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    ___ Belgium

    Blossoming season, Alken, Flemish Brabant, Belgium
    Blossoming season, Alken, Flemish Brabant, Belgium.
    Image: Niele Geypens
     
    Flag of Belgium
    Flag of Belgium
    Location map of Belgium. Where in Europe is Belgium?
    Location map of Belgium
    Destination Belgium, the low-lying country in Western Europe bordering the North Sea between France and the Netherlands, it borders Luxembourg and Germany in east and it shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom.

    The country occupies an area of 30,528 km2, it is about three-fourths the size of neighboring Netherlands, or about the size of the U.S. state of Maryland.

    Belgium is a federal state divided into three regions: Dutch-speaking Flanders in the north, francophone Wallonia in the south and Brussels, the bilingual capital, where French and Dutch share official status. There is also a small German-speaking minority in the eastern part of the country.

    The country has a population of 11,2 million people (in 2016), capital and largest city is Brussels.


    Belgium | Belgique | België | Belgien


    Country Profile



    Background:
    Belgium became independent from the Netherlands after a nationalist revolt in 1830. Occupied and devastated during both world wars, Belgium formed the Benelux Customs Union with the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1948 and became a founding member of the EEC.

    Tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the south have led in recent years to constitutional amendments granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.

    Read more about Belgium's History.
     

     

    Official Name:
    Royaume de Belgique - Koninkrijk Belgie
    local short form: Belgique - België
    int'l long form: Kingdom of Belgium
    int'l short form: Belgium


    ISO Country Code: be, bel
    Time Zone: CET -- Central European Time
    Actual Time: Tue-Nov-17  09:41
    Local Time = UTC +1h
    Daylight Saving Time (DST) March - October (UTC +2)

    Country Calling Code: +32

    Capital: Bruxelles (Brussels - pop. 954 460)

    Other Cities:
    Antwerp (pop. 445,570)
    Brugge (pop. 116,559)
    Charleroi (pop. 202,233)
    Gent (pop. 224,685)
    Liège (pop. 184,550)
    Namur (pop. 105,248)
    Verviers, Waterloo

    Government:
    Federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch
    Independence: 1830 (from the Netherlands)

    Geography:
    Location: Western Europe
    Area: 30,528 km2 (11,786 sq. mi.)
    Highest elevation: Signal de Botrange (694 m)

    Climate: Temperate; mild winters, cool summers; rainy, humid, cloudy

    People:
    Nationality: noun: Belgian(s)
    adjective: Belgian
    Population: 11.2 million (2016)
    GNI per capita PPP: $ 31 549 (year)
    Religions: Predominantly Roman Catholic (although less than 20% practicing); Protestant, Jewish, Islamic, Anglican, Greek and Russian Orthodox recognized.
    Languages: Dutch, French, German
    Linguistic regions: Dutch-speaking 58%; French-speaking 32%; legally bilingual (Brussels) 9.3%; German-speaking 0.7%
    Literacy: 98%.

    Natural resources: Coal, natural gas, construction materials, silica sand, carbonates.

    Agriculture products: Sugar beets, fresh vegetables, fruits, grain, tobacco; beef, veal, pork, milk.

    Industries: Engineering and metal products, motor vehicle assembly, processed food and beverages, chemicals, basic metals, textiles, glass, petroleum.

    Exports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, foodstuffs

    Exports partners: Germany 16.9%, France 15.5%, Netherlands 11.4%, UK 8.8%, USA 6%, Italy 5% (2015)

    Imports - commodities: raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, oil products

    Imports partners: Netherlands 16.7%, Germany 12.7%, France 9.6%, USA 8.7%, UK 5.1%, Ireland 4.7%, China 4.3% (2015)

    Currency: Euro (EUR)
     

    Political system
    Belgium is a federally organized constitutional hereditary monarchy with a bicameral parliament. Head of state is the King. He appoints ministers, including a Prime Minister with parliament approval. Head of government is the Prime Minister.

    The federal legislative power is exercised by the King and the Chamber of Representatives. The two Houses of Parliament are the Chamber of Representatives with 150 and the Senate with 60 members. In Belgium voting is compulsory.

    Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

    Official Sites of Belgium

    royal The Belgian Monarchy
    Official website of the Belgian King and the members of the Royal Family.

    Prime Minister of Belgium
    Belgian Prime Minister’s website.

    Het federale Parlement van België - Le parlement fédéral de la Belgique
    The Federal Parliament of Belgium. The bicameral federal parliament is composed of the Senate (or upper house) and the Chamber of Representatives.

    Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Belgium.

    Portal Belgium.be
    Official portal of Belgium.

    Diplomatic Missions
    Permanent Mission of Belgium to the United Nations
    The Belgian UN Mission.
    Embassy of Belgium
    Washington D.C.
    Belgian Embassies Abroad
    Addresses of Belgian Embassies Abroad.
    Foreign Embassies in Belgium
    Addresses of Foreign Embassies in Belgium.
    Visa for Belgium
    Visa information for Belgium.

    Statistics
    Statistics Belgium
    Directorate-general Statistics and Economic information, the National Institute of Statistics.

    Weather
    Koninklijk Meteorologisch Instituut
    The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium.

    Maps

     Map of Belgium
    Political Map of Belgium.
    Google Earth Google Earth Belgium (Belgie, Belgique)
    Searchable map and satellite view of Belgium.
    Google Earth Google Earth Brussels
    Searchable map and satellite view of Belgium's capital.

    Map of Europe
    Political Map of Europe.



    Grand Place Brussels, Brussels Town Hall and Maison du Roi
    A floral carpet on the Grand Place in Brussels, the building on the left is Brussels Town Hall, the opposite building is known as the Breadhouse or Maison du Roi.
    Image: Wouter Hagens
     

    News


    News in Dutch language:
    De Standaard
    Daily news.
    De Morgen
    Daily news.
    Gazet van Antwerpen
    Daily newspaper.
    Het Laatste Nieuws
    Belgium daily.
    Het Nieuwsblad
    Belgium daily.

    News in French:
    La Libre Belgique
    Belgium and international news.
    Le Soir
    National and international news.

    Belgium News in German:
    Grenzecho

     

    Bookmark/share this page
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    The Grand Place in Brussels
    Grand' Place Brussels
    © BTO/US

    Arts & Culture


    Atomium
    Official Atomium's website of Belgium's most famous landmark.

    Cyberculture
    great site Principia Cybernetica
    Principia Cybernetica tries to tackle age-old philosophical questions with the help of the most recent cybernetic theories and technologies.

    Galleries
    Artsite Belgium
    Gallery List.
    Belgian Art Research Institute
    We plan to publish definitive catalogues raisonnés for several major Belgian artists.

    Famous Belgians
    Hergé Foundation
    Tintins Homepage.
    Jacques Brel
    Belgiums uber-most famous poet and singer. (site is not working)
    Magritte
    Magritte Museum displays works of the surrealist artist and great Belgian painter René Magritte.
    Paul Delvaux
    Foundation Paul Delvaux and museum dedicated to the Belgian painter, associated with Surrealism.
    Rubenshuis Antwerpen
    Peter Paul Rubens home.

    Fashion
    Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts Belgium - Fashion Department
    Think of unconventional fashion and you think of Antwerp.

    Opera
    De Munt/La Monnaie
    La Monnaie Opera House.

    Museum
    Musée de Louvain-la-Neuve
    University museum open to the public in 1979, part of the Department of Archeology and the History of Art, Louvain-la-Neuve.
    Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts- Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten
    Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels.
    Design Museum Gent
    Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Ghent. The accent in the collections and exhibitions lies on 20th century and actual design.
    Palais des Beaux-Arts de Charleroi
    Fine Arts at Charleroi.
    Royal Museums of Art and History
    One of the biggest museum institutions in Belgium.
    Royal Museum for Central Africa
    Part of the Belgian history.
     
     

    Business & Economy


    Belgium's modern, open, and private-enterprise-based economy has capitalized on its central geographic location, highly developed transport network, and diversified industrial and commercial base.

    Industry is concentrated mainly in the more heavily-populated region of Flanders in the north. With few natural resources, Belgium imports substantial quantities of raw materials and exports a large volume of manufactures, making its economy vulnerable to volatility in world markets.

    Belgian banks were severely affected by the international financial crisis in 2008 with three major banks receiving capital injections from the government, and the nationalization of the Belgian retail arm of a Franco-Belgian bank.

    Nationale Bank van België - Banque Nationale de Belgique
    The Central Bank of Belgium.

    Belgian Foreign Trade Agency
    Belgian Trade Promotion Organization.

    Brussels Stock Exchange (BSE)
    Brussels Stock Exchange merged with Paris Bourse, Lisbon Stock Exchange and the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, to form Euronext

    Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Belgium
    The official site of the Belgian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

    business.belgium.be
    Information about investing in Belgium, part of Belgium's Information campaign about investing in Belgium.

    Golden Pages online
    Belgian's yellow pages.

    __Belgian Products
    The Atomium - Brusseles
    Since its creation in 1958, the Atomium has become a symbol of the 20th Century.

    Beer Paradise
    Belgian Breweries.

    Belgian Lace
    Belgian Lace Manufactory.

    Chocolate
    Neuhaus
    Chocolate since 1857.
    COTE D'OR
    Belgian Chocolate.
    Godiva Chocolate
    Godiva Chocolatier was founded in 1926 in Brussels.

    Diamonds
    Diamond High Council - HRD
    More than half of the world's consumption of rough as well as polished and industrial diamonds is traded in Antwerp.


    __Transportation

    Airlines
    Brussels Airlines
    Belgian airline, covering 43 European & 13 African destinations, corporate profile, timetables, etc.
    VLM Airlines
    The former regional business airline is now CityJet, CityJet bought Belgian airline VLM in 2007.

    Airport
    Brussels (Zaventem) International Airport
    Belgium's largest airport (IATA: BRU).
    Brussels South Charleroi Airport
    Second busiest airport Belgium's (IATA: CRL).

    _Rail
    Eurostar
    High-speed passenger train linking London, Paris and Brussels.
    NMBS/SNCB
    The Belgian Railways.
     
     

    Atomium in Brussels
    The Atomium, the unique iconic landmark in Brussels consists of nine interconnected spheres, it is a model of an elementar arrangement of atoms of an iron crystal, enlarged 165 billion times.
    Image: ? atomium.be - SABAM - DJ Sharko

    Destination Belgium - Travel and Tour Guides

    Discover Belgium: Wallonia, Flanders, Brussels, Antwerp, Charleroi, Ghent, Namur, Waterloo
    Accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, tours and much more.


    Office de Promotion du Tourisme Wallonie
    Belgian Tourist Office for Brussels and Wallonia.

    Toerisme Vlaanderen
    Belgian Tourist Office for Brussels and Flanders.

    Belgian National Tourist Office
    Official Site of the Belgian Tourist Office in The Americas.


    Brugge with canal and belfry
    Canal in Brugge, view from Huidenvettersplein with the famous 13th-century belfry in the background.
    Image: Elke Wetzig
    World Heritage Sites in Belgium
    World Heritage Site Historic Centre of Brugge
    Brugge (Bruges) is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders, the Historic Town of Brugge, a medieval historic city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    World Heritage Site La Grand-Place, Brussels
    The central square of Brussel since the Middle Ages, is surrounded by Gothic buildings, guildhalls, Brussels Town Hall, and the Breadhouse building which today houses the Museum of the City of Brussels official website

    World Heritage Site Lifts on the old Canal du Centre
    The four hydraulic boat-lifts on the historic Canal du Centre, near the town of La Louvière, Wallonia, are industrial monuments built in the late 19th and early 20th century.

    World Heritage Site Notre-Dame Cathedral in Tournai
    The Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Tournai was built in the first half of the 12th century. The building combines the work of three design periods. It is especially distinguished by a Romanesque nave of extraordinary dimensions and a wealth of sculpture on its capitals.

    World Heritage Site Plantin-Moretus House-Workshops-Museum Complex
    The Plantin-Moretus Museum is a museum in Antwerp, it was originally a printing plant and publishing house dating from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The complex is is associated with the history of the invention and spread of printing.

    More World Heritage Sites in Belgium official website

    historic Canal du Centre, Wallonia
    The historic Canal du Centre, Wallonia.
    Image: Davidh820
     
    City Guides
    Brussels

    VisitBrussels
    Welcome to the official website of the Tourism and convention bureau of Brussels.
    Welcome to Brussels
    A guide to Brussels.

    Other Belgian Cities:
    City of Antwerp
    Digital Metropolis Antwerp.
    Stad Brugge
    The City of Bruges.
    Ville de Charleroi
    The City of Charleroi.
    Gent
    The City of Ghent.
    Ville de Liège
    The City of Liege.
    Namur
    The City of Namur, the capital of Wallonia.
    Verviers
    The Wallonian Capital of Water.
    Commune de Waterloo
    The City of Waterloo.

    Hotels
    Le Métropole
    Brussels' legendary hotel.

     
    Travel and Tour Consumer Information

     

    Education


    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
    One of the best European universities.
    University of Ghent
    UGent, is one of the major universities in the Dutch-speaking region, founded in 1817 as a Latin-speaking State University.
    Université Libre de Bruxelles
    Founded in 1834.
    University of Liège
    University of Liège was founded in 1817
    Vrije Universiteit Brussel
    Flemish university with a specific ideological basis, namely Free Inquiry, founded in 1970.

    Royal Library Belgium
    Koninklijke Bibliotheek Belgi?; Bibliothèque royale Belgique (Dutch, French)

    Science & Research
    Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
    Museum and research institution.
    Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium
    Official Belgian waether website.
    Royal Observatory of Belgium
    Home of the Belgian astronomy.
    Scientific and Technical Information Service (STIS)
    Information brokerage and document delivery.
    Research.be
    Belgian Portal for Research and Innovation in the fields of Science and Technology.
     
     

    Environment & Nature


    Environmental organizations Belgium

    Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
    Belgium portal site to promote technical and scientific cooperation in the field of biodiversity.

    Greenpeace Belgium
    The Belgian Greenpeace organization (in French nad Dutch).
    Les Amis de la Terre-Belgique
    Friends of the Earth, Belgium.
    VMM - Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij
    The Flemish Environment Agency, a public Flemish institution.
    World Wildlife Fund (WWF) - Belgium
    The Belgian WWF site (in French nad Dutch).
     
     

    History


    Belgium History and politics
    About the different periods of Belgium's history.

    Belgium - Short History
    Outline of Belgian history.

    Genealogy
    Genealogy: Belgium - The BELGIUM-ROOTS Project

     
     

    Sources and additional Information on Belgium


    Amnesty International: Belgium

    BBC Country profile: Belgium

    EU Belgium profile

    FAO Country Profiles - Belgium

    GlobalEDGE: Belgium

    The Heritage Foundation: Belgium

    Human Rights Watch: Belgium

    OEC: Belgium

    Reporters Without Borders: Belgium

    travel.state.gov: Belgium

    UNDP - Human Development Indicators: Belgium

    Wikipedia: Belgium

    Worldbank Data: Belgium

    The World Factbook -- Belgium
     
     Support UNICEF

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    Major Cities in Western Europe
    Amsterdam, Berlin, Bern, Brussels, Bordeaux, Frankfurt, The Hague, Hamburg, Köln (Cologne),
    Luxembourg City, Marseille, Monaco, München (Munich), Paris, Rotterdam, Strasbourg, Stuttgart,
    Toulouse, Vaduz, Vienna (Wien), Zürich 

     
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