Belgium Fact File
Location: Belgium is a country in Western Europe. It has borders with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Capital: Brussels (also the largest city)
Population: Approximately 11 million
Area: 30528 sq km
Official Languages: Dutch, French and German.
The Flag of Belgium
The colours of the flag (black, yellow and red) were probably taken from the colours of the Duchy of Brabant (an old state in the Netherlands which was established in the 12th century and came to an end in the 15th century). The three vertical colour bands were probably influenced by the French flag.
Other Facts About Belgium
- The two largest regions of Belgium are Wallonia (French speaking) and Flanders (Dutch speaking).
- Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are together known as the Benelux countries.
- Belgium gained its independence (from the Netherlands) in 1831, following the Belgian Revolution.
- Germany invaded Belgium in both World War 1 and World War 2.
- Belgium is one of the founding members of the European Union.
- It is a highly industrialised country and it exports machinery, chemicals, finished diamonds and metal products.
- The famous 16th century map-maker (cartographer), who produced a world map in 1569, was born the region that is now Belgium.
- Most of Belgium’s population live in towns and cities. Some of the largest ones are: Brussels (also the capital of Belgium), Antwerp, Bruges, Liege and Namur.
- Belgium is famous for several different types of food and drink, including: beer, waffles, chocolate and french fries – which many people think originated in Belgium and not France. Belgians love to eat fries with mayonnaise.
- Several sport stars were born in Belgium, including the tennis players Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin, the cyclist Eddy Merckx, and the soccer goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff.
- The 1920 Olympic Games was held in Antwerp in Belgium.
- The actress Audrey Hepburn was born in Belgium, as was Jean-Claude Van Damme.