"past the grand facade of the Royal Exchange, the Flemish designed building that looks as if it has been lifted straight from the Low Countries and dropped in the middle of London."

Map of the County of Flanders, 1609
Public DomainMap of the County of Flanders, 1609 - Credit: wikimedia commons

The Royal Exchange is a centre of commerce for the city of London, founded by Sir Thomas Gresham in the 16th century and officially opened by Queen Elizabeth I, who gave the 'Royal' title to the building in 1571. The original Royal Exchange building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The design of the building was influenced by a stock exchange in Antwerp, Belgium, then part of the county of Flanders. The county of Flanders covered what are now parts of Belgium, France and the Netherlands; the term ‘Flemish’ comes from the name ‘Flanders.’ The county of Flanders was one of the territories of the Low Countries, the historical lands that sat in the low-lying delta around the rivers Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse.

A townhouse in Aberdeen, built in the style of Flemish architecture
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA townhouse in Aberdeen, built in the style of Flemish architecture - Credit: Colin Smith on Geograph