Belgium: interesting facts about a country with a rich history

25 interesting facts about Belgium

interesting facts about Belgium

The territory of Belgium harmoniously combines several cultures, and the development of the country was influenced by two others: France and Germany.

This selection includes 25 of the most interesting facts about Belgium!

  1. Although Belgium gained sovereignty only 200 years ago, the name itself goes back to antiquity. About 2,000 years ago, the area was inhabited by different tribes. Among them were the Celtic tribes of the Belgae, who then became a Roman province. It was called Belgica by the Romans, and later this name was transformed into Belgium.
  2. Belgium’s second most important city, Antwerp, is considered the diamond capital of the world. It was considered the main center of trade in diamonds in the 15th century, and today 84% of diamonds pass through Antwerp to be polished and treated.
  3. Belgium has the status of a constitutional monarchy. In fact, there are two people who are considered kings of this country. The first, the official monarch, King Philip I, he received the crown after his father abdicated in 2013. But the previous King Albert II did not lose his royal title either.
  4. Belgium set a world record for existing without a government. This country was without a central government for 541 days, but this had no effect on the well-being of its citizens.
  5. The Belgian chocolate is famous all over the world, because this country has been producing it for over 400 years. The Belgians discovered cacao after colonizing the Congo, and this made them a world power in chocolate production.
  1. Belgium has three approved official languages – German, French and Dutch. This is due to the fact that there are two major ethnic groups in the kingdom, the Flemings (German roots) and the Walloons (French roots).
  2. Belgium is a progressive country regarding non-traditional relations. It was the second country in Europe to legalize same-sex marriage and homosexuality.
  3. Belgium is sometimes called the country of “exiles. Great men such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, and even Albert Einstein during the persecution of the Jews fled here from exile in their native country.
  4. This European country is home to 12 sites that are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
  5. A curious fact about Belgium – in this country 99.9% of the roads are lit at night. In many European countries, even in the most progressive ones, during the night most of the roadway remains unlit, but not in Belgium.
  6. Belgium is famous for its comic books, including the famous Smurfs, The Adventures of Tintin, and Lucky Luke.
  1. Compared to other European countries, Belgium has the smallest gender wage gap. This means that female and male labor are paid almost equally.
  2. There are many castles all over Europe, but Belgium may get the title of the record holder! It is here that has the highest number per square kilometer.
  3. Belgium is one of the few countries with compulsory voting. The first was held back in 1792, and in 1948 appeared for women. If a Belgian misses more than four votes, he may lose his right to vote.
  4. It’s hard to calculate how many beers there are in Belgium, but certainly not less than 900 (some are half a thousand years old!). This means that you can drink a new beer every day for 3.5 years and never repeat it!
  5. It’s interesting, but Belgian men are the second tallest. The average height of Belgians is 181.7 centimeters. At the same time, women cannot boast of such indicators – their average height is 165.5 cm.
  6. Belgium is one of the progressive countries in the issue of euthanasia. Voluntary exit from life was legalized here in 2002, and in 2014 the Belgian government legalized euthanasia for children.
  1. Notable Belgian inventions include the contraceptive pill, the concept of body mass index, cricket (a game), roller skates, plastic, the saxophone, and asphalt.
  2. The decisive battle of Waterloo in the Napoleonic Wars took place on the territory of modern Belgium. Napoleon Bonaparte lost this battle, although before that he had managed to conquer almost all of continental Europe.
  3. The word “spa”, which now refers to a variety of health and relaxation procedures, came from the Belgian resort city of Spa.
  4. Brussels, on a par with Washington, has the largest number of diplomats and foreign press in its territory.
  5. Belgium has one of the highest levels of tax rates on income and social contributions. The highest are for single and childless Belgians.
  6. Signale de Botrange, Belgium’s highest point, is at 694 meters. This is lower than the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa!
  1. Belgium (Ostend) hosts the world’s largest sand sculpture festival every year.
  2. New York was founded by Peter Minoit, a Belgian by birth. In 1626 he bought the island of Manhattan from the locals for a sum equal to 500 modern dollars. There he founded the settlement of New Amsterdam, which later became New York City.
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Belgium is the heart of many European organizations, one of the most progressive countries and a leader in many industries.

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Belgium: interesting facts about a country with a rich history

Belgium is a European country with a rich history.

It is famous for its rainy weather, excellent beer and the famous statue of the “Peeing Boy”.

2. Once the territory of modern Belgium was conquered by the armies of Julius Caesar.

3. The Kingdom of Belgium is a country which gave the world many inventions, from lace decoration to the famous Belgian chocolate.

4. Belgium, despite its modest size, has an extremely high population density of 320 people per square kilometer.

BRUSSELS

5. The percentage of urbanized population is one of the highest in the world. About 97% of Belgians live in cities.

6. There is no national language, but the official languages are those of the closest neighbors – French, Dutch and German.

7. In some places, the border between Belgium and the Netherlands runs right through the buildings.

8. Belgium did not emerge as an independent state until 1830. Perhaps this explains the fact that patriotism is alien to most locals.

9. Many Belgians do not know the Belgian anthem and do not like Belgians from neighboring regions. Although they are all the same in our eyes, the Belgians themselves can easily tell which region a person is from by his or her speech and habits.

10. the inhabitants of any region of Belgium consider the inhabitants of the other regions to be a bit dull, but they all have in common a love for making fun of the Dutch.

THE FAMOUS BELGIAN SCULPTURE “PISSING BOY

11. In Brussels, there is not only the world-famous Piss Boy fountain. It is accompanied by the “Peeing Girl” and the “Peeing Doggy”.

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This is a symbol of the city’s cultural heritage and its unique location. 12, more than 600 costumes are made for The Boy Pissed in honour of holidays and festivals.

13. Belgium produces more than 200 tons of chocolate every year.

14.The most chocolate in the world is sold at Brussels national airport.

15. Belgium has invented the chocolate “praline”, one of the world’s most popular types of chocolate.

PALACE OF JUSTICE IN BRUSSELS

16. The Palace of Justice in Brussels is the largest palace of justice in the world with a first floor area of 26,006 square meters – larger than St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome.

17. The port of Antwerp is considered the fourth largest seaport in the world.

18.Also Antwerp is among the most famous art cities in Belgium. Other popular cities of art include the cities of Bruges and Ghent.

19. In Brussels, long ago began work the first pawnshop in European lands.

20. Belgium was the first country in continental Europe to construct a full-fledged railroad.

21. Belgium remains the undisputed leader in the density of railroads.

22. 22. The Belgians like animals, which is why they live in almost every Belgian home. Nine out of ten Belgians have either a cat or a dog at home.

23. The most popular urban transport in this country is the bicycle. All the grandfathers over 80 years old and children from 2 years old ride them here. If you rent an apartment, it will definitely say if there is bicycle parking in front of the house.

24. All large centers and train stations have bicycle parking, there are thousands of them here. But it’s better to hook it with a safety cable to some fence – bicycles are often stolen here.

25. The longest in the world streetcar line that still operates is also located here. It is 68 kilometers long,

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BRUSSELS ROYAL PALACE

26. Brussels Royal Palace is bigger than Buckingham Palace.

27. Belgium has the third largest number of cars per square kilometer in the world. The Netherlands and Japan are in first and second place respectively.

28.At night the Belgian freeway can be seen even from space. This is made possible by excellent lighting along all the tracks.

29. The Belgians get up very early. On weekends at 8 a.m. a line to the bakery for fresh bread is normal.

30. About 80% of all the billiard balls in the world are made in Belgium.

ST HUBERT GALLERY IN BRUSSELS

31. The St Hubert Gallery in Brussels, opened in 1847, is the oldest shopping gallery in Europe.

32. In the 18th century, Europe’s first casino was opened there.

33. Near the town of Thieu, in the Belgian province called Hainaut, there is the world’s largest ship elevator (its height is 73.15 meters).

GENT CITY

34. Although French fries, so popular in almost the whole world, are called in English “french fries”, they were invented in Belgium and not in France.

35. The expression “crimson chime” comes from the Belgian town of Mechelen (Malines in the French transcription), which is rightly considered the main center of bell-ringing in Europe.

36. In all, Belgium produces more than 800 varieties of beer. That’s how many beers have been patented by Belgian brewers.

37.Here the choice of several thousand varieties in the average pub is quite common.

38.Since 1999 there has been an academy dedicated to the study of the properties and characteristics of this foamy drink.

39. In Belgian school canteens until the 1970s pupils were entitled to beer, which has since been replaced by sodas. Some activists still advocate the return of beer to school menus because they consider it healthier than sugary fizzy drinks. But we are talking about table beer with a strength of up to 1.5 degrees.

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40. According to surveys, almost all Belgians (92%) do not cook and eat at home – they prefer to eat in numerous cafes and restaurants. Such figures in Belgium are the highest in the world.

RESTAURANT IN BELGIUM

41. This country ranks first in terms of the ratio of Michelin-starred restaurants to the population.

42. The Belgian Adolphe Sachs, who invented the saxophone, originally called his brainchild the mouthpiece ophicleid.

43. Belgians are a very athletic nation. Running, cycling, and hockey are popular. If you say “hockey,” everyone will think of the summer sport on grass.

THE CITY OF BRUGGE

44. The first printed newspapers in the world were published in 1605 in the city of Antwerp, the famous tourist center of Belgium.

45. Belgium has the smallest number of McDonald’s fast food restaurants of any developed European country.

SPA RESORT IN BELGIUM

46. Widespread spas around the world owe their name to the Belgian spa, known for its mineral water springs.

47. Belgians are very fond of traveling, especially to Asia.

48. Belgium, as well as France, are the only countries in the world which do not use the qwerty keyboard, instead they type on the azerty-layout, although it is extremely inconvenient and illogical thing.

49. Belgium was the first country in the world which introduced electronic ID for its citizens. This decision was made in 2003.

50. In Belgium more than 98% of the families have cable TV – the highest percentage in the world.

51. All adult Belgian citizens not only have the right, but are obliged to go to the polls and vote.

52. The average life expectancy of the population of Belgium is 79.2 years.There are simply no immigrants in Belgium. This is due to the very high standard of living.

DINANT CITY.

53. Belgium has the second highest number of issued citizenships to foreigners in the world. The first place in the number of new citizens has been held by Canada for several years now.

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54.Durbuy considers itself the smallest city in the world. Despite the fact that today its population is less than 500 people, it received its status as a city during the Middle Ages and retains it to this day.

55. This country is truly magnificent. Both tourists, who crave new experiences in this calm and measured country, and many immigrants, who are looking for high-paying jobs, come here.

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