Koninkrijk België (ndl.)
Royaume de Belgique (frz.)
Kingdom of Belgium (dt.)
Nationalflagge Belgiens: Vertikale Streifen in Blockform, von links in schwarz, gelb, rot.
Wappen Belgiens
(detail) (detail)

Wahlspruch: Eendracht makes ( ndl.) for L'union
fait la force ( frz.) agreement
maakt makes strongly

office languages Netherlands, French and German
capital Brussels
system of government parliamentary monarchy
king Albert II.
Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt
surface 32,545 km ²
number of inhabitants 10.445.852 (1. January 2005)
Population density of 342 inhabitants per km ²
gros domestic product/inhabitant 29,408 US-$ (2004)
currency euro
time belt MEZ (UTC +1)
national anthem La Brabançonne (De Brabançonne)
Kfz characteristic B
internet TLD .be
preselection +32
Lage Belgiens in Europa
Karte Belgiens

Belgium (ndl.: België, franz.: Belgique), officially Kingdom of Belgium (ndl.: Koninkrijk België, franz.: Royaume de Belgique) is one föderal organized parliamentary monarchy in Western Europe. It borders on the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, France and to the North Sea. With the Netherlands and Luxembourg together Belgium forms the Beneluxstaaten.

Table of contents


  • geographical center: Nile Saint Vincent
  • highest collection: Signal de Botrange (694 m in the high Venn)
  • most convenient locality: Mürringen + Rocherath (655 m).

Belgium is a relatively flat country, only in the southeast gives it the mountain country that Ardennen. The coastal line extends to 72,3 km. 25 per cent of the land surface for agriculture are used. Live approximately 85 per cent of all Belgians in cities. According to the computations of the royal Belgian institute for natural sciences Belgium has a surface of 33,990 km ².



population trend (x1000) 1961-2002

in the many people state Belgium live niederdeutschländische (down-Frankish) Flemings (59% the Bevölkung), French Wallonen (40%) and West German middle Franconia (Ripuari Rhine Franconias)(1%) together. The further resident population consists of Zugewanderten of many parts of Europe (in particular from Poland and Italy) and Morocco.


about 60% (71% in 1981) the Belgian are Roman catholic, approx. 1% belong to one Protestant church on and 4% Islamic municipalities. The rate of convinced Atheisten (28%) is particularly high. About 7% of the population do not belong to a religious community.

See also: Catholic church in Belgium


major item: History of Belgium

as provinceBelgica already in the Roman realm under this name admits, experienced the today's area Belgium many rule. It was in the Middle Ages part of the Frankish realm and when its division was likewise divided; it was predominantly a component of the holy Roman realm anddisintegrated into individual duchies and counties. The individual territories were governed later by the house Burgund, which was beerbt 1477 by the having citizens. First the Spanish branch of the having citizens governed, thereafter the Austrian one. 1815, on the Viennese congress,Belgium was awarded to the Netherlands.

1830 came it to the Belgian revolution into their consequence Belgium became independent. A parliamentary monarchy was established and appointed Leopold from Saxonia Coburg to the first king. Leopold II., Son of the first king, acquired that The Congo in Africa, first as private property, later than colony, which brought wealth to the royal family and the country. The Congo became also admits by the crimes exercised there of the Belgian Besatzer. 1960 became the colony the Congo into independencedismisses.

In the First World War the neutral country was included into the military conflicts between France and the German Reich and nearly completely taken by the imperial German army. In the position warfare in Belgium many cities in Flanders were destroyed. AsReconciliation for it, as well as for the suffered crew and the numerous civilian and military victims, annektierte Belgium after the war the areas of the region by the majority inhabited by Germans around Eupen and Malmedy, those of the moreover one of called in areas up to the Rhinethe state however were not transferred; the contractually agreed upon popular vote in Eupen Malmedy was not accomplished by the Belgian state. In the Second World War the country behaved at first neutrally, however again as transit country to France was occupied and arrived in such a way inthe sphere of influence of the Hitler dictatorship in the German Reich. Up to release by the westallied it - like half Europe - had to suffer the Jewish population under their pursuit from the arbitrary government of the Nazis and; Cities and landscapes remained however to a large extentfrom war destruction exempts. Only in the east of the country, particularly around sank Vith and Bastogne, came it to heavy destruction due to the Ardennenoffensive in the winter 1944 - 1945.

Those already since 1944 planned tariff and restaurant unit of Belgium,the Netherlands and Luxembourg became in Hague the contract at the 3. February 1958 agreed upon and is at the 1. November 1960 into force stepped (Benelux states). Since that time Belgium belonged to the founder states of the EEC and plays an important rolein the European agreement process. The country became seat of international organizations, like NATO and the European union.

See also: List of the Belgian Prime Ministers, the Belgian Congo


Belgium is a state organized parliamentary monarchy.

The Föderalstaatfrom the king and 15 members entrusted by the parliament is formed (executive), as well as for the federal parliament (legislation). The parliament consists of the chamber of deputies with 150 members and the senate with 71 members. While the chamber power of decision in affairs of household and the question of confidence, has the senate apart from a consulting function has power of decision with interest conflicts between the regional parliaments.

The föderalen institutions are responsible for judiciary, financial policy, internal security, foreign policy, national defense and social security.

Parties: (most parties are either flämisch/Netherlands, French/wallonisch or German)

  • Ecolo, the wallonische Greens (to time of 4 seats in the chamber of deputies)
  • Groen!, formerly Agalev, the flämische Greens
  • VLD, Vlaamse liberal EN Democraten, flämische liberals (to time of 25 seats in the chamber of deputies)
  • MR, Mouvement Réformateur, or a party for liberty and progress,wallonische liberals (to time of 25 seats in the chamber of deputies)
  • Vivant, country wide liberals
  • CD&V, Christian-democratically & Vlaams, flämische Christian democrats (to time of 21 seats in the chamber of deputies)
  • CDH, democratic and Humanisti center, wallonische Christian democrats (to time of 7 seats in the chamber of deputies)
  • SP.a, Sociaal Progressief Alternatief, flämische socialists (to time of 23 seats in the chamber of deputies)
  • HP, a socialist party, wallonische socialists (to time of 25 seats in the chamber of deputies)
  • Vlaams importance, formerly Vlaams Blok, flämische nationalists (to time of 18 seats in the chamber of deputies)
  • FN, Le front national, wallonische nationalists (to time 1 seat in the chamber of deputies)
  • N-VA, follow-up part egg of the Volksunie, alliance with CD&V (to time 1 seat in the chamber of deputies)
  • MIRROR-IMAGE-GUESSED/ADVISED, follow-up part egg of the Volksunie, alliance with SP.a
  • PDB, a party of the German-speaking Belgians

Belgium is particularly coined/shaped between the flämischen and wallonischen group of peoples of internal tearing upness. Tendentious the tensions increase rather and radical parties, which endorse a dissolution of the total state, as for instance the Vlaams importance, win more and more onMeaning.

See also: Flämisch wallonischer conflict

political arrangement

major item: Political arrangement of Belgium

Belgium is consisting since 1993 a Federal State, of the regions Flanders, Wallonie as well as Brussels. Beyond that the three ( speaking) communities ( Flämi community exist, French community and German-language community of Belgium). Regions and communities have different competencies and are territorially not congruent. The authority of the regions is above all economic kind, while the authority of the communities of rather cultural kind (above all politico-educational kind)are.

In detail the following applies:

  • The Flämi community covers the region Flanders as well as the niederländischsprachigen municipalities in the capital region Brussels.
  • The German-language community covers the two German-language cantons sank Vith and Eupen and belongs to the Walloni region.
  • The Französischsprachige communityin all other respects covers the Wallonie as well as the französischsprachigen municipalities in the capital region Brussels.

The regions Flanders and Wallonie are for their part divided into five provinces in each case.



the lowest level of the autonomy form the 589 municipalities.


Belgium is an important transit country between Central Europe and Western Europe.

The most important port is Antwerp to the Schelde, one of the largest and most important seas port of the world.

The most important airport of the country is Zaventem.

Belgium possesses muchwell removed motorway net, whatever is like all other roads in Belgium completely equipped with strassenlaternen and lit at night.

The national railway company is called NMBS/SNCB and operates one at the closest developed traction network world-wide.

Belgium possesses two in enterprise Atomic power plants. 1999 were decided an atomic door of the parliament (see also: Nuclear energy to countries)



the Ardennen

the tourism plays a large role in Belgium. Above all the British, Frenchmen and Dutchmen visit Belgium. In addition with the British a kind the First world war World War developed. In west Flanders still many old war thinking marks are located and - cemeteries. Besides are the holidays bathing resorts at the Belgian North Sea Coast (Bredene, De Panne, Nieuwpoort, Oostende and. A.) much likes. In addition also the Ardennen is a much visited vacation region. From the Belgian North Sea Coast one can undertake many daily routes, approximately inthe neighboring countries France and the Netherlands or Great Britain. As particularly recommendable also city routes have themselves after (Brussels, hate ELT, Gent, Antwerp and. A.) proved. The city Brügge is however probably the city with the largest tourism. Alsotimes Venice of the north is called.

language controversy

for some years is Belgium a zerstrittenes country, since the economy of the wallonischen region is in a recession phase. This economic problem shows up clearly in the gross national product, from that two thirdsin the flämischen region and only one third in the wallonischen region to be gained. The flämische region pays however one solvent-work-carries, which is used in the Wallonie particularly for social security benefits. Nevertheless the payment becomes this Solidarbetrags of the flämischenRegion not simply so accepted. Increasing displeasure over the economic weakness of the wallonischen region makes itself broad in Flanders, which particularly in a Separatistenbewegung manifested itself. Like that are about 51% of the Flemings for a splitting of Belgium.

Evenafter 175-jährigem existence is Belgium still no some country.

between 1992 and 2000 the portion

of the public expenditures for the health service was to public expenditures for health, education


Belgian personalities

see also: Well-known Belgian would list

Catering trade

a typical totalBelgian kitchen does not give it to assign there numerous specialities rather to the Regionenen Flanders or Wallonie is or from the cook arts of the neighboring countries, in particular France (more exact: Lorraine), are inspired. It became however a world-well-known invention in Belgiummade, which is frequently wrongly arranged:Pommes Frites. Waffeln represent likewise a Belgian speciality. The most well-known Waffelvarianten is the Brussels Waffeln and the Lütticher Waffeln. The moreover one Belgium is well-known for its chocolates, which belong to the world point.A further characteristic is is those sort variety of the Belgian beers, under it numerous abbey beers (Abdijbier, Bière d'Abbaye) with higher alcohol content, in special way vergorene beers (z. B.Lambic) or with fruit flavours shifted beers. To most common beer places are Jupiler and Stella Artois, which belong both to the Belgian brewery company Inbev, jemaliges Interbrew.


the most popular sport in Belgium is football. The 1. Belgian league is one the oldest world. In the 70 andThe Belgian national team belonged to 80 years of the last century (also: Red devil) to the international point. For the soccer world championship 2006 Belgium did not qualify itself. (See also: Football in Belgium)

Belgium brought out also some famousnesses in the cycle racing. Sobelonged and belong Eddy Merckx, Roger De Vlaeminck, Johan Museeuw, Tom Boonen as well as Peter van Petegem to the best bicycle drivers of the world.

The round course of Spa Franchorchamps to one of the most fastidious distances in engine haven here become belonged inregular distances running delivered. As previous year the formula 1 and the DTM, which are not delivered this year however. One of the high points is probably the Proximus 24 hours running, which is delivered each year.


Comicsare generally very popular in Belgium, there originate also many famous Comiczeichner and authors from Belgium. The most famous are Jean Graton (Michel Vaillant), Morris (Lucky hatch), Hergé (Tim and Struppi), Peyo (the Schlümpfe and further), Franquin (Spirou and Fantasio, gas clay/tone and Marsupilami) and Philippe Geluck (Le Chat).

In Belgium it is also possible, for Comic as course of studies at academies of art like the royal academy for screen end art and that To study Institut Saint Luc in Brussels.


  • sank Nikolaus (6. December) is by far more important in some regions than Christmas. In many families one is too sank Nikolaus the gifts and to Christmas only to the fair goes.
  • Summer time: of last Sunday in March up to last Sunday in October, GMT + one hour.


the education system is different in Belgium due to the powers of the individual communities handing far, the university nature became however inCourse of the Bologna process on between-joint and European level standardizes to a large extent. The föderale instance of Belgium is responsible for the pensions of the teachers, the establishment of the minimum knowledge for the acquisition of a diploma and for the compulsory schooling (of 6. up to 18. Lebensjahr).

Belgium has 11 universities: Niederländischsprachig: Catholic University of lion (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - KUL), University of Gent, University of Antwerp (UA), transnational University of Limburg (University of hate ELT - UHasselt & University of Maastricht - the around/Netherlands), free University of Brussels (Vrije UniversiteitBrussels - VUB), catholic University of Brussels (Katholieke Universiteit Brussels - KUB); Französischsprachig: Université Libre de Bruxelles, Facultés Universitaires Saint Louis à Bruxelles, Université de Liège, École Polytechnique de Mons, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix Namur, Université Catholique de Louvain.

The universities single faculties on an equal footing are the Evangelist-theological faculty lion (Evangelist theological Faculteit), the faculty for Protestant theology Brussels (Faculteit voor Protestantse Godgeleerdheid) and the royal military school (Koninklijke Militaire School).

Beside the universities exist in the three communities numerous universities (striking width unit Ecoles/Hogeschools) and several academies of art (Ecoles Supérieures kinds).

starting from two and a half or

four years children normally visit school in Flanders a kindKindergarten with preparatory school (Kleuteronderwijs). Starting from six years the children go six years on the primary school (Basisonderwijs). Belgian one and/or. flämische schools are officially (Flämi community), free (subsidized; usually catholic schools) or privately (does not subsidize). It shows upthe tendency that catholic schools have usually a higher level than national. That does not apply however. The first foreign language is French, which is informed starting from the fifth Lehrjahr. starting from the seventh Lehrjahr becomesinstruction then on one of the secondary schools taken.

The secondary level schools (second and air Onderwijs) are partitioned as follows:

a) First school stage (of 12. - 14. Year)

b) second and third school stage (of 14. - 18. Year): Choice between

  • ASO (general secondary instruction)
  • KSO(Art-forming secondary instruction)
  • TSO (technical secondary instruction)
  • BSO (vocational secondary instruction)

C) fourth school stage (starting from that 18. Year; no compulsory schooling): mainly one

has nursing for the sick schools English instruction starting from the second Lehrjahr of secondary instruction on a ASO. Usually a pupil can betweenthe following directions select:Mathematics, Greek, latin, natural sciences. In the later years still further directions are added such as economics/trade, human sciences and modern trend languages. A majority the Belgian pupil of the fifth and sixth class on a ASOalso at least one hour of German per week has, sometimes also 3.
On KSO schools, which exist rarely, if, then mostly just in very large cities, the pupil has the selection between e.g. Comiczeichnen, Computergrafik etc. The pupil takes however nevertheless alsoat English and French instruction as well as mathematics part. With the Diploma second and air Onderwijs ( Abitur) is locked, with which one receives entrance to a higher education.

Since compulsory schooling to 18 exists, one, as soon as this age was reached, can leave the schoolor wait, until one got the “Diploma”. Exceptions form BSO schools: There one can leave already in former times the school and follow the compulsory schooling with teachings/a professional training.


the carbon dioxide output per head of the country belongs to the world-wide highest.

see also


  • franc of mountains, Alexander Grasse: Belgium - decay or föderales future model?. The flämisch wallonische conflict and the German-language community.Leske and Budrich, Opladen2003 (regionalization in Europe, volume 3), ISBN 3-8100-3486-X

Web on the left of

Wiktionary: Belgium - word origin, synonyms and translations
Wikiquote: Belgian proverbs - quotations
Commons: Category: Belgium - pictures, videos and/or audio files

coordinates: 50° 32 ' N, 4° 46 ' O


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