News Releases

Summer tour to take travelers to Belgium

February 13, 2009

17th Century Brussels, Belgium
Lander University will host a tour of Belgium July 24-Aug. 2. Pictured are 17th century merchant houses in the main square of Brussels – just one of the sights that can be enjoyed on this trip.
The northwestern European country of Belgium is found at the center of many things. It is the unofficial capital of the European Union which is headquartered in Brussels. The Belgian city of Bruges served as the setting for the award-winning film starring Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes, "In Bruges." And this summer, Belgium will be the focal point for a Lander University Fine Arts Study Tour.

Travelers on the tour will depart from Atlanta on July 24 and return Aug. 2. Tour leaders are Alan MacTaggart and Dr. Tom Pitts, Lander professors of art. The trip is open to Lander faculty, staff and students, and the general public.

"This trip offers a wide variety of experiences," said Pitts. "If the traveler is interested in culture, from medieval to modern, Gothic churches; or early Flemish painters, such as Michelangelo, Rubens or René Magritte, this trip is perfect."

The Lander tour will take participants to the Belgian cities of Brussels, Ghent, Bruges and Antwerp. Specific sights will include: Saint Bavo Cathedral, home of the "Altarpiece of the Mystic Lamb" by Jan Van Eyck; Gravensteen Castle; Church of Our Lady, the home of Michelangelo's sculpture "Madonna and Child"; a canal boat trip in Bruges; the Rubens House; and much more.

According to Pitts and MacTaggart, Belgium is a place where many cultures collide, giving visitors access to some of the finest foods and beverages available in the world. Also, English speakers have no trouble navigating the country's cities and sights because English is a commonly spoken language.

MacTaggart and Pitts have studied the history and culture of Belgium and have traveled there multiple times. Travelers will receive on-site lectures from this pair of art historians at all of the trip locations.

The trip includes one free day, which travelers could use to easily and quickly travel to Amsterdam, Paris, Luxembourg or Aachen.

The cost of the Lander tour to Belgium is $3,000 for double occupancy and $3,300 for single occupancy – the price includes airfare and some meals. MacTaggart said a downturn in travel due to the economy is leading to a more receptive welcome for travelers.

"We have been able to get better hotels and flights than we normally get in high tourism seasons," said MacTaggart.

A $500 deposit is due by Feb. 27 to reserve a seat on the Belgium study tour. For more information contact the College of Arts and Humanities at 864-388-8323.