domestic competences. Within its policy domains, Flanders concludes direct international treaties with foreign partners. Flanders has its own diplomatic representatives. It also has about one hundred representatives worldwide specialised in international entrepreneurship, agriculture and tourism that promote exchanges between other countries and Flanders.

• Brussels

Flanders resolutely chose Brussel as the capital of the federal state of Flanders. Historically, Brussel has always been a multilingual city. The Dutchlanguage culture was even prominent for a while. At present, Brussel is a cosmopolitan city in which many nationalities live together. Brussel is also the seat of many international institutions. The buildings of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers characterise the townscape around Schuman Square and the Leopold Park. The headquarters of NATO are also located in Brussel.

• Language: Dutch

Official language: The border between the Germanic and Romanesque cultures in Europe cut small Belgium in half. In the north of Belgium (Flanders), the inhabitants speak Dutch; in the south (Wallonia), they speak French. Brussel, the capital inhabited by both cultures, is located in the middle of federal Belgium. Finally, there is the small German-speaking Community in the southeast of the country.

Multilingualism: Flanders is part of Belgium. In Belgium, three official languages are acknowledged: Dutch, French and German. So Flemings are in any case used to be confronted with different languages. Moreover, throughout its history, the geographical area of modern Flanders has been governed by a variety of rulers (Austrians, Spaniards, French). These historical developments and influences did bring about a multilingual situation in Flanders.

What's more, Flanders is surrounded by world languages: English, French and German. These languages are widely spoken. Abundant access to both printed and televised media from France, the UK, Germany and other international sources makes Flemings receptive to foreign languages. Also the Flemish education emphasises its pupils' active learning of foreign languages. The school curriculum sets aside a considerable amount of time for a second and often third language.

People from Flanders have a widespread knowledge of other languages. This involves a better understanding of different viewpoints and constitutes a major asset and advantage.

• July 11, official holiday of the Flemish Community

July 11 is the official holiday of the Flemish Community.

July 11 is a day off for the civil servants of the Government of Flanders, the staff working at the provincial authorities and the local authorities. Some private sectors (such as, amongst others, the bank sector) and large industrial private companies also obtained a day off. In other sectors the Flemish official holiday is not yet an official day off.

On July 11 the Flemish Community commemorates the Battle of the Golden Spurs of  July11, 1302. During this Battle, Flemings defeated the army of the French king.

• Flemish anthem

The Dutch text of the Flemish anthem goes as follows:

Zij zullen hem niet temmen, de fiere Vlaamse Leeuw,

Al dreigen zij zijn vrijheid met kluisters en geschreeuw.

Zij zullen hem niet temmen, zolang een Vlaming leeft,

Zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen, zolang hij tanden heeft.

Zij zullen hem niet temmen, zolang een Vlaming leeft,

Zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen, zolang hij tanden heeft.

De tijd verslindt de steden, geen tronen blijven staan.

De legerbenden sneven: een volk zal nooit vergaan.

De vijand trekt te velde, omringd van doodsgevaar.

Wij lachen met zijn woede, de Vlaamse Leeuw is daar!

Zij zullen hem niet temmen, zolang een Vlaming leeft,

zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen, zolang hij tanden heeft,

zolang de Leeuw kan klauwen, zolang hij tanden heeft.

• Interesting sites in Flanders

Flanders is situated at the heart of Europe. It is home to several interesting sites, spread over the five Flemish provinces. Discover charming cultural spots where you can admire extraordinary architecture, or pay a visit to one of Flanders' numerous university centres.

Provinces and municiplalities: Flanders has five provinces and 308 cities and municipalities. Together they form the territory of the Flemish Region.

The five Flemish provinces are:

West Flanders
East Flanders
Flemish Brabant
Antwerp
Limburg

Connected to the world: Flanders is the northern federated state of Belgium with Brussels as its capital. It is the gateway to Europe and is situated at less than 500 km from the major European capital cities. Together with the renowned seaports, the extensive railway and road network, the productive and highly educated population, the excellent healthcare and the research- and investment-friendly climate, this is what makes Flanders unique in Europe.

The major seaports in Flanders:

Port of Antwerp
Port of Zeebrugge
Port of Ghent

Brussels Airport is the national airport of Belgium.

Remarkable architecture: Flanders combines a rich historical and contemporary culture. Our designers devote special attention to the quality of their designs. Their expertise and skill show from their work methods, their attention to detail, and the materials they use. Each time again, they look for new angles, which often make their designs surprising and innovative.

Interesting architectural sites:

Thermae Palace in Ostend
Concertgebouw in Bruges
Gerechtsgebouw in Ghent
Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp
C-mine in Genk
Atomium in Brussels

University centers: Flanders offers an extensive range of high-quality programmes of study. Everyone in Flanders gets the opportunity to develop their talents and to learn a profession in one of the many different types and forms of education.

University centres in Flanders:

Associatie Universiteit Gent
Associatie Universiteit en Hogescholen Antwerpen
Associatie Universiteit-Hogescholen Limburg
Associatie KU Leuven
Universitaire Associatie Brussel