Our village – Tervuren, Belgium

TERVUREN, BELGIUM: Sorry but Tervuren is not a world-famous city in Europe or even Belgium, like Brugge or Gent. This is just a small village where we spent 3 years of our time as ex-pats. This is where my elder daughter has been going to school for the past 3 years and my little one started her education-career 6 months ago. After countless long trips and journeys, our home in Tervuren gave us the cozy feeling for the past 3 years. We have become very fond of this little place, especially our Village of Vossem within Tervuren.

A musical band round-about, a symbol of our beautiful Tervuren in Belgium

A musical band round-about, a symbol of our beautiful Tervuren in Belgium

Tervuren is a little Flemish town about less than 30 km away from Brussels. The village is pretty well-known among the foreigners for housing many ex-pats families from different countries, especially from the USA and Great Britain. There are two British schools here where hundreds of ex-pats kids come and leave every year.

Main square or the city center of Tervuren, a small Flemish town in Belgium

Main square or the city center of Tervuren, a small Flemish town in Belgium

EATING and SHOPPING: Tervuren City Center is probably where most of the restaurants and good stores are in this village. It’s a shame but we’ve only eaten there once in a pizzeria. But the Friday morning market is a place where I went few times and loved every moment of it. I did my weekly groceries, like fresh produce, cheese, olives, fish, eggs,…and chocolates from here. It’s a beautiful environment and I got to meet locals as well as other ex-pats.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED: We visited almost whole Europe but didn’t even get the chance to properly visit our own village…this is what happens when you procrastinate. But we all will miss this little town very much once we leave Belgium in just a couple of weeks. Hope our daughters will one day come back here again and can remember our old house, their old school, and the neighborhood.

1) CITY CENTER: Tervuren City Center is small but a perfect place to hang around for shopping or meal. I have never been inside Tervuren Church, but it looks pretty old and a historic building here. The new modern City Hall building is located across the church.

City center of Tervuren in Belgium

City center of Tervuren in Belgium

2) ROYAL MUSEUM of CENTRAL AFRICA: This is one of the main highlights of Tervuren. Since Congo was by colonized by Belgium at one point and there was a dominance of Europe over whole of Africa, this museum carries stories of Africa, especially highlighting on Congo. Different sections and displays share the brief period of the history of that colonization of Congo by Belgium. Many paintings, statues/sculptures, photos, artifacts, and life-size animals (not alive) are there to enjoy for both children and adults. There is also a small section for children to do some hands-on-experiments.

The building of this museum itself is very grand and royal-looking. Tervuren Park is located right opposite of the museum on the other side. There was a temporary exhibitions going on when we were there in the Royal Museum. It was called “Spiders Alive” where a whole room full of different species of spiders were brought in glass boxes. The kids had a blast in that room and learned a lot too.

Royal African Museum in Tervuren, Belgium

Royal African Museum in Tervuren, Belgium

The museum has been closed for renovation since last year, summer of 2013 and as planned, it will open to the visitors in 2016. When we were there last year, the ticket was 3 euros per adults and kids under 6 were free. Not sure how this is going to change once the renovation is done and the museum has more rooms and displays in the coming years. At that time there was nothing written in English, all in Dutch and French. It took little more than hour to look around the museum. There is a train station across the museum and also a nice big parking lot for cars.

3) TERVUREN PARK: We have been to Tervuren Park only a few times, but the best one has to be when my elder daughter and I went there on an early morning of fall (in 2012). I don’t think I have ever seen such beauty of fall colors before. We were there a little before sunrise. All the park benches, fallen leaves, and sculptures were wet with morning dew. Different shades of orange and yellow colors of the leaves started shinning and sparkling with the first ray of dawn. It was a fantastic experience for both my daughter and I.

Tervuren Park, Belgium

Tervuren Park, Belgium

 

Sonian Forest is a big forest area (if not the biggest) in Belgium. Tervuren Park has a small portion of that forest surrounding it from every direction. It’s a nice getaway to the forest and majestic oaks, elegant French gardens, ponds, and flower beds. There are some historic buildings in or around this park – one is Spanish House and the other one is Royal Palace. I have been to none of them actually, just saw the Royal Palace from distance which hosts concerts and big events in this area.

Autumn in full swing in Tervuren Park, Belgium

Autumn in full swing in Tervuren Park, Belgium

Tervuren Park is a great area for the hikers, bikers, joggers, or for those who love to bring a blanket and basket of food with loved ones and enjoy it beside the lake. I even saw many people sitting by the lake with fishing poles.

A magical morning in Tervuren, Belgium

A magical morning in Tervuren, Belgium

Advertisements

Visiting the smallest town in the world – Durbuy, Belgium

DURBUY, BELGIUM: Arguably, Durbuy is (or at least once was) known to be the smallest town in the world (or may be just Europe). Situated by River Oarthe, this village of Province de Luxembourg is a charming French-speaking part of Belgium (Wallonia) with many hidden wonders. I can visit this place over and over without getting tired. This is a naturally beautiful city in the hilly area with beautiful old town and cute buildings. The village has only 14 streets and 250 inhabitants, according to one of the locals my husband spoke to.

Charming restaurant in Durbuy, Belgium
Charming restaurant in Durbuy, Belgium

It was jam packed…I mean, seriously, heavily crowded the afternoon we visited Durbuy. We reached there after 4/5 pm and had hard time finding a parking spot or a proper parking place. I thought something was going on, but no it’s just locals, people from surrounding villages, other tourists and lots of bikers…made this tiny place a real lively spot to hangout.

Decorative doors and windows of Durbuy, Belgium
Decorative doors and windows of Durbuy, Belgium
   

TIME of TRAVEL: It was a bright and sunny Sunday of April, 2013 when we went to Durbuy for couple hours. We first stopped at Dinant, then drove another 45 minutes to go to Durbuy.  The day turned out to be a hot day and felt heavenly after a long and dark winter in Belgium.

EATING and SHOPPING: Although this is a tiny village but no shortage of restaurants and cafes…they are everywhere. City center or the main square of the village has tons of them lining at one side.

Durbuy has some nice small boutique stores at many corners of pedestrian zones. They looked so nice and cute from outside…too bad we didn’t have enough time to fulfil my heart.

PLACES WE’VE VISITED:  This is not only the smallest town in the world, but also one of the prettiest. Durbuy is a popular destination for kayaking. We saw plenty of stores renting out kayaks. Other than the following mentionable places, whole city of Durbuy is very beautiful and scenic. Roaming around small alleys of old town is pretty cool. A walk through the old town is a must for every visitor. We spent some near a small park by the river at the end of the day.

Old stone houses in Durbuy, Belgium
Old stone houses in Durbuy, Belgium
    

1) ST. NICHOLAS CHURCH: This is a small and simple church very close to the chateau. Interior and exterior of the church show the age of this place. You can tell it has been standing here for centuries.

2) LE CHATEAU: The castle was built around 1880 and is located at the heart of the city. Tourists are not allowed to go in but the bold architecture is definitely admirable.

Durbuy Chateau in the back
Durbuy Chateau in the back
   

3) CITY CENTER: Located at foothill of a small hill, city center is the hot spot of Durbuy. Many restaurants and shops can be found here. They had a nice antique market here during our visit. Most of the crowd gather here for meeting, hanging out, and watch the world go by.

Looking over city center of Durbuy, Belgium
Looking over city center of Durbuy, Belgium
   

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,731 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 621,312 hits
%d bloggers like this: