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Dictionary Project, Volume X: Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg

The Dictionary Project is a post-a-day exploration of The Century Dictionary and Cylopedia, a twelve-volume set printed in New York in 1901. The Project runs from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015, and matches volume numbers to calendar months. Volume X is The Atlas, and today is Day 13.

If it’s Tuesday Monday, this must be Belgium. (Darn; should have timed that better to hit the joke!) I have been to one-third of the countries named on this map, and that one-third is Belgium! We were only there for about four days, but the friend we stayed with in Ghent shuttled us all over place in those four days, and we saw plenty of Beer and Battlefields. (Belgium is to beer as France is to wine, you understand. And it’s a bit of a Mecca for beer lovers like my Beloved.) It’s a great place. If you haven’t been, go.

Map of the Netherlands, 1897

I haven’t been to the Netherlands yet, but it’s definitely on the to-see list. Borders have shifted a little since this map was drawn in 1897. The Prussians have part of the Netherlands, and it looks like Belgium and Holland haven’t settled things finally yet; the Treaty of Mastricht was signed in 1843, but this map doesn’t reflect the complexity of some of the maddest borders in the world.

Don’t know what I mean? Have a look at the modern state of this section of the border between the Netherlands and Belgium. Don’t forget the little bits of Belgium that lie within the Netherlands, at Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau. This border separates sides of street, portions of a village, and in one instance, a restaurant. Ah, division along religious lines. Well, crazy borders are better than bombing each other.


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