Atsusacon Ghent Belgium
Atsusacon in Ghent, Belgium, August 5 (Hilde Heyvaert)

Over the years, Atsusacon has become a staple in the summer convention season as one of the more fun, smaller conventions to attend.

They always make a real effort, more so than many other events, to put on a varied program, with workshops, vendors, often even concerts and more.

This year, however, the convention seemed to really have found its niche as a cosplay convention, which seemed to work. Continue reading “Atsusacon”

Comic Con Gent

Comic Con Gent Belgium
Steampunk enthusiasts at Comic Con Gent, Belgium, July 9 (Hilde Heyvaert)

Comic Con Gent, formerly known as Starcom, struck down in the ICC for the third year in a row. And boy, what a convention it was!

This is one of these conventions that started slow but pleasant and have kept improving. And it not only shows, it works.

Stick with this review and find out just why Comic Con Gent is one of the best conventions Belgium has to offer. Continue reading “Comic Con Gent”

Nantes Castle France

Nantes Castle and Musée d’Histoire de Nantes

Le Château des Ducs de Bretagne, or Nantes Castle for short, is not just the medieval home of the famous Anne de Bretagne (yes, the one from the Musketeer novels), but also a veritable source of history.

The castle has has been completely renovated and turned into a museum depicting the history of Nantes: the Musée d’histoire de Nantes. Continue reading “Nantes Castle and Musée d’Histoire de Nantes”

Unexpected Steampunk Music: Pan de Capazo

Pan de Capazo
Pan de Capazo perform in Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium, May 21 (Hilde Heyvaert)

There are these rare, very rare moments when you find yourself sitting at a local festival that couldn’t be further away from anything steampunk or dieselpunk if it tried and you realizes that the band that just started to perform on stage is, in fact… a steampunk band.

That was what happened when I attended the annual Heist-op-den-Berg sheep-shearing festival in Belgium on May 21. (I go for the food, the food is amazing) Continue reading “Unexpected Steampunk Music: Pan de Capazo”

The Hague Peace Palace design by Willem Kromhout

Designs for the Peace Palace in The Hague

In 1903, the American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $1.5 million (almost $40 million in today’s money) for the construction of a Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The building would become known as the Peace Palace and eventually house several international courts.

An architectural competition was held for the design. Renowned architects from around the world, including the Netherlands’ own Hendrik Petrus Berlage and Willem Kromhout, submitted ideas. France’s Louis M. Cordonnier Neo-Renaissance palace won. Continue reading “Designs for the Peace Palace in The Hague”

Coalescaremonium, Pagan Electrics

Coalescaremonium Pagan Electrics Etterbeek Belgium
Selfie in progress at Coalescaremonium, Pagan Electrics, in Etterbeek, Belgium, April 8 (Hilde Heyvaert)

Coalescaremonium, Pagan Electrics, was the fifth (time does really fly) installment of the yearly Grandioso Gothic Happening (that’s really how it’s marketed as, I’m not making it up) taking place at the revamped monastery Bouche à Oreille.

Which, with its many side rooms, is the perfect location for a Gothic event of this magnitude. Continue reading “Coalescaremonium, Pagan Electrics”

Made in Asia

Made in Asia Brussels Belgium
Visitors at the Made in Asia convention in Brussels, Belgium, March 3 (Hilde Heyvaert)

Made in Asia has over the years become the biggest and most popular Asiamania convention of Belgium. This year it coincided with the last weekend of the February school holiday, giving people ample opportunity to visit.

We visited on Friday and Saturday, the first two days of the event, and so this review is only relevant to these days and not to the final day of Sunday. Continue reading “Made in Asia”

Les Machines de l'île

Les Machines de l’île

Pretty much everyone who loves steampunk has heard of the almost legendary Les Machines de l’île, an area on the Island of Nantes (yes, that area of Nantes is really called l’île — the Island) where company La Machine builds their amazing wood and metal creations, including a fantastical fire-breathing dragon horse and enormous spiders that have climbed buildings and walked streets in many countries and continents.

Les Machines de l’île is the culimination of the combined masterpiece of these builders: where their ideas come to life and where you can admire them nearly year round (they close for about a month each year). Continue reading “Les Machines de l’île”