2014 is quickly turning out to be one of the best years to go on a vacation. With the FIFA world cup starting in Brazil, the commonwealth games being hosted by Scotland and plenty more, 2014 promises to provide an exclusive experience no matter where you wish to travel to. But there is always a winner in the pack, and for 2014 it has clearly got to be Belgium. Belgium has always been an underdog when it comes to the most popular destinations of Europe. Though it has quite a rich history and a brilliant landscape reminding us of Medieval Europe, its preposterous location amidst all the other popular countries of Europe such as France, United Kingdom and Germany has overshadowed its popularity. But this year, the officials of the Belgian Tourism department are determined to turn things around, and sure enough they will, because the world’s eyes will be completely focused on a completely unique event that’s taking place in Belgium in 2014. Read on to find out more.
The First World War
One of the most crucial events that marked the beginning of a new era in modern history is without a doubt the First World War. Although gruesome in nature, it ended colonization, gave the world industrialization and taught the once great empires how bad an idea a war could be. Such was the impact of the WWI on the human civilization, and all that happened exactly 100 years ago at 1914. So officially 2014 marks the 100th year anniversary of the First World War, and guess who’s honoring the memory? The same country where it all began – Belgium!
It’s our history
It was as an early dawn on August 4th 1914; soldiers were bravely fighting along the Meuse River of Liege, Belgium. When all seemed to be going right, came the bullet fire that took the life of the first soldier of a war that would later consume the lives of thousands of men in the next 4 years. Such is the importance of the Belgium in the events of WWI, and amusingly enough the last people to die in the war were fell in the Mons region of Belgium as well. So to commemorate the suffering of the people in the war that changed the world, Belgium has organized a gala event, starting from 2014 and continuing till 2018, aptly named “It’s our history”.
What to expect?
The First World War may not have consumed as many lives as the Second, but it definitely was one of the goriest wars in human history. The development of advanced machinery and improved weapons, but lack of medical facilities and medicines, resulted in losses long after the fighting. The Belgian Royal army Museum has organized a very elaborate exhibit of all the weapons and equipment used and has displayed some rare memorabilia which give a deep insight into the lives and times during the war. Also the museum has planned to conduct a number of programs and events that reenact the part of Belgian soldiers in WWI.
A walk through history
As Berlin is to the Second World War, Ypres is to WWI. The city witnessed some of the most gruesome battles of the war and witnessed bloodshed far beyond count. A special guided tour has been arranged by tourism department of Belgium called the Walking the Ypres, which takes the visitors through the beautiful scenic city of Ypres, along its peaceful country sides and the many historic monuments left behind by the war. This is something that you truly don’t want to miss out. So if you love history and have a taste for adventure, then Belgium is the place to be in 2014.