Belgium is a country located in Western Europe. It is boarded by the Netherlands, German, Luxembourg and France. It has a population of approximately 11 million people with 157,673 of those living in its capital city of Brussels. Belgium is a relatively small country with an area of 30,528 km2 (11,787 sq mi). It is named after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. It is home to the European Union’s headquarters and was one of the founding members of the organization.
Interesting facts about Belgium
- Belgium is officially known as The Kingdom of Belgium.
- Belgium has three official languages Dutch, French and German. A large group of Dutch-speaking people inhabit the north of the country and the French-speaking population inhabits the south of the country. There are small pockets of German speaking citizens.
- A person from Belgium is known as a Belgian.
- The Belgium motto is Eendracht maakt macht (Dutch), L’union fait la force (French), Einigkeit macht stark (German) which translates to mean “Strength through Unity.”
- Belgium is a federal parliamentary constitution monarchy. The current King of Belgium is Albert II and the Prime Minister is Elio Di Rupo.
- Belgium has the reputation of being the “Battleground of Europe” due to the many battles fought in this region. It was here that Napoleon was finally beaten at the Battle of Waterloo.
- The Royal Palace in Brussels is bigger than Buckingham Palace in the U.K.
- The first printed newspapers were printed in Belgium and the French-speaking part of Belgium is the world’s biggest producer of comics per capita.
- 500 different kinds of beer are made in Belgium and average Belgian consumes 150 liters per year.
- Belgium also produces 220,000 tons of chocolate per year. French Fries also originated in Belgium. The country is also famous for waffles. Unfortunately, for the many children of the world, brussel sprouts also originated in Belgium.
- Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002, and gay marriage in 2003.
- Belgium has compulsory education to the age of 18 years.
- The longest tramway line in the world is the Belgian coast tram (68 km).
- The Body Mass Index was invented in Belgium by the Belgian Adolphe Quetelet.
- The highest percentage of cable TV subscribers reside in Belgium with 97% of Belgian households receiving cable TV.
- Belgium has three main geographical regions: The coastal plains in the north, The Ardennes Mountains in the south-east and the Paris Basin at the southernmost tip.
- The temperature drops to its lowest in January when the average temperature is 3 °C (37.4 °F). The highest temperatures are recorded in July with the average temperature reaching 18 °C (64.4 °F).
- The countries highest point is Signal de Botrange at 694 meters (2,277 ft).
- Belgium is a mostly secular country with only about 5% of the population attending church.
- Health insurance is compulsory in the country and it is known for a high level of health care services.
- Belgium is recognized as the birth place of oil painting.
- Soccer is one of the most popular sports in Belgium and other sports including cycling, tennis, swimming and Judo, are also popular.
- In 1920, the summer Olympics were held in Belgium in the city of Antwerp.