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AROHITECTUR) has been carried to its highest degree of persection in the construction of the cathedrals and town halls of Belgium, which display the finest specimens of the ornamental Gothic style of the middle ages. In England, Gothic architecture is confined chiefly to churches, but in Belgium it is shewn to be equally suitable to civic edifices and private dwellings. Fronts richly decorated with quaint and fantastic sculptures, lofty sloping roofs, full of windows, pointed gables castellated towers, battlements, and projecting windows, combine to produce a general effect, which, from its grandeur and intricacy, delights the spectator.
MANUFACTURE8.—The industry of the Flemings has, within 200 years, converted a tract of land, once a sandy and barren heath, into a beautiful garden ; and the product of its wheat is often not less than sixteen to one, and oats ten to one, whilst scarcely in any part of Britain does wheat give more than eight or ten to one. East and West Flanders alone produce, annually, flar to the amount of £1,600,000, employing above 400,000 persons. Hops, beetroot, chicory, and tobacco are also grown. The coal mines of Hainault produce more than those of the whole of France; and the annual quantity raised in Belgium is 12,000,000 tons, valued at £5,000,000 sterling. About 1,000,000 tons of iron ore are annually raised. The cloth manufactures of Verviers employ 4,000 men; and the cotton manufacture, notwithstanding the loss of the Dutch colonial markets, has improved steadily since 1830, and now represents a capital of £3,000,000 sterling. The woollen manufacture may be said to constitute the staple manufacturing trade of Belgium; at all events, it is the object of immense industry, and a quantity of foreign wool to the value of 14,000,000 francs, or about £600,000 sterling, is consumed annually. Hardware, cutlery, and fire-arms are produced at Namur, Mons, and Liége ; lace at Brussels, Malinės, Louvain, and Bruges. Carpets, flax, and linen, also constitute important items in the manufactures of Belgium. Its cotton manufacture represents a capital of 60,000,000 francs in buildings and machinery, and the number of hands employed is at least 122,000. A brisk trade is likewise carried on in silk, ribbons, hosiery, hats, leather oil-cloth, paper, and lithography, &c.
COMMERCE has greatly increased in Belgium lately. The principal Exports are the productions of its flourishing agriculture and numerous manufactures, such as corn, bran, coal, oil, lace, woollen and cotton cloths, linen canvas, arms, cutlery, and ironmongery. The average amount of value of the Imports and Exports is £131,000,000 sterling, of which £26,000,000 are with England. The external commerce of Belgium suffered greatly by the revolution in 1830, as Holland has since retained and monopolised the trade with all the colonies which belong to the kingdom of the United Netherlands. Its mercantile marine numbers 67 sailing and steam vessels.
RELIGION.—Leopold I., when chosen, was a Protestant; but the Roman Catholic is the religion of the State. Every other form of faith has free exercise.
RAILWAYS.—Belgium is the first State in Europe in which a system of railways has been planned and executed partly at the public cost; and certainly it is an honourable distinction to have given the first example of such a national and systematic provision of the means of rapid communication. The undertaking was first projected in 1833, and the object proposed was to unite the principal commercial towns on one side with the sea, and on the other with the frontier of France and Prussia. In this respect Belgium is most favourably situated for the experiment of a general system of railroads. It is compact in form, moderate in size, and is surrounded on three of its sides by active commercial nations, and on the fourth by the sea, by which it is separated only a few hours' voyage from England. On the west are the two large and commodious ports of Antwerp and Ostend, and its east frontier is distant only a few leagues from the Rhine, which affords a connection with the nations of central and southern Europe. It is therefore in possession of convenient markets for its productions, and of great facilities for an extensive transit trade. The physical nature of the country is also most favourable, being for the most part very flat, and requiring but few of those costly works of levelling, tunnelling, and embanking, which serve to increase so enormously the expense of similar undertakings in England.
In 1871, there were about 1,900 miles of rail in Belgium, forming a complete network between all the towns, large and small, of which one-third, belonging to the State, had cost 10 millions sterling. There are 445 TELEGRAPH Stations, and rearly as many Post-OFFICES.
BRA DSH AW'S
HAND-BOOK TO BELGIUM AND THE RHINE.
ROUTE 1.-LONDON TO BRUSSELS,
BY DOVER, CALAIS, LILLE, COURTRAY, GHENT, AND MALINES.
Trains leave by the London, Chatham, and Dover district. It has latterly beer re-fortified, and its Line, from Victoria or Ludgate Hill, at 7 40 mrn. works strengthened considerably, particularly to (1 & 2 class) and 8 40 aft. (1st class); and by the the sea coast. Its harbour, which has been much South Eastern Line, from Charing Cross, at 7 40 improved and lengthened, is defended by several mrn. (1 & 2 class) and 8 45 aft. (1st class), and small forts, and consists of a large quay, terminated from Cannon Street at 7 45 mrn. and 8 50 aft.; by two long wooden piers, stretching into the sea. arriving at Dover at 9 30 mrn. and 10 35 aft. Its inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the herring Steamers start from Dover at 9 35 mrn, and 10 40 and cod-fishery trade, and carry on a considerable aft.; arriving at Calais about 11 15 mrn. and 12 30 traffic in Dutch spirits. Calais has lately taken to night. There is also a Special Fixed Night Service encourage manufacturing establishments - the (3rd class) as follows, viz. :-From Victoria, 6 25 bobbin-net (tulle) trade is carried on there with aft.; Ludgate Hill, 6 20 aft.; Charing Cross, 6 35 great vigour, in opposition to a similar branch of aft.; Cannon Street, 6 48 aft., arriving at Dover trade in England. Several mills have been estabat 9 40 aft.; leaving Dover at 10 30 aft., and reach- lished, steam-engines have also been introduced in ing Calais at 12 30 night.
increased numbers, and factories have been erected Calais Station.-Hotels :
within the inner rampart. It is stated that Paris Hotel, kept by A. Louis. The nearest 55,000,000 of eggs are annually exported from this hotel to the steam packets and the railway station. place to England.
Hotel Meurice, Rue de Guise, open for night The pier of Calais is three-quarters of a mile in trains and boats; moderate charges.
length, and is used as an agreeable promenade. The Buffet Hotel, at the railway station; con- On a spot of it is seen the pillar erected to comveniently situated; sleeping, refreshments, and memorate the return of Louis XVIII. to France accommodation at moderate charges.
It originally bore the following inscription : "Le De Flandre; Du Sauvage; De Londres; Quillacq; 24 Avril, 1814, S. M. Louis XVIII. debarqua vis-àMarine, &c.
vis de Cette Colonne et fut enfin rendu a l'amour Calais is a second-class fortress, and contains des Francais; pour en perpétuer le souvenir la about 15,000 inhabitants. It is surrounded by ville de Calais a élevé ce monument."
His Majesty sand-hills on one side and by morasses on the Louis XVIII. disembarked beside this column on other, which, though detracting from its beauty, the 24th April, 1814, and was at last restored to yet add much to its military strength. The town the love of the French people. The town of Calais is situated in a very barren and non-picturesque erected this column to commemorate the event.
A brazon plate was fixed on the exact spot where avoid much trouble by informing the authorities the monarch's foot stepped, in order to further of their place of destination, and by what train commemorate the act; but at the revolution of they intend to proceed; their luggage should then 1330 both plate and inscription were effaced, be duly marked for transit, and they will avoid the eaving the pillar to stand as a monument of the annoyance of a custom-house search in France. capriciousness of French enthusiasm. Calais has Steamers ply thrice each day between Calais very little to interest; and though one or two inci- and Dover, making the voyage in about one and dents in its history are fraught with deep interest, a half to two hours. Steamboats sail direct to particularly the recent embarkation of French London twice a week, perforining the voyage in troops on board of English ships for the Baltic, from 10 to 12 hours. yet its objects of attraction are few, and may be visited in about two hours. Its principal gate,
Calais to Lille, 65 English miles. built in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, and figured Leaving the station at the end of the pier, near by Hogarth in his celebrated picture, is worth a
to the gate, short inspection. The Hôtel de Guise will also
St. Pierre Station, in the suburbs, is passed, interest the English traveller, as having been the and place where Henry VIII. lodged, and as the original Ardres Station arrived at. It is a small building where was established the guild hall of
fortress, situated on a canal. A little to the west the mayor and aldermen of the “staple of wool,"
of the road, between the town and Guisnes, is the founded in 1363 by Edward III. The Hôtel de
spot called by historians the "Field of the Cloth of Ville, or Town Hall, situate in the market place, Gold," where Henry VIII. of England and Francis will repay à visit. Within it are all the public I. of France met in 1520. It is so called from the offices, and the front of it is ornamented with
cloth of gold covering the tents and pavilions husts of St. Pierre, of the Duke of Guise, and of
occupied by the two monarchs and their suites, Cardinal de Richelieu. It is surmounted by a
comprising 5,696 persons, with 4,325 horses. belfry containing a chime of bells. The tower and
Andruicq Station. Watten Station. stecple of the principal church, built when Calais
St. Omer Station. -Hotels : appertained to England, deserve attention. Im
Hotel de la Porte d'Or, Rue St. Bertin... New mediately to the rear of the choir is a modern
proprietor, D. Coolen. Very attentive and charges circular chapel, and the church itself is a fine
moderate. structure, built in the early Gothic style.
Hotel d'Angleterre; Du Commerce. English service at Trinity Church and in St.
Population, 22,000. Pierre.
A third-rate fortress, situated in a marshy disThe ramparts around the town and pier form trict on the Aa, well built and strongly fortified ; admirable promenades. The Basse-Ville, or lower streets wide and well made. A plentiful supply town, is a pleasant walk on a fête day. The new
of refreshing water is afforded from 12 fountains in lighthouse should be visited. It is one of the most
different quarters. The Hôtel de Ville is situated beautiful works of mechanism in the world. The
in the Place d'Armes. Beyond the walls are two view from the summit of the tower presents a considerable suburbs, between which and Clairpanoramic scene of great beauty, comprising, on a
marais are situated, amid extensive marshes, clear day, the distant cliffs of England and the
several floating islands, covered with trees and outlines of Dover Castle. The public cemetery excellent pasture. The proprietors row them like outside the town contains the ashes of Lady a boat to land their cattle or take them up. Tho Hamilton (Nelson's Emma), who expired here, town is on the line of railway from Calais to Lille. destitute and impoverished.
Living is said to be cheap. It possesses two The railway from honce to Lille enables pas- ecclesiastical buildings well worthy of noticesengers to proceed direct by rail to Brussels and the Cathedral, and Abbey Church of St. Bortin. all parts of Belgium; also to Douai and Paris. The former is a magnificent construction, exhibitTravellers proceeding to Belgium or Germany will ing a transition from tho round to the polated
style of architecture, situated in the Rue St. Ber- English Church Service on Sundays. tin. Its east end is of a polygonal termination, This city is strongly fortified, and forms, on the with projecting chapels. The interior of the northern frontiers of France, the central point of church is in good preservation, and the small defence. With a population of 155,000 inhabitants, Chapel of the Virgin has been lately redecorated.
it is the seat of thriving industry and of busy At the extreme end of the street in which this
manufacture, ranking as the seventh industrial church is situated are to be seen the remains of
and commercial city of the new empire. The the once famous Abbey of St. Bertin, formerly the town is traversed by the waters of the Haute and noblest Gothic building in French Flanders. The Basse Deule, which fill its moats, and work the only fragment now remaining is a stately tower,
mill machinery about. They are connected by a noble even in its ruins, the mutilated panelling of canal, so arranged as to be able to inundate the its walls bespeaking the chaste and superior ele- country for one and a half mile around the walls, gance of its florid Gothic style of ornament. From
if necessary. Though the city is spacious and its off the tower, which is propped by a rude buttress
wealth very great, yet its monuments and buildings of masonry, a fine panoramic view of the town
are few and unimportant. may be had. Thomas à Becket sought refuge in
The Citadel is looked upon as a master specimen this once-famous abbey, when a fugitive from
of the skill of Vauban, who held the position of England, and within its cloister were passed the
governor for many years. The Hotel de Ville is an last four years of his life. The monastery was
erection of the 13th century, built by Jean Sanssuppressed in 1792, but was spared by the Conven
Peur, inhabited by Charles V., and was anciently tion. The Directory was less considerate, and
the palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. The buildunder it the roof was taken off, the building stripped ing is in the early Gothic style, and has in one of of its fixtures and wood work, which were sold.
its tourelles an exquisitely groined staircase and a The work of destruction was completed a few
chapel. A school of art, containing an interesting years since by the local authorities, who had the and rich collection of drawings by the old masters, walls taken down, in order to find work for some
occupies one division of the building. This unemployed labourers!
collection consists of 44 paintings by Raphael, It was here existed the celebrated Jesuits' Col
some by Masaccio and Fra Bartolommeo, and a lege; founded in 1596 by an English Jesuit, named few architectural designs by Michael Angelo. An Parsons. In it were educated many of the con- inspection of them will interest and gratify all spirators mixed up in the Gunpowder Plot, and lovers of the fine arts. Chevr Wicar bequeathed some of the wild spirits whe intrigued against them to the city. Though Sunday is the only Elizabeth. This college was succeeded by a day on which there is a public admission, the seminary, for British Roman Catholics, and in it housekeeper will not hesitate to admit persons was educated the famous agitator, the late Daniel of respectability on other daya. O'Connell.
The Museum will scarcely repay a visit; it, English Church Service, 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on however, contains many curious old portraits of Sundays.
the Dukes of Burgundy and of the Counts of Eblinghem Station.
Flanders, besides a painting by Rubens, and two
by Arnold de Vuez, a native artist, born in 1642, Hazebrouck Station, From here a branch
and considerably eminent in his profession. The line leads to Dunkirk. Refreshments may be had.
former painting represents St. Catherine rescued The following unimportant stations are next from the wheel of martyrdom, and the two latter passed :-Strazoele, Bailleul, Steenwerck, are portraits of Saints Francis and Cecilia. Armentières, and Perenchies.
The chief church in Lille is that of St. Maurice, Lille Station.--Hotels:
a Gothic building of the 16th century, resting on Hotel de l'Europe-the best in the town.
delicately light pillars, but presenting no appear. Paris; Nouveau Monde; Flandre ; France; ance of general interest. The Rue Royale, a street Chemin de fer du Nord.
one mile long, should be visited, and the immensely