Belgium (Royaume de Belgique, Koninkrijk België, Königreich Belgien) is a hereditary monarchy composed of 3 Regions (Brussels-capital, Flanders, Wallonia) and of three Communities: French, Flemish and German Language Community. It is a part of the European Union. Belgium borders on the Netherlands to the N, Germany and Luxembourg to the E, France to the S and SW, and the North Sea to the NW.
Belgium is divided into 10 provinces: Antwerp / Antwerpen/ Anvers, East Flanders / Oost-Vlaanderen / Flandre Orientale / Ostflandern, West Flanders / West-Vlaanderen / Flandre Occidentale / Westflandern, Belgian Limburg / Limburg / Limbourg, Hainaut / Hennegouwen / Hennegau, Liège / Luik / Lüttich, Luxembourg, Namur, Flemish Brabant / Vlaams Brabant / Brabant flamand / Flämisch-Brabant, Walloon Brabant / Brabant wallon / Waals-Brabant / Wallonisch-Brabant.
Belgium is a flat country with a low coast and bordered by a strip of sand dunes, by plains (Flanders) or low hills (Brabant and Limburg); the southeastern part of the country is formed by the Ardennes mountains reaching a maximal elevation at the Signal de Botrange at 694 m in the High Fens (Hohes Venn/Hautes-Fagnes/Hoge Venen).
The main rivers in Belgium are the Schelde, crossing Flanders from the south-east to the north-west, the Meuse, which winds through the Mountains of the Ardennes and their tributaries Leie (Lys) and Sambre.
Belgium has a highly developed economy. It is in the center of European trade, while positioned between the great industrial basin of the Rhine Valley and the North Sea. The country’s industry is concentrated in the historic area of Flanders. Since the Middle Ages this area was the commercially most important part of the country. On the other hand important industries are also located in the capital city of Brussels and in the cities of Liège and Charleroi.
English text correction by Dietrich Köster.
- Area: 30,528 km²
- Population: 10,100,000 Flemings 58%, Walloons 31%, mixed or others 11% State
- Capital: Brussels/Bruxelles/Brussel/Brüssel
- Language: Dutch (Flemish): Flanders; French: Wallonia; German: in some eastern areas. 60% of the total population speaks Dutch (Flemish), 40% speaks French, less than 1% speaks German and 11% are legally bilingual in Dutch and French. Dutch is the language of the four provinces of Antwerp, Limburg, East Flanders (Oost-Vlaanderen), and West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen), which form the northern half of the country. French is the language of the four southern Walloon provinces of Hainaut, Liège, Luxembourg, and Namur. The central province of Brabant is divided into three districts: one French-speaking (Nivelles/Nijvel), one Dutch-speaking (Leuven/Louvain) and one bilingual, composed of the 19 boroughs of the capital city Brussels. The majority of the people in the Brussels Metropolitan Area are French-speaking.
- Religion: Catholic (75-80%), Islam, Protestantism.
- Money: Euro (EUR)
- Time: Central European Time UTC+1, Summer Daylight Saving Time UTC+2.