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Belgium other than Belgian gold and silver. The bronze money is not important, and French 5 and 10 centimes will be found everywhere. At all the large towns English sovereigns will be readily exchanged, and should command the full equivalent of 25 fr. 20 cts., or thereabouts, according to the rate of exchange. The Belgian bank issues notes of the value of 1,000, 500, 100, 50, and 20 francs.
BELGIAN AND FRENCH MONEY.
Leopold d'or, or Twenty Franc Piece
16 0 Posting is now nearly obsolete, but a post is equivalent to five English, or about one German, mile, or to two Belgian or French leagues. The charge per post, for each horse, is 1 fr. 30 cts., and for each postilion that distance, 15 sous. A berlin or landau will take three or four horses ; a chariot, three; britzka, though carrying the same number of persons, two.
HIRED CARRIAGES.-BARRIERS.-ROADS. HIRED CARRIAGES.—A voiture, with two horses, can be engaged for about 30 fr. per day, including 5 fr. to the driver. 25 fr. a day, back fare, must be paid (making in all 60 fr. for carriage and horses).
BARRIERS.—There is a toll-gate each league, at which four-wheeled carriages are charged 10 cents., and each horse 20 cents., the return included.
Roads.-In general the Belgian roads are paved, thus rendering travelling over them very fatiguing, especially to ladies.
VIGILANTES.-A kind of cab called by this name can be hired for 1 fr., or before 7 a.m. for 1} fr., which will convey the traveller and his luggage to his resting place. He should take one at once on his arrival and thus save himself the annoyance he is, otherwise, sure to suffer from porters and commissionnaires of the hotels.
The general tariff is 1 fr. per course; and, if engaged by the hour, l} fr. the first hour, and i fr. each hour afterwards.
BELGIAN HOTELS-BUFFETS—CARRIAGES, &c. HOTELS.--The following are the average charges :—From 15 to 2 fr. for bed ; table d'hôte, 2 to 3 fr.; dinner in a separate apartment, by one's self, 5 fr., supper at table d'hôte, 1 fr. 50 cents. to 2 fr.; a bottle of Bordeaux (claret), 3 fr.; breakfast with eggs and meat, 1 fr. 50 cents.; coffee, tea, and bread and butter, 1 to 1} fr.; servants, 50 cents. to 1 fr. each.
TARIFF or REFRESHMENTS AT THE BELGIAN RAILWAY STATIONS OR BUFFETS
AT THE LARGE Towns.
fr.ets. Bouillon et pain avec beurre ..................
050 Vin de Château-Margaux...... la bouteille 5 0 Bifteck aux pommes de terre, avec pain 1 20
Id. de Volnay
id. 5 0 Roastbeef aux pommes de terre, avec pain. 1 0
Id. de Pomard ....................
id. 3 0 Filet de bæuf rôti......... 1 20 Id. de Nuits
id. 3 0 Deux côtelettes de mouton ........................ 1 90 Id. de Chablis
4 0 Veau chaud ou côtelettes avec pommes
Id. de Moselle ..........................
id. 8 50 1 0 de terre ...........................................
Id. de Grave, prém. qualité...... id. 3 50 Portion de poulet chaud. 1 20 Id. id. seconde id.
id. 3 0 Veau froid avec un petit pain 0 50 Id. de Tours
id. 2 50 Jambon id. id. 0 50 Id. de Rhin, prém. qualité
id. 4 0 Boeuf salé id. id. 0 50 Id. id. seconde id.
id. 3 60 Langue fumée id, id.
0 60 Champagne mousseux, la bouteille de bfr. à 10fr, Poulet froid, la portion id.
0 20 Schiedam
..............................le verre 0 15 Id. Anglais id,
0 30 Amer de Hollande
0 10 Un petit pain beurre 015 Eau-de-Vie
id. 0 10 Id. sans beurre ....................... 0 10 Cognac, Rhum, Kirsch
id. 0 30 Id. avec beurre et fromage 0 30 Liqueurs fines de toute espèce .. id 0 30 Déjedner (café ou thé, pain et beurre) 1 0 Marasquin
id. 0 40 Café la demi-tasse ...........................
id. 0 30 VINS.
RAFRAÎCHISSEMENTS. Vin de Bordeaux ordinaire ......la bouteille 2 60
Sirop de fruits ou punch ........... le verre 0 85
id. 085 Id. de St. Julien ..................la bouteille 8 50
Grog ou orgeat
ia. 0 35 id. ......................la } id. 1 75 Eau sucrée et fleur d'oranger
id. 0 25 Id. de St. Emilion ..............la bouteille 3 50
Cigares et tabacs ........................
0 25 Id. de St. Estèphe ................ id. 3 50
Chambre avec lit ......... buffet 2 0 Id. de Cabarus, long bouchon, première
d'Ostende 3 50
0 75 qualité ..........................la bouteilles
Au Au Madère .........................................le verre 060
Rest. Buffet. Malaga ...................................... id. 0 60 Une bouteille de Faro ou de Diest 0 60 0 40 Muscat id. 0 60 Le verre ......................................
0 20 0 15 Frontignan ou Lunel.....
id. 0 60 Une bouteille ou cruchon lambic.. 0 70 050 Porto id. 070 Une bouteille de Louvain
0 40 0 30 Sherry (Xérès)
id. 0 70
0 15 0 12 Vin de Cabarus, long bouchon, seoonder
Une bouteille de Bière de Bavière D 70 050
3 0 qualité ....................la bouteilles
Bière de la localite, le verre......... 0 15 0 12
NOTE.-The prices quoted in the above table must not always be depended upon, the charges sometimes varying at the different stations.
CARRIAGES.-Carriages of 2 wheels are charged 8 fr. from Quiévrain to Mons, and 32 fr. to Brussels; those of 4 wheels, 12 fr. from Quiévrain to Mons, and 48 fr. to Brussels; and of 2 wheels, 44 fr. from Mouscron to Brussels.
Dogs.-Dogs are charged at the rate of third class fare.
PRIVATE CARRIAGES.- Persons travelling in private carriages pay third class fare in addition to the charge for the carriage.
GENERAL VIEW OF BELGIUM. Belgium (La Belgique) is a modern name taken from the ancient Belge in Gallia Belgica, a tribe conquered by Cæsar, B.C. 51, some of whom emigrated to Britain. As part of the Netherlands, it came, in A.D. 877, under the Dukes of Burgundy, the last of whom was Charles the Bold, who reigned 1467–77. In 1477 the Netherlands were transferred to Maximilian, Emperor of Germany. His son, the Emperor Charles V., was born at Ghent. From 1598 they came under Spain, till 1714, when they reverted to Austria; and continued to be governed by the Archdukes of the Empire down to 1795, when they were conquered by the French. Between 1794 and 1815, Belgium made nine departments of France. With Holland, it formed the kingdom of the Netherlands from 1815 down to 1830; since which it has ranked as a separate and independent kingdom. In the August of 1830 the Belgian provinces revolted, and threw off the yoke of Holland. On the 4th of October following, the independence of the kingdom was proclaimed by the provisional government, and recognised in the month of December by the allied powers of Europe.
The National Congress assembled at Brussels in 1831, and offered the throne of the new kingdom to the Duke of Nemours, which, on the son's behalf, was refused by his father, the late Louis Philippe, then King of the French. The next choice of the National Representatives fell upon Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg, widower of the Princess Charlotte of England, and uncle to Queen Victoria; who, as Leopold I., ascended the throne, and took the oaths prescribed by the constitution, on the 22nd July, 1831, in the presence of the assembled representatives of the nation. His son, the reigning king, Leopold II., born 9th April, 1835, ascended 10th December, 1865. He married the Archduchess Maria, 22nd August, 1853 (his Silver Wedding was celebrated 1878), and has two daughters. A son died 1869. The king's brother, the Count of Flanders, is present heir-äpparent. He married, 1867, the Princess Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. The 50th anniversary of the separation from Holland was celebrated 1880.
The Belgian territory is small when compared with other European kingdoms, it being no more than one-eighth of the size of Great Britain, with a population of 5,855,197; yet the important position which it has occupied in the political, military, commercial and agricultural history of Europe, its former celebrity in manufactures and the fine arts, and its present rapid progress in every industrial pursuit and social improvement, invest it with a peculiar interest for the historian, the traveller, and the student.
Its territory, as defined by treaty of 15th November, 1831, consists of the nine provinces of South Brabant, Liége, Limbourg, Namur, Hainault, West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerp, and Luxembourg; part of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and part of Limbourg being ceded to Holland, viz.:—first, a portion of the province of Luxembourg, on the east of an irregular line drawn from the point just mentioned to one on the Prussian frontier, about 17 miles south of Malmedy; and secondly, the portions of Limbourg, on the west of the river Meuse, including the city of Maestricht in a deviating curve, and on the north of a line from Stevenswiert, on the Meuse, to one on the Dutch frontier, 4 miles west of Wiert.
The general outline of the territory is a triangular figure, the longest side of which extends on the French frontier from a point midway between Furnes and Dunkirk, to one 9 miles south-east of Arlon, or 52 miles east from Longwy.
The kingdom, as thus described, is bounded on the north by the Dutch province of Limburg, and by North Brabant and Zeeland; on the north-west by the North Sea; on the south-west and south by the departments of the Pas de Calais, Nord, Ardennes, and Moselle, in France; and on the east by the Dutch portion of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Rhenish Prussia.
DIVISIONS.—Brussels is the capital and seat of government; for the administration of which the kingdom is divided into the 9 provinces above enumerated, 44 arrondissements, 98 towns, and 2,647 rural communes. For military purposes it is divided into 9 commands, corresponding to the 9 provinces; and, lastly, for judicial proceedings, it is divided into 29 arrondissements, and 237 cantons.
There are bishoprics at Bruges, Ghent, Liége, Namur, and Tournay, under an archbishop at Malines.
AREA AND POPULATION.—Belgium lies between 49° 31' and 51° 27' N. latitude, and between 2° 3' and 6° E. longitude. Its greatest length from S.E. to N.W. is 173 English miles, and its greatest breadth, measured in the direction S.S.W., from the most northern part of the province of Antwerp, to the most southern part of the province of Hainault, 112 miles. The Area and Population according to Provinces are as under :Provinces. Square Miles. Population, 1880.
Antwerp............ 175,636 Brabant
399,940 Flanders, West... 1,251
44,598 Flanders, East 1,162
133,755 Hainault......... 1,441
24,158 Liége ...... 1,120
11,050 Luxembourg 1,710 209,118
7,260 Namur 1,417 322,654
25,795 11,462 5,520,009
In 1869 the population was 5,021,336; in 1873, 5,643,680 ; in 1882, 5,655,197. One half speak French and the other half Flemish. All but 193,260 are native-born, and Roman Catholics; the Protestants are about 15,000; Jews, 3,000. The population of the largest towns (1881), besides those mentioned above, is as follows:Malines, 43,350; Louvain, 36,360; Verviers, 41,700 ; Tournay ,32,835; Seraing, 28,385.
GENERAL ASPECT OF THE COUNTRY.—The N. and W. provinces of Belgium, in their flatness, fertility, dykes, and canals, may be regarded as a continuatidn of Holland. This portion of the country is so densely populated that it presents to the traveller the appearance of one continuous village. The S. and E. provinces have an opposite character, being generally more thinly populated, less cultivated, and exhibiting a most irregular mountainous surface, with trácts of marshy lands and extensive forests. With the exception of these three hilly districts in the south and east, the entire territory presents the appearance of a series of nearly level plains, traversed by numerous streams, delightfully diversified by woods, arable lands, and meadows of brilliant verdure, enclosed by hedge rows; and thickly studded throughout with towns and villages. In surveying the general face of the country, and proceeding from west to east, we observe that the coast is uniformly flat, and formed of fine loose sand, which, by the frequent action of the sea winds, is raised into gently undulating downs or dunes. These banks of sand extend, nearly without interruption from Dunkirk, along the entire coasts of Belgium and Holland. In breadth they vary from one to three miles, and rise in the highest parts to 40 or 50 feet. They are formed entirely by the operation of the sea waves in elevating the deep sands of the shore, and, since they serve as a natural barrier against the encroachment of the ocean, it is an object of great importance to check their constant tendency to advance inland. For the purpose, therefore, of rendering the sand compact and stationary, the dunes are sown with a species of reed (arundo arenaria), or marrum grass, until a sufficient stratum of mould is collected to support plantations of firs (Pinus Maritimus), with which most of the Belgic dunes are covered.
Though no part of the surface of Belgium is actually below the level of the sea, as is the case in Holland, yet, in common with the latter, its shore in some parts is defended from the encroachments of the ocean by broad and elevated dykes; and whole districts, which were formerly alluvial morasses, have been entirely reclaimed and cultivated, after being drained and embanked. The embanked enclosures of this description are called polders. On the sea coast, and along the lower banks of the Scheldt, they are very numerous, and some contain above 1,000 acres of rich alluvial soil, which is appropriated with great advantage to the purposes of agriculture.
To the south-east of the dunes the provinces of West and East Flanders and Hainault form a far-stretching plain, the luxuriant vegetation of which indicates the