Did you know that Belgium is more than just a small European country known for chocolate and beer? Let’s explore its royal family, diverse culture, and enchanting natural surroundings – we’ll uncover 26 remarkable facts about this beautiful nation. From playing an important role in global politics to boasting stunning landscapes waiting to be explored. There are lots of surprises hidden within the boundaries of Belgium which will make you want to visit it for yourself.
Interesting Facts About Belgium
Belgium has a rich history, culture, and monarchy dating back to the 10th century. Belgian chocolates, waffles, and beer are renowned around the world. Explore unique attractions like Manneken Pis & Atomium or discover natural wonders such as the Ardennes Forest & Belgian Coast.
The Belgian flag symbolizes the nation’s long history, unity, and legacy of over 1,000 years. Its varied culture has produced UNESCO World Heritage Sites all across the country. Exploring them reveals a wealth of secrets from bygone eras. Whether touring through its cobblestone cities or taking in majestic scenery, there is much to discover about this delightful land and its past.
1. Belgian Monarchy
The Belgian royal family, headed by King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, have been living at the Royal Palace of Laeken for generations – reflecting on a legacy that dates back to Belgium’s first monarch King Leopold I in 1831. They act as an important symbol of unity and continuity throughout the nation and its past with regard to its colonial empire.
Every year on November 15th, Belgians come together nationwide to celebrate King’s Day, which is solely dedicated to honoring this iconic monarchy along with all it stands for regarding the country’s history.
2. Multilingual Nation
Belgium’s impressive multilingualism is one of its most remarkable features, as it consists of three official languages – Dutch, French, and German. The division in these different language areas can be noticed especially in the regional names. If you are visiting Belgium’s Flemish (Belgian dutch speaking) parts or Walloon (Belgian french speaking) ones, even more so if you arrive at a region with German speakers: each has distinct nomenclature that reflects not only Belgian history but also its identity as an international hub for cultural exchange!
3. UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Exploring Belgium with its magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites will give you a glimpse of the nation’s culture and architecture. You can take a step back in time visiting these places, from the Major Town Houses of Victor Horta to Belfries located both within the country and over in France. Allowing you to learn more about how this beautiful land has grown through history into what it is today, make sure not to miss out on such sites when planning your itinerary!
Belgium is a top destination for food lovers, with its renowned chocolate and waffle delicacies as well as an abundance of breweries from Flanders. Visitors can savor some extraordinary treats such as exquisite pralines or sample authentic Belgian beer all while indulging in crispy Belgian waffles or classic French fries. There are over 2000 types of chocolates produced here and no fewer than 30 varieties of sweet-smelling Belgium waffles to choose from! With so many options available, visitors are sure to experience the very best that this gastronomic paradise has to offer.
4. Belgian Chocolate
Belgium is world-renowned for its chocolate of outstanding flavor and quality. Its history dates back to the 16th century when Dr. Tobias Venner first introduced it in Europe. To this day, all Belgian chocolate must contain at least 35% pure cocoa, making them a luxurious delight!
For Belgians, they are some of the biggest fans of chocolate out there with more than 500 varieties from over 2000 brands available. You won’t want to miss eating while visiting Belgium!
5. Belgian Waffles
Belgium is widely known for its exquisite Belgian waffles, and within the average supermarket of this country, you can discover more than 30 different varieties. Among them are two types that stand out in particular: Brussels and Liege waffles.
The former are characteristically light yet crispy on the outside with a soft texture inside. While in contrast to these, Liege ones possess an intensely sweet taste created by pearl sugar added to their dough that caramelizes once cooked. Whichever one might take your fancy firstly, be sure it will provide total satisfaction as they always deliver delicious results!
6. Beer Culture
Belgian beers have been widely celebrated and honored by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. There are around a thousand to twelve hundred kinds of Belgian beer that were produced locally, so each person can find one suitable for their taste palate.
One must-see spot is the Delirium Café in the capital city of Brussels. It offers over two thousand brews from different nations across the world – more than enough reason for beer connoisseurs to raise a glass and cheer Belgium’s treasured beer culture while they’re there!
Belgium has been home to a number of remarkable individuals who have made essential advances in numerous domains. Two renowned artists, Peter Paul Rubens, and René Magritte, have left behind monumental creations that continue to inspire people around the world. Esteemed scientists such as Georges Lemaître and Adolphe Sax are remembered for their transformative discoveries which extended human comprehension into untried territories.
Literary icons like Hergé or Georges Simenon crafted stories with vivid details, making them popular amongst readers far beyond Belgian borders. Let us reflect on some more famous Belgians and what their contributions meant globally.
7. Renowned Artists
Belgium has been blessed with some of the most talented artists, such as renowned surrealist painter René Magritte and brilliant Baroque artist Peter Paul Rubens. Their extraordinary work continues to influence art today thanks to their groundbreaking methods and stunning imagery.
If you’re ever in Brussels, take the opportunity to explore the Magritte Museum – a showcase dedicated exclusively to his works – where you can contemplate these captivating pieces of artwork that stimulate deeper thinking.
8. Scientific Pioneers
Belgian scientists have made immense contributions to our understanding of the world. Georges Lemaître, a physicist and priest, introduced us to his Hubble-Lemaître law, which is instrumental in forming today’s Big Bang theory concept.
Adolphe Sax crafted the iconic saxophone instrument that has influenced music for years across different genres – reinforcing Belgium’s cultural legacy as an intellectual and creative hub. The accomplishments of these individuals serve as a symbol for their nation’s culture of innovation.
9. Literary Icons
Belgium’s literary heritage is exceptional and renowned. Home to writers such as Hergé, the maker of the iconic comic strips “Adventures of Tintin”, Georges Simenon who wrote gripping crime stories, and Peyo who created the Smurfs. All have produced works that are still widely read today all over the globe.
Their captivating narratives demonstrate how rich Belgium’s culture in literature truly is.
If you know anything about us you know that we are big cycling fans. So I was surprised to learn that Belgium has the most cycling Tour de France victories of any country except France. It also has won 4 gold medals at the Olympics in road cycling. So it seems that cycling is in their blood.
With that being said you will not be surprised to see many people using a bicycle as their main mode of transportation.
Visiting Belgium is a unique experience, full of interesting attractions that provide insight into the nation’s cultural heritage. The most recognizable being Manneken Pis – an iconic sculpture located in Brussels – or the Atomium – which stands as one of its more modern symbols – and numerous castles and fortresses spread throughout its borders. These sights make visiting this European country remarkable!
Let us take some time and appreciate these extraordinary places, only found in Belgium.
11. Manneken Pis
The Manneken Pis is a national symbol of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. It’s an iconic attraction that has been around since 1619. Tales suggest it dates back to the 15th century and had originally been made from bronze to replace its predecessor.
Popular among tourists who appreciate Belgian humor, this charming sculpture captures the spirit of what makes Belgians unique, a delightfully silly statue depicting a young boy urinating into some water!
The Atomium is a unique landmark in Brussels, consisting of six steel spheres interconnected and standing as a representation of Belgian excellence in design and construction. Built for the World’s Fair back in 1958, this structure was meant to recognize the metals industry, which at that time signified an evolution into atomic power.
Visitors today have the opportunity to appreciate its impressive form – maintaining its initial futuristic allure until now – being filled with admiration by what remains such an iconic monument from then until the present times.
13. Castles and Fortresses
Belgium is renowned for its remarkable selection of fortresses and castles that create an atmosphere of nostalgia. From the majestic Alden Biesen Castle to the Frer Fortress, many centuries-old structures reflect a unique part of Belgium’s history as well as featuring elegant design elements with spectacular panoramic views.
For those enthusiastic about architecture or curious travelers seeking out interesting locations, touring through these stunning monuments will leave long-lasting impressions.
Interesting facts about Belgium are highlighted in its unique blend of customs and traditions, which combine both ancient and modern influences. Every December, the country celebrates Sinterklaas with joyous enthusiasm amongst children, while football is a popular pastime among all age groups. Parades across Belgium bring color to festivals, making it a fascinating nation full of captivating culture! Many locals look at their heritage as well as optimistically at what lies ahead for them. This range creates an exciting variety that marks out the Belgian lifestyle and ensures this land remains distinctively memorable!
14. Sinterklaas Celebration
Belgians enthusiastically anticipate December 6th as it marks the day of their treasured Sinterklaas celebration. On this festive occasion, St. Nicholas is greeted with great excitement and brings presents to children who have been good throughout the year. Traditionally, they lay out shoes containing hay and a carrot for his horse on that night in anticipation of his arrival! As streets are filled with vibrant parades and joyous laughter during this time every year. No wonder why Sinterklaas has become such an important part of Belgian culture.
When it comes to football, Belgians cannot deny their passion for the sport. The Red Devils, Belgium’s national team, have captivated thousands of people nationwide and beyond with its match victories. Football in this country has a unique ability to bring individuals together no matter culture or background, forming an unbreakable bond between fans that truly reflect how they feel about the game itself!
During any big events involving soccer in Belgium, you will be sure to experience sheer excitement from every corner due to locals’ extreme admiration towards the Red Devils as one collective group which can only strengthen such an amazing sense of community within the nation!
16. Festivals and Parades
Belgium’s festivals and parades are renowned for their vibrant spirit, which can be experienced in popular events such as the Parade of Music in Brussels and the Aalst Carnival. Millions flock to these joyous occasions each year where they revel in an atmosphere of live music, dancing, and stunning costumes. Don’t forget “Tomorrowland”, which is the largest electronic dance music festival in the world!
These lively festivities immerse visitors with a captivating energy that makes Belgium’s parade scene unique – whether it’s an age-old custom or a modern musical event!
Surprising Belgian Facts
Belgium is chock full of astonishing facts, like its ability to go without a government and the fact that it holds home to the tallest people in Europe. Such points are reflective of this nation’s rich culture and history, which has given rise to several fascinating Belgium facts.
Herein we will explore some interesting aspects about Belgium such as how they invented the saxophone or their role during World Wide Web development. All these impressive details show just why this country remains unique from all others!
17. Functioning Without a Government
Belgium’s citizens showed their resilience in a remarkable way when the country set a world record by operating without an elected government for 589 days between 2010 and 2011. Even though it was difficult to bring together its many divided regions with diverse political views, the people of Belgium kept functioning through this period due to the presence of an interim caretaker administration. This feat allowed them to show that politics should not be able to stop progress or halt any great strides being made toward success!
18. Tallest People in Europe
Belgians tend to stand out from other European nations when it comes to their height. Men have an average of 184.8 cm, while women measure 170.4 on the scale. Both figures put them among the tallest people in Europe overall. Despite the debate surrounding why they are so tall, what remains constant is that Belgians tower above many of their neighbors across the continent and this contributes significantly towards making Belgium a unique place with its own set of distinctive characteristics.
19. The invention of the Saxophone
Adolphe Sax, an inventor, and musician from Belgium is credited with the invention of one instrument that has had a lasting impact on many genres of music, the saxophone. This remarkable creation was first developed by him in the 1840s and continues to mesmerize people throughout this day.
The versatility it offers makes it evident why his genius contribution carries such value across national borders. Indeed paying homage to Belgian’s creativity and innovation!
Not only is Belgium known for its chocolates it is also known for its diamonds. As a matter of fact, Antwerp is recognized as the diamond capital of the world as it accounts for 80% of the diamond trade. Trading in diamonds has a long history in Antwerp dating back to as early as 1447 when it is believed the first diamonds were traded in the city.
So if you are looking to get that special someone something sparkling for their finger or neck then make sure to add Antwerp to your Belgium bucket list.
21. Highest Point is Lower Than The World’s Tallest Building
Belgium is not a European country that is known for its mountains and this fact really drives that point home. The highest point in Belgium is the Signal de Botrange on the High Fens plateau in the far east of the country. Standing at just 694m or 2227 feet, it is actually shorter than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is the tallest building in the world at 828 meters or 2717 ft high.
Belgium’s Role in International Relations
As a founding member of the European Union, Belgium serves as an important hub for international affairs. It is also home to NATO headquarters and combines many different cultures from around Europe. All these factors give it great influence on global policy development and encourage collaboration between nations.
Its central role in such matters has had huge repercussions throughout the world, making its place at the negotiating table essential when it comes to handling international issues related to peacekeeping or trade negotiations. By hosting key meetings that shape relationships worldwide and actively participating in them with innovative ideas, Belgium makes itself invaluable within the wider sphere of diplomatic relations.
22. Founding Member of the European Union
Belgium has played a foundational role in the European Union since its formation and remains an important player within it. Brussels, as well as being the capital city, is often referred to as “the unofficial capital of the EU”, is home to many key organizations that make up Europe’s political and economic landscape. Consequently, Belgium’s presence continues to be felt all over Europe today.
The country was instrumental in creating what would later become known as the European Community, which eventually developed into the major union we know now. Evidence of how much power their participation still holds in deciding matters related to commerce and politics among other aspects that shape our daily life here on the continent of Europe.
23. NATO Headquarters
Belgium stands out for its commitment to promoting peace and security in Europe, hosting the NATO headquarters in Brussels as a tangible symbol of that resolve. Through its part in developing worldwide protection policies and maintaining dialogue among member countries from around the globe, Belgium plays an integral role at this hub of international collaboration. This provides them with a platform to contribute significantly towards keeping global peace and stability intact.
24. Crossroads of Western Europe
Due to its highly strategic location in the center of Western Europe, Belgium has long been a crossroads for culture and ideas. Its role as a major player in international relations can be attributed largely to this fact. It is also what enabled the country’s distinctive traditions within literature, art, science, and more.
The nation’s involvement with establishing the European Union was hugely significant and demonstrates how important Belgian geography is when understanding its history – indeed making up an integral part of their identity today.
Belgian Natural Wonders
Belgium has countless attractive and varying natural sights which astound travelers. In particular, the Ardennes Forest and Belgium’s Coastal region both provide respite from city living with their splendid features. For an unforgettable holiday break, one can indulge in outdoor activities or relax at these charming attractions of this country. The Belgian Coast is a particularly popular destination among nature lovers who appreciate its charm for restful escapes outdoors.
25. Ardennes Forest
Sprawled across Belgium, France and Luxembourg lies the mesmerizing Ardennes Forest. This wooded plateau is home to rolling hillsides, a luxuriant abundance of foliage, and ravines that make it an idyllic retreat for nature lovers everywhere.
The peacefulness here allows one to witness its abundant wildlife such as deer, wild boar, and birds of prey that reside within this Belgian beauty, making it perfect for outdoor adventurers looking to experience all sorts of natural wonders in their travels around the country.
26. Belgian Coast
The Belgian Coast stretches for 65 km along the North Sea, a renowned tourist destination admired for its small cities, sandy beaches, and busy fishing towns. The area of the coastline holds all kinds of attractions from Ostend to Nieuwpoort – two traditional places – as well as Knokke-Heist with plenty more up-and-coming sights.
Visiting this pleasant region is much easier than ever before due to having the longest tram line in existence running alongside it!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are 3 fun facts about Belgium?
Belgium is an intriguing country, full of fun facts to explore. For instance, it can be said that the famous Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels. To this famed citizen, Belgium holds a unique world record: having gone without a government for the longest period! There’s another aspect of Belgian life that makes them beloved all over, their production of 220 000 tonnes annually when it comes to chocolate!
What is Belgium mostly known for?
Belgium is most renowned for its diamond industry, delectable chocolates and waffles, distinct three official languages, complex political system, medieval cities, vibrant music festivals, iconic Red Devils national football team, and delicious beers. Visiting Belgium promises a unique cultural experience!
What are 3 historical facts about Belgium?
Belgium is a land with an abundant and invigorating past, having been part of the Roman Empire, and held under French dominion as well as Dutch control. It was also one of the founding nations in establishing the European Union. Belgium is also known for being the place where Napoleon suffered his final defeat at the Battle of Waterloo.
The country has grown its fame thanks to its culinary prowess and illustrious beer tradition, which makes it an attractive place that tourists love! These are a few highlights showcasing what makes Belgium’s history so remarkable!
Where is Belgium?
Belgium, located in Western Europe between France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany, is a small yet influential nation. It offers an abundance of activities for people eager to explore its cities teeming with energy and life as well as quaint medieval towns scattered throughout the picturesque landscape.
Belgium is a captivating country full of alluring attractions and stunning natural wonders. It has had an influential history, diverse culture, notable contributions to art and science, as well as international significance. This beautiful nation provides travelers with unique opportunities for exploration. Its combination of traditional heritage fused with modern elements offers something interesting that can spark any adventure!