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Belgium in Brief: A Long Way From Horses

Credit: Erfgoedbank/ collections (full credit below)

How much do you know about the history of the country you live in?

Not too much? Maybe the bad stuff? Thought so.

We grow up surrounded by the history of our own countries in school, on trips, and just as part of pop culture.

I can tell you the history of the River Clyde and shipbuilding, but my knowledge of Brussels and Belgium taps out at about 10 years in the past.

To me, this is where photos come in.

There’s something quite enjoyable about looking at weird little snapshots into a time long before you were here.

Today, as part of the ongoing photo series, we’re having a look at trams through the ages. If I’m honest, the most astounding thing was how normal they seemed.

I didn’t know much of the scenery, but I’d know those carriages anywhere from their starring role in my daily commute.

So today, I ask two questions:

Do you want to see a specific part of Belgium’s history in photographs? 

Do you have a piece of weird knowledge about your home country? 

Let @johnstonjules know.

BUT WAIT, one last thing: Want news from The Brussels Times in your inbox every morning? Sign up for The Recap, a free daily newsletter containing all the stories you need to know from the day before. It goes great with your morning coffee. 

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your lunch break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:



1. How Belgium’s travellers view rules and Covid measures abroad

A vast majority of people in Belgium who have already travelled said the rules around travelling were clear and that the coronavirus guidelines at their destination are easy to accept and apply. Read more.

2. Horses to Heizel: Brussels’ trams through the ages

Credit: Erfgoedbank/ collections (full credit below)

Trams in Brussels have come a long way from the first horse-drawn services that started carrying passengers from the Porte de Namur to the Bois de la Cambre in 1869. Have a look.

3. Cheat Sheet: Today’s summer plan changes

Belgium has taken another step towards the new normal with the introduction of the latest measures in the ongoing summer plan. So, here they are.

4. Half of France turns red, Italy almost fully orange on European travel map

Europe is turning less and less green with each update to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)’s travel map, as almost all of Italy has turned orange on Thursday. Read More.

5. About half of requested free travel tests in Belgium are never carried out

Belgian residents who have not yet been fully vaccinated can get two free PCR tests from the government this summer, but only half of the people who requested them actually have the test taken. Read More.

6. Right-wing extremists gaining ground and posing real threat in Belgium, report states

The organisation responsible for threat analysis in Belgium (OCAD) has warned that right-wing extremism is gaining ground at an alarming rate and that social media is an aggregator for spreading such ideas. Read more.

7. Belgian actor arrested on suspicion of child abuse

A Belgian actor who works in children’s programmes and films was arrested last week in an investigation into suspected child abuse. Read more.