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The Kingdom of Belgium is a country in western Europe bordered by France, The Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. It is famed for its beer, chocolate and waffles, but also politics as it is home to the headquarters of the European Union.

The country gained its independence from The Netherlands in 1830 but served as the battleground between many European powers, causing it to be dubbed the “Battlefield of Europe.”

Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO and is a part of the Benelux Union alongside The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Belgium is a developed country and is categorised as “very high” in the Human Development Index.

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Did you know?

  • Belgium became the second country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2003, taking The Netherlands’ lead.

  • Although they have been associated more with Hollywood than Hasselt recently, The Smurfs were actually the creation of Peyo, a Belgian cartoonist who first introduced the blue creatures as a comic strip in 1958.

  • Belgium is split into 10 provinces, one of which is called Luxembourg. Luxembourg is the country’s biggest province by area and, confusingly, borders the country of Luxembourg – although they are spoken with different pronunciations.

  • French fries are believed to have originated in Belgium, not France like the food’s name would suggest.

  • Belgium has more castles per kilometre than any other country on Earth.