Au Pays du Surréel
Coastal Architecture of the 1920's and 1930's in today's divided Belgium
I was back to the Belgian coast last month and was struck by the beauty and strangeness of the old neighborhoods of Saint-Idesbald and the ‘Quartier Dumont’ in La Panne. It consists mainly of summer vacation houses built between the world wars, many of them topped with eccentric roofs. This is also the place surrealist Belgian painter Paul Delvaux chose to express his creativity.
Today's Belgium is ripe with tension between the French and Dutch speaking communities. The local authorities have decreed only Dutch words can be affixed on new constructions, a far cry of what was then.