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___ Belgium

Destination Belgium: about many aspects of this Benelux country. Here you will find comprehensive information about Belgium in its diversity: geography, economy, science, people, culture, environment, government and history.
You will have access to newspapers from Belgium and you will find extensive travel and tourism information for Belgium.
the Grand Place in Brussels
Grand' Place Brussels © BTO/US
 

Belgium | Belgique | België | Belgien

Country Profile



Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium

Background:
Belgium became independent from the Netherlands in 1830 and was occupied by Germany during World Wars I and II.
It has prospered in the past half century as a modern, technologically advanced European state and member of NATO and the EU.
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.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)

border countries: France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Belgium shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom.

 
Where in Europe is Belgium?

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
Time Zone: CET -- Central European Time
Actual Time: Thu-July-31  15:29
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: 10.9 million (2011)
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 partners: Germany 19.5%, France 17.4%, Netherlands 11.7%, UK 9%, USA 6.7%, Italy 5.4% (2003)

Imports partners: Germany 17.7%, Netherlands 16.5%, France 13.2%, UK 7.5%, USA 5.9%, Ireland 5.7% (2003)

Currency: Euro (EUR)

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.

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.
 

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

 

 

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


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.
 
 

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.

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
BelgiumHospitality.com
Find and book hotels and venues in Brussels and others cities of Belgium.
Le Métropole
Brussels' legendary hotel.

More Hotels
Hotels in Belgium
Find Hotels in Belgium.
 

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 België; 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

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

 
 

Search

Webwatch
First Belgian Search Engine.

Country Profiles:
BBC News Country profile: Belgium

FAO Country Profiles - Belgium

FCO: Belgium
A UK Foreign Office country profile.

EU Belgium profile

Open Directory: Belgium

travel.state.gov: Belgium

UNDP - Human Development Indicators: Belgium

Wikipedia: Belgium
Worldbank Data: Belgium
The World Factbook -- Belgium
 
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Actually, there are more than five colors,

Baron de Coubertin would have loved to use them all.

Why is it, that Gay and Lesbian people still are victims of persecution, harassment, and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm or worse?
Our world would be much poorer and colder without the creativity and ingenuity of the colorful LGBT* culture.
So, get up, stand up, and don't let it happen again and again and again.

Nature made sure, that all men are able to love each other without distinction of gender. This ability empowers humans to care for and to help each other. Natures gift simply secures the survival of the species.
But in some societies this natural law has been neglected by religions, governments and other interest groups in favour for better controllable straight-laced communities.

But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth
(lyrics from the song Get Up, Stand Up)
Bob Marley



* LGBT - acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Declaration of Human Rights

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.