Photochrome prints of Belgium

Photochrom or photochrome prints are a type of color prints that were very popular between 1890 and 1910. The photochrome process was mainly used to print postcards. Below is a collection of pictures of Belgium creating using this process.

Bruges (Brugge) is one of the most photogenic cities of Belgium. The ‘Groenerei’ in the city center is named after an inn at the same location. In 1127 it used to be part of the city walls.

Old postcard of Bruges
Groenerei (Quai Vert) – Bruges
Old postcard of the convent in Brugge
Convent bridge & spire of the cathedral – Bruges

Bruges’ eternal rival is Ghent (Gent), another city worth visiting. Today this view of the Graslei has virtually not changed at all, although you will no longer see wooden carts lying around.

Old postcard of Ghent, Belgium
Graslei – Ghent

Antwerp is the second largest city of the country and its biggest port. Trade made it a rich city and many famous artists like Rubens or printers like Christophe Plantin lived here. Even with so much money pouring in, the citizens ran out of funds to complete the second tower of its main cathedral, Our Lady’s church, built between 1352 and 1521.

Old postcard of Antwerp
Groenplaats – Antwerp

Dinant, near the French border, is the birthplace of Adolphe Sax, inventor of the saxophone.  Towering over the city is the Citadel of Dinant that was first built in the 11th century to control the Meuse valley.

Old postcard of Dinant
River Meuse, church & fortress – Dinant

Nowadays Manneken Pis (Little Pissing Man), a sculpture of a naked little boy urinating into the fountain’s basin. is still one of the main attractions of Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

Old postcard of Manneken Pis in Brussels
Manneken Pis – Brussels

Watering down milk was common practice in those days. You always risked a check by the local police man. It was only in 1963 that the Belgian legislation forbid the use of dogs for pulling carts.

Old postcard of a milk seller in Brussels
Milk seller – Brussels

Blankenberge became a popular seaside resort when a railway connection with Bruges and Brussels was established in 1863.

Old postcard of Blankenberghe
Beach – Blankenberghe

Ostend (Oostende) was called ‘the queen of the Belgian sea-side resorts’ after the first Belgian kings Leopold I and Leopold II started spending their holidays there.

Old postcard of Ostend beach
Beach – Ostend
Old postcard of the Ostend Kursaal
Beach & The Kursaal – Ostend
Old postcard of the Ostend Pier
Pier – Ostend

Liège, close to the Netherlands and Germany in the east of Belgium, is an industrial city in the French-speaking part of Belgium. Its port is the third largest river port in Europe, with canals linking it to Antwerp and Rotterdam.

Old postcard of Liege
Carts and a boat at the quay of the Meuse – Liège

Can’t get enough of these historic photos?  Check out additional photochroms of North America, England, Ireland, the European continent and of sailing boats and steamers in harbors.