Belgium is widely known for its chocolates, waffles and beer all over the world. Not only this, French fries were made for the first time in Belgium. As for its size and population, it is a small yet heavily populated country of Western Europe. Belgium is also one of the Low Countries i.e. countries located in coastal areas of Western Europe. Netherlands is another coastal country. Belgium was popularly known as ‘Battlefield of Europe’ because most of the battles between great powers were fought on this land. Now let’s find out more about this small but wonderful European country!
Capital City: Brussels
Official Languages: Dutch, German and French
National Cuisines: ‘mussels with fries’ and ‘steak and fries with salad’
- When Romans attacked this region, they called the entire part of Western Europe as Gaul. Located in the northernmost part, Belgium was one of the three provinces of Gaul.
- The Romans named their province of Belgium as Gallia Belgica. Thus, this name became the origin of the word ‘Belgium’.
- At the time of Roman invasion, the two ethnic groups living in Belgium were Germanic and Celtic tribes.
- In the Belgian Revolution of 1830, southern provinces were seceded from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Thus, it eventually resulted in the formation of Kingdom of Belgium.
- On May 1940, the German forces invaded Belgium. This war, lasted for about 18 days, ended in the victory of Germany. That is why it is known as 18 Days’ Campaign.
Interesting Facts about Belgium
- In 2007, Belgium was ranked 15th among the largest trading nations of the world.
- The standard of education in Belgium is ranked 19th among the best countries of the world.
- Eddy Merckx is a former Belgian cyclist. He is widely known as one of the greatest riders in the history of cycling.
- The Port of Antwerp (Antwerp, city of Belgium) is ranked among the top twenty largest seaports of the world. It ranks second among European seaports.
- The number of Jews in Belgium’s Antwerp is among one of the biggest in Europe.
- Belgium is home to 180 breweries that produce more than 1100 different varieties of beer. The Trappist Beer of Westvleteren Brewery in Belgium is considered to be the best in the world.
- The largest brewer in the world is Anheuser-Busch InBev, which is located in Leuven, Belgium.
- About 60 percent of the population speaks Dutch language. They are known as Flemish. The remaining 40 percent are French-speaking people. They are often referred to as Walloons.
- The three regions into which Belgium is divided are: Flemish Region, Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region.
- The impact of the Industrial Revolution in 1820s was felt first by Belgium, the first country of Europe to experience it.
- Belgian Franc was Belgium’s national currency during the time from 1832 to 2002. In 2002, the euro became its currency.
- Flanders is the most heavily populated region of Belgium.
- With a population of 450,000, Morrocans are by far the biggest group of immigrants in Belgium.
- Every year Belgians drink about 84 liters of beer.