[157] There are several Jewish newspapers and more than 45 active synagogues (30 of which are in Antwerp) in the country. Central Intelligence Agency - The World Factbook - Belgium, Belgium - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Belgium - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). It also has a high standard of living, so why wouldn’t you want to live there? [25], — Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico, Book I, Ch. Situated south of the Ardennes and cut off from the rest of the country, Côtes Lorraines is a series of hills with north-facing scarps. Your email address will not be published. If you’ve ever studied your euros closely, you might have noticed differences on the back – Italy has different designs for each coin of different value, for instance. Like Liked by 1 person. [108][112] In 2016, the port of Antwerp handled 214 million tons after a year-on-year growth of 2.7%. The divide has played a key part in the tensions between the Flemish and Walloons in addition to the already-existing language divide. If you’ve spent any time at all in continental Europe, you’ll have noticed how convenient it is to have the same currency when you cross borders. The Belgae were the inhabitants of the northernmost part of Gaul, which was significantly bigger than modern Belgium. During the reigns of Albert I and Baudouin, the Belgian royal family had a reputation of deeply rooted Catholicism. An estimated 60% of the Belgian population are native speakers of Dutch (often referred to as Flemish), and 40% of the population speaks French natively. Brussels is the seat of four of the important institutions of the European Union as well as the NATO. 100cobbledroads says: Because selling American graphic novels and comics was prohibited during World War II, homegrown satirical comics experienced a boom in sales in Belgium. Many Flemish people still speak dialects of Dutch in their local environment. Maritime Flanders, extending inland for about 5 to 10 miles (8 to 16 km), is a region of newly formed and reclaimed land (polders) protected by a line of dunes and dikes and having largely clay soils. It’s believed there are almost 12,000 graves there, and whilst it’s an overwhelming sight it’s incredibly thought-provoking. That’s why most of the important meetings between EU officials are often held in Brussels. Wallonia was historically wealthy compared to Flanders, mostly due to its heavy industries, but the decline of the steel industry post-World War II led to the region's rapid decline, whereas Flanders rose swiftly. A region of sand and clay soils lying between 150 and 650 feet (45 and 200 metres) in elevation, the Central Plateaus cover northern Hainaut, Walloon Brabant, southern Flemish Brabant, and the Hesbaye plateau region of Liège. There are many amazing things to see in this charming city, but the first one of your list should be the Markt. The Jewish Community of Antwerp (numbering some 18,000) is one of the largest in Europe, and one of the last places in the world where Yiddish is the primary language of a large Jewish community (mirroring certain Orthodox and Hasidic communities in New York, New Jersey, and Israel). The opening months of the war were known as the Rape of Belgium due to German excesses. Belgian cinema has brought a number of mainly Flemish novels to life on-screen. [83], Communities exercise their authority only within linguistically determined geographical boundaries, originally oriented towards the individuals of a Community's language: culture (including audiovisual media), education and the use of the relevant language. Brussels hosts the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.

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