Sunday, July 1, 2012

Campine landscapes

I was recently at a birthday party in the Campine (Dutch: Kempen), a natural region in the east of Flanders (not to be confused with East Flanders). Having spent so much time in a crowded Ghent, I was struck by the pastoral beauty of this area.

The name of the region comes from the Latin Campinia or Campina, which can be translated as 'region of fields', i.e. 'countryside'. Campania in southern Italy was named in a similar way. It's easy to see where the name comes from when you find yourself among the vast fields and (slightly less vast) forests. It reminded me of Normandy, which I consider a compliment.

The Campine is rich with folklore, perhaps most notably the tale of Kyrië the Gnome King (Dutch: Kabouterkoning Kyrië). According to the legend, the hundreds of gnomes that inhabited the Campine disappeared after the Gnome King was killed by a hunter's rifle.


A statue of Kyrië the Gnome King can be seen
in Hoogeloon, Netherlands.

Here are some pictures to illustrate the beauty of this region. Click the pictures to embiggen - you'll be glad you did.

Photo: Encephalartos.

Photo: Encephalartos.

Photo: Encephalartos.

Photo: Encephalartos.

Photo: Geert Orye.

A wildlife overpass in the Campine. Photo: Paul Hermans.


Photo: Peter Van Osta.

Photo: Paul Hermans.

Photo: Donderwolk.

Campine landscape painting by Frans Van Giel.



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