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Flanders Travel Guide

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Grote Markt in Antwerp, Flanders (© Oleg Shipov -
Grote Markt in Antwerp, Flanders.
Map of Flanders

Clickable map of Belgium


Flanders (Vlaanderen in Dutch) is the predominantly Dutch-speaking northern region of Belgium. It has a land area of 13,522 km2 (5,221 sq mi), corresponding to 44% of the territory of Belgium, and 6 million inhabitants, or nearly two thirds the Belgian population. Its population density is 456 inhab./km², one of the highest of any European region.

Flanders lies in the Great European Plain and is mostly flat. The highest peak is Voeren (287.5 metres), a enclave of land between Wallonia and the Netherlands.

Historically the term Flanders designates the land situated from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary. This represents the modern provinces of East Flanders and West Flanders, as well as the northern half of the département du Nord in France (French Flanders). The present-day federal state of Flanders also includes a big part of the old Duchy of Brabant (provinces of Antwerp and Flemish Brabant), and the County of Loon (province of Limburg), that used to be part of the Prince-bishopric of Liège.

Ghent is the historical capital of the County of Flanders. Originally a Dutch-speaking city and the seat of the Duchy of Brabant, Brussels later became the capital of the Habsburgian Netherlands and of the Belgian state. Since the regionalisation of Belgium in the 1970's and the creation of a federal state in 1980, Brussels has been the official capital of the Flemish Region and Flemish Community, despite being a predominantly French-speaking city and also serving as the capital of Belgium's French-speaking Community.


Province of Antwerp

Groenplaats & Cathedral, Antwerp (©
must-see Antwerp
Lier (©
very good Lier
Stadhuis on the Grote Markt, Mechelen (©
very good Mechelen
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