Brussels, Belgium

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The official founding of Brussels is usually considered to be 979.  The town grew rapidly and extended towards the upper town (higher ground) where there is a smaller risk of floods.  In 1225 work began on the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula.  The Grand Place was where Brussels traditionally conducted its business.  In 1407, they began construction of the City Hall at this location and eventually, the square was filled with a variety of Guild Halls representing all of the trades.

Grand Place

In 1695, during the Nine Years’ War, French King Louis XIV sent troops to bombard Brussels with artillery.  Together with the resulting fire, it was the most destructive event in the entire history of Brussels.  Most of the Grand Place was destroyed (with the exception of the City Hall) along with 4,000 buildings.  The Guild Halls were all rebuilt within five years, an impressive accomplishment. Continue reading

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East Hampton, CT

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Connecticut is known as “The Constitution State” based upon the claim that Connecticut had the first written constitution in history, the Fundamental Orders of 1638/39.  In Connecticut we camped at Nelsons Family Campground in East Hampton.  It was close to the very picturesque Lake Pocotopaug.

CN Capitol Continue reading

Birmingham, AL

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From the time of its founding in 1871 until the end of the 1960’s, Birmingham was the primary industrial center of the South.  Its leading industries were the production of iron and steel, making it known as the Pittsburgh of the South.  In addition, both rails and railroad cars were produced in Birmingham, making it a significant hub of railroading.  Between 1902 and 1912 four large office buildings were constructed at the intersection of 20th Street and 1st Avenue leading to the nickname of “The Heaviest Corner on Earth”.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Continue reading