Bastogne: This town near the Luxembourg border was the site of a huge battle during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. Now there are several museums dealing with the war. The central square is "McAuliffe Square", named after the American general who answered the Nazi order to surrender with the single word – "Nuts".

Bruges: Bruges was the center of textile weaving in medieval times, and a great seaport trading center in the 15th century, but its sea lanes silted up. Much of what was built in the town when it was prosperous still remains. This was 15th century artist Hans Memling's home town. One museum in a medieval hospital, Saint John's, is named after him and contains several of his works.

Ghent: This large city has an "antique" core with a number of beautiful churches. Its most precious possession is the Jan van Eyck altar tryptique called "The Adoration of the Lamb". Other sites focusing on history are the Gravenstein Castle and a 13th century children’s hospital that is now a folk museum.

Liege: This is a commercial city with several streets dating from the medieval period and beautiful private buildings, some as old as the Renaissance (14th century). It has several museums including one devoted to folk art and one to the archeology of the area.

Ypres: Site of three horrendous battles in WW I, in the second of which poison gas was used for the first time. It is now home to the In Flanders Fields museum devoted to understanding WW I, and the Menin Memorial Gate to the British forces who died there. Ypres is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Waterloo: Where Napoleon Bonaparte's force was defeated for the last time by forces under the command of the Duke of Wellington. It is now the site of the Lion's Mound, a pyaramid crowned with a statue of a lion, a memorial to those who died in the battle of Waterloo.
Places in Belgium where you are very close to history
Antwerp: Home of the great artists Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony VanDyck. Also a huge seaport on the River Schelde which always had been extremely important in European trade over the ages. During WWII it was a, perhaps, the most important port for the supply of Allied troops after D-Day. Indeed, the German offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge had as its objective the recapture of Antwerp as the way to stop the Allied advance into Germany.
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