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Chateau Chaumont

Forbidden Spaces in Chateau Chaumont

What intrigues me almost as much as the chateaux we’ve been visiting, is what we usually haven’t seen.  The rooms that are all done up for the tourists, dressed up, you could say, are lovely: period furniture; beamed, painted ceilings; ornate tapestries; and so on. There are signs explaining who lived there, along with interesting…

Arromanches 360 circular cinema: A review

My oh-so-laconic son, on exiting Arromanches 360, remarked, “Even I found this one moving.” Take my word for it: that was high praise indeed, coming from my perpetually-unimpressed teenager. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. This will not affect your…

The Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy: A review

In the same week that I visited the excellent In Flanders Field Museum in Ypres, Belgium, I also saw the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy in Bayeux, France. The two museums are quite comparable: the first is about World War I in the Ypres Salient; the second looks at the D-Day invasion of…

War graves in Belgium: Living among the dead

Belgium is without a doubt the best place to learn about World War I and to visit historical sites related to the war. It has a number of museums, most notably the In Flanders Field Museum in Ypres, and hundreds of cemeteries and monuments. In places, the scars are still visible of the relentless shelling…

How NOT to design a bathroom!

What’s wrong with this picture? We ate lunch yesterday at a café in Gent. Afterwards, I went inside to use the toilet, followed the signs upstairs, came around a corner, and saw this. Except it wasn’t quite this; there was a man standing at the urinal, making some very contented sounds while he peed. I…

In Flanders Fields Museum: A review

An effective museum doesn’t just display items drily in glass cases; an effective museum gives those items meaning to the people viewing them. It entertains, but it also makes visitors think. It gives the items an emotional weight. The In Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Belgium, is one of the most effective museums I’ve ever…

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