Belgium

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The Belgian flag
The Kunstberg or Mont des Arts in Brussels

Belgium,officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal monarchy in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters as well as those of several other major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi), and it has a population of about 11 million people.

Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community (which constitutes about 59% of the population), and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population (which comprises 41% of all Belgians). Additionally, there is a small group of German-speakers that are officially recognized. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region.

Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, which used to cover a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica, which covered more or less the same area. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan center of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, the area of Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, causing it to be dubbed the "Battlefield of Europe," a reputation strengthened by both World Wars.

Quotes[edit]

  • C'est moi qui a sauvé le brol.
    • It was I who saved the rubbish.
    • Prince Charles of Belgium on having saved the monarchy as regent in the 6 years following the second world war, without receiving much gratitude from his brother the king or any of the other royals. [citation needed]
  • Rory: "Lorelai Gilmore". Nope, doesn't sound model-y enough. You need something that stands out more. How about "Waffle"? We could call you Waffle and say you're from Belgium.
  • Ray: I do know a Belgium joke! Okay, what's Belgium famous for? Chocolates and child abuse and they only invented the chocolates to get to the kids.
  • "Belgium" is the rudest word in the universe, which is "completely banned in all parts of the Galaxy, except in one part, where they could not possibly know what it means."

About Belgium[edit]

  • Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae.
    • Of all these, the Belgae are the bravest/strongest.
    • Julius Caesar in De Bello Gallico.
  • He said when he left that he wanted to repair the relationship, and that is very crucial. We need their help in Iraq. The more we can entice others to help us, the less of a target we could be."
  • Après des siècles d'esclavage,
    Le Belge sortant du tombeau,
    A reconquis par son courage,
    Son nom, ses droits et son drapeau,
    Et ta main souveraine et fière,
    Peuple désormais indompté,
    Grava sur ta vieille bannière
    Le Roi, la loi, la liberté.
    • The years of slavery are past,
      The Belgian rejoices once more;
      Courage restores to him at last
      The rights he held of yore.
      Strong and firm his grasp will be—
      Keeping the ancient flag unfurled
      To fling its message on the watchful world:
      For king, for right, for liberty.
    • Alexandre Dechet, La Brabançonne (Belgian National Anthem), written during the Revolution of 1830. Music by François van Campenhout; translation by Florence Attenborough, reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 66.

External links[edit]

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