On Tuesday, September 10th, our new King and Queen – Filip and Mathilde – made their ‘Joyeuse Entrée’ in Wavre, the capital of the province of Waals-Brabant. Tradition has it that a new sovereign visits the capital of the ten provinces of Belgium within the months following the taking of the oath. The tour started on September 3rd in Leuven (aka Louvain), capital of the province of Vlaams-Brabant. It was a warm and sunny day and a nice crowd had gathered around the town hall and along the route the royal couple would take after their visit with the mayor, Louis Tobback, who is quite a colourful character, never lost for words.
Our new sovereigns on the step of Leuven's town hall.
The visit went very smoothly, despite a hundred or so die-hard republicans who want to split up the country and install a president. Something I hope will never happen in my lifetime …
Anyway, I thought this event made a very nice excuse to post two photos of Brussels’ city hall. The first one is an etching which was sent to me by my very loyal blog follower, commenter and good friend ‘chm’. While staying in Paris last spring and summer, he found this beautiful etching of the city hall dating from the 19th century. When you compare it to its 21st century photo, you can see that little has changed, despite the two world wars that have ravaged Europe, Belgium and the city of Brussels. Keats was so right when he wrote: “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”
The 19th century etching which was sent to me by chm.
A 21st century photo (www.blogvoyages.fr) Bruxelles' city hall.
The royal ‘Joyeuse Entrée’ will continue in the weeks to come. By the end of October the new king and queen will have visited the towns of Mons, Liége, Namur, Arlon (in the southern French speaking part of Belgium) and Gent (Ghent), Brugge (Bruges), Antwerpen (Antwerp) and Hasselt, all located in the northern Flemish speaking part of the country. Brussels is not on the list, as the city is the king’s residence where he took the oath as 7th king of Belgium on July, 21st.
Thank you ‘chm’ for the photo of the etching. It proved to be a great source of inspiration for this ‘royal’ post.
P.S. Weather has turned quite autumn-like lately. Lots of rain, only 15 to 18°C during the day and 7 to 11°C during the night. Hope it will stay dry though for the rest of the royal tour …
P.P.S. For my next post I will be returning to France ... I still have a lot of photos of my June vacation which I want to share with you.