Walking Tour of Zaffelare, Belgium

I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas. It was a bit of a bust around here. Just a bit, though. We thoroughly enjoyed a visit from Shannon, who was here December 17 – 27. We got to spend time with my Dad and Mike’s Mom, too (they were here December 23 – 27). We were supposed to have a post-Christmas party on December 26 — our son and his wife, and my brother, sis-in-law, and nephew were going to come — but then Mike and I both got walloped with colds halfway through Christmas day. So, sadly, we had to cancel the after-party. It was during that party-that-never-happened that I’d been planning on taking pictures of everyone, so I have very few pics of the people who were here. Sigh…

Instead of a Christmas post, I’ll just get back to the vacation re-cap.

We made it back to Annelies and Yves’ house in Belgium on Wednesday evening, just in time for dinner. By Thursday, Mike and I were both ready for a down day, so we just relaxed around the house while Annelies worked.

At one point, I decided to go for a stroll around town. I wanted a closer look at the brick work I’d been admiring. As the below excerpt from a book I found on-line explains, Belgians are artists with brick.

bricksAnnelies and Yves currently live in the town of Zaffelare, which is part of the municipality of Lochristi, located in the Belgian province of East Flanders. Here’s a Google Maps link if you’re curious.

Zaffelare, BelgiumNeither of them think their town is particularly remarkable, but I find it quite charming. Especially when you look at the architectural detail, which I think they probably just take for granted.

It appears very well-maintained, too. There were lovely flowers everywhere, and the streets were very clean.

I found it a charming mix of old and new. There were a number of older, brick buildings being renovated and some new buildings being erected near the town’s center.

There’s even a small castle! (Kasteel van Zaffelare)

I thoroughly enjoyed my walking tour, and I collected quite a few images to share with you. Some of those images are included below. If you like, you can view all of the images I captured during my walk by following this link to my Zaffelare album on Flickr.

First is one of my favorite buildings. I love how the builder used different colored bricks to add detail. Up close, I was delighted to discover some of the bricks featured a ceramic glaze.

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Brick Details


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Green and White Glazed Accent Bricks


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If I remember correctly, this is still being used as a school.


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Church (even the steeple is brick)


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Older building undergoing renovation.


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The Castle (Kasteel van Zaffelare)


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Castle Close-up


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Modern Brick Facade


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Interesting Detail


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Steeple Fashioned from Black Bricks


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Random Statue

I was also impressed by the Belgian builders’ use of different varieties of brick and stone. The following picture is a good example of this variety.

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Look at that variety of brick.


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Cool Flowers

I also noticed a lot of stained-glass windows, as seen in the image below (second storey window). I find the bump-out in that building interesting, too. Also, check out the window shades, which are sort of like little garage doors over the windows. These shades are very common on homes, and often have electronic open/close mechanisms (like on garage doors).

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Leaded Stained-glass Window Detail

Another shot of my favorite green-glazed bricks, but this time with a bonus reflection.

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I just love those green-glazed bricks.


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Interesting variety of brick and stone.


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Cool Details


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Unique structural support.


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Showing its age.


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Mix of old and new. Note the closed window shades on the left.


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Gaudy gold lion.


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Variety of materials.


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Cute, newer, modern cottage.


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Variety of materials.


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Pretty Flowers


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Old and New

As I made my way back to the house, I was treated with this nice view of the sky while walking down Annelies and Yves’ street.

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Annelies and Yves’ Street

Shortly after I reached the house, Mike and I went to the store for lunch provisions and more beer to take along on our upcoming road trip.


As soon as Yves returned from work, we’d all be piling into the car and heading south through France and into Switzerland for our planned rendezvous at Tammi and Martin’s house. I’ll save that for the next post.

Did you find the masonry as intriguing as I did?

7 Replies to “Walking Tour of Zaffelare, Belgium”

  1. I really like all of the brick facades. As you may guess, bricks would have to be imported here so it isn’t very common around here. Looking forward to future segments.

    1. Richard, the brick masonry in the bigger older cities — like Bruges — was incredible. Americans just don’t use brick in quite the same way. This was the last of the brick posts, but there’s other stuff still to come. 🙂

    1. Annelies, you’re just so used to seeing all of them that they look plain to you. Like you said, the view is always different when looking through someone else’s lens.

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