Between Christendom and Christianity. The Church in Flanders

Flanders remained a strong and homogeneous Roman Catholic area shortly after the Second World War. Today the Church in Flanders is not longer as strong as it used to be, but in a whole new phase. The change is gathering momentum. It is impo...


Digital Humanities and Low Countries Culture

Michel Foucault may have predicted the end of the humanities, but today Digital Humanaties, the digital revolution and the virtual world are offering a new beginning. In the process, our humanities research and how this is being done will ...


The End of Melancholy. Mechelen Revisited

It's early morning in Mechelen and the streets are empty. Derek Blyth is looking forward to wandering down the cobbled lanes, looking inside gothic churches, passing some time in the municipal museum, and ending up, as everyone does, in one...


The Bon Vivant Back in the Hermitage

The life of the painting The Bon Vivant (De vrolijke drinker), by Louis de Moni (1698-1771), has been quite eventful. During the lifetime of the Dutch master, at the start of the 1760s this work in cabinet format was purchased for the coll...


How Free is Dutch-Language Poetry?

Anyone reviewing the landscape of the Dutch-language poetry of the last few years is bound to note that it is flourishing, that it is characterised by an enormously multi-facetted structure and that, considering its negligible economic imp...


Let There Be Light. Discovering Eindhoven

Back in the 1880s, when Van Gogh was plodding through the Brabant potato fields, Eindhoven was just a small Catholic town. Now it is the fifth largest city in the Netherlands, with an acclaimed modern art museum and a world-class design ac...



This week's Friday Verses are written by Kristien Spooren. We selected her poem ‘Gingerbread’.


Time for Business: Dutch Studies in the UK

In 2019 the oldest Centre for Dutch Studies in the UK, housed at the University College London (UCL), celebrates its centenary. One may ask if there is much cause for celebration.


A Museum of Compromise

After five years of renovation and decolonisation, the AfricaMuseum in Tervuren opened again. Dutch writer of Congolese descent, Kiza Magendane visited the museum with mixed feelings.


Ostend: A Sea Change

Ostend is different. Other resorts along Belgium’s North Sea coastline are small, touristy places. But Ostend is a real city.


The Colonial Debate in the Netherlands in Four Monuments

What did the Dutch know, through the ages, about what went on in their colonies, in the East and West Indies? Ewald Vanvught gives an outline of the current changing view of the colonial period in the Netherlands with reference to four monu...


The Noble Beauty of the Terraced House

No house is more Dutch than the terraced house. Yet this type of architecture has only recently come to be valued as it should. Time to redress the balance.


Fast Living: A Modern Malady?

Travel diaries written by Dutch men and women born more than two centuries ago suggest that stress is not a recent phenomenon.


A Stranger on His Own Land

Right-wing extremism and Muslim extremism penetrate deeper into society, even into institutions. Meanwhile a much larger problem is overshadowed: inequality.


Like A Scythe across the Country

A hundred years ago the world encountered a Spanish flu pandemic which cost an estimated 50 to 100 million lives. But in the Netherlands it was long underestimated by the government. Medical historian Leo van Bergen sketches the devastation...

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