Belgium is a country in Western Europe, that is well known for its medieval cities, Renaissance architecture and as the headquarters of the European Union and NATO. The country has distinct regions, including Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, French-speaking Wallonia in the south and a German-speaking community in the east. The bilingual capital of Brussels offers splendid guild halls in the Grand Place and elegant Art Nouveau buildings.
Belgium has a population of approximately 11.3 million.
It was a Belgian, the priest and physicist Georges Lemaitre, who first came up with what is now called the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe in 1927.
The government of Belgium is a Federal Parliamentary Democracy under a Constitutional Monarchy with both a king and a prime minister.
Belgian men are the second tallest in the world with a height of 181.7cm, only Dutchmen are taller at 182.5cm.
Belgium is officially known as the Kingdom of Belgium.
The Signal de Botrange on the High Fens plateau in far-east Belgium is the highest point at 694m, shorter than the world’s tallest building in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa at 828m.
Brussels is both the capital city and the largest city in Belgium.
Belgium introduced same-sex marriage in 2003, after the Netherlands.
The Flemish make up about 60% of the population.
Euthanasia was legalized in Belgium in 2002.
Approximately 75% of Belgium’s French speakers reside in Wallonia. However, French-speaking inhabitants of Brussels usually do not consider themselves Walloons.
The Law Courts of Brussels is the world’s largest court of justice with a construction area of some 26,000sqm, it is bigger than St Peter’s Basilica in Rome by 5,000sqm.
The people of Brussels are known in French as Bruxellois and in Dutch as Brusselaars.
Belgium’s tax revenue is among the highest in Europe representing around 48 percent of the country’s GDP.
The national flag is black, yellow, and red in three vertical stripes.
The longest tram line in the world is the Kusttram which travels the full 68km of Belgian coast between the French and Dutch borders, making some 68 stops from Knokke-Heist to De Panne and running every 10 minutes during summer peak hours.
The largest and dominant religion in Belgium is the Roman Catholic. Over half the population identifies with this religion.
Belgium is also one of the most cabled countries in the world, where some 97 percent of Belgian households receive cable TV.
Ranking 25th in the world, Belgium’s nominal GDP is estimated at USD 512 billion, and it’s nominal per capita GDP USD 50,510 for 2018.
Belgium is among the top 10 countries for the highest road and railroad density.
Over 97% of Belgians live in urban areas giving it one of the most highly densely populated countries in the world.
Belgian Luc Luycx’s design was the chosen winner of a European Union design competition.
It is among the highest in Western Europe when it comes to homeownership. Government-guaranteed mortgage loans encourage people to construct new homes.
Belgium has the most cycling Tour de France victories of any country except France.
In addition to being well known got their famous waffles, Belgium is also known for a very different kind of snack called moules frites which are mussels served with french fries.
Belgium has more castles per kilometer than any other country in the world.
Belgium-born Adolphe Sax invented the world-famous jazz instrument, the saxophone.
The first evidence of chocolate production in Belgium dates back to 1635. Today Belgium produces over 173,000 tons of the stuff a year, and has an estimated 2,000 chocolate shops.
Antwerp, a Flemish city in Belgium, hosted the first ever World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in 1903.
The Flemish jeweller Lodewyk van Bercken is credited to inventing the first pear cut diamond and the polishing wheel (scaif), which uses diamond dust to cut diamonds to achieve greater precision and more complex cuts. His statue can be seen near Antwerp’s diamond district.
The Belgian Draft Horse originated from Belgium. The world’s tallest living horse is a Belgian Draft Horse named Jake who stands at 20 hands 2.75 inches without horseshoes.
Nearly 80 percent of the world’s billiard balls are made in Belgium.
Belgian Pierre Culliford, who wrote under the pseudonym Peyo, created The Smurfs (Les Schtroumpfs in French) and they debuted in a comic he created called ‘Johan et Prilouit’ back in 1958.