Ten fun facts about Belgium

Image of Belgium

Ten fun facts about Belgium

Image of Belgium

1. A Country of Contrasts

Belgium is a federal state located in western Europe, and is officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium. It is bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France, and is home to a population of over 11 million people. The country is divided into three regions: Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels, each with its own distinct culture and language. Belgium is a founding member of the European Union, and its capital city, Brussels, is the de facto capital of the EU.

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2. A Key Player in the European Union's Success

Belgium is a founding member of the European Union and serves as its headquarters. This small country has played an integral role in the development of the EU, which has grown to become one of the world's most influential political and economic organizations. Belgium is home to the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, and the European Court of Justice, all of which are based in Brussels, the capital of Belgium. As a result, Belgium is a key player in the European Union's decision-making process and is a major contributor to the EU's success.

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3. A Small Country with a Big History

Belgium is a small country, covering an area of 30,528 square kilometers (11,787 square miles). This is slightly larger than the US state of Maryland, and slightly smaller than the US state of New Jersey. It is bordered by France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, and is home to 11.5 million people.

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4. The Cockfighting Arena of Europe

Belgium has earned the nickname of the "cockfighting arena of Europe" due to its unfortunate history of being the battleground for many of the wars between the European powers. From the Napoleonic Wars to the World Wars, Belgium has seen its fair share of bloodshed and destruction, with its citizens often caught in the crossfire. This has left a lasting impression on the country, and its people, and has earned it the nickname of the "cockfighting arena of Europe".

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5. The Impact of the 1914 German Invasion of Belgium

In 1914, Belgium was invaded by Germany in a devastating attack that marked the beginning of World War I. This invasion was a violation of the 1839 Treaty of London, which had guaranteed Belgium's neutrality. The German forces quickly advanced through the country, taking control of the major cities and railways. The Belgian people were subjected to harsh treatment, including forced labor, and the destruction of homes and businesses. This invasion had a lasting impact on the country, and the effects of the war are still felt today.

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6. The Unforgettable Story of the Rape of Belgium

The beginning months of World War I were a particularly brutal time for Belgium, as Germany's forces committed a number of atrocities that earned the period the name "Rape of Belgium". This included the destruction of homes, businesses, and churches, as well as the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians. In addition, the German army was responsible for the execution of thousands of innocent people, including women and children. The devastation caused by the German forces was so severe that it left a lasting impact on the country and its people.

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7. Belgian Language Communities: A Multilingual Land of Contrasts

Belgium is a multilingual country, with three distinct language communities: the German-speaking group, the Flemish-speaking group, and the French-speaking group. Each of these language communities has its own unique culture and history, and together they form the rich and diverse culture of Belgium. The German-speaking group is located in the eastern part of the country, while the Flemish-speaking group is located in the northern and western parts. The French-speaking group is located in the southern part of the country. All three language communities are officially recognized by the Belgian government, and each has its own set of laws and regulations.

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8. A Small Country Divided into Three Regions

Belgium is a small country located in Western Europe, divided into three distinct regions: Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels. Flanders is the northern region of Belgium, and is divided into five provinces: East Flanders, West Flanders, Antwerp, Limburg, and Flemish Brabant. Wallonia is the southern region of Belgium, and is divided into five provinces: Hainaut, Namur, Liège, Luxembourg, and Walloon Brabant. Brussels is the capital of Belgium, and is an autonomous region, not part of either Flanders or Wallonia.

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9. Belgium's Regions: A Look at the Differences

Belgium is a country divided into three distinct regions: the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region, and the Brussels Capital Region. The Flemish Region is further divided into five provinces: West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerp, Limburg, and Flemish Brabant. Similarly, the Walloon Region is divided into five provinces: Hainaut, Liège, Namur, Luxembourg, and Walloon Brabant. Lastly, the Brussels Capital Region is a unique region that is not divided into provinces.

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10. A Crossroads of Cultures and Languages

Belgium is a small country located in Western Europe, bordered by four other countries: Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the Netherlands to the north. This strategic location has made Belgium a crossroads of cultures and languages, with Dutch, French, and German all spoken in different parts of the country. As a result, Belgium has a rich and diverse history, with influences from all of its neighboring countries.

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