The Kingdom of Belgium is located in the northwestern part of Europe. The area of this state is slightly more than 30, 000 square kilometers, and is home to 11 and a half million inhabitants. About 60 percent of the population is Flemish, the remaining 40 are Walloons. The average life expectancy in the country is 78 years.
15 interesting facts about Belgium
- Philippe has been the King of Belgium since 2013. His full name is Philippe Leopold Louis Maria. He has a passion for aviation. Despite the fact that the life of the monarch is precious to the entire country, Philip has about 30 single flights on his account.
- Belgians are terribly offended when they hear that fries are native to the United States of America. in Belgium, they are sure that this very popular dish in the world was invented by them, moreover, at the very beginning of the eighteenth century.
- Belgian fishermen loved small fish that were fried to a crisp crust. And if the catch was meager, then they cut out small figures from the potatoes that looked like fish.
- Belgium is a small country, but this does not prevent it from being one of the world leaders in the production of chocolate. More than 200, 000 tons of it is produced here a year. Bitter chocolate was first made by a pharmacist from Brussels, Johann Neuhaus, and he did not even think about producing a treat, but worked on a powerful cough suppressant. Despite the fact that the 21st century is already in the yard, many varieties of chocolate in Belgium continue to be made by hand.
- In the city of Bruges, the Chocolate Museum is opened, it is located in an old building of the 15th century. For just € 8, visitors can learn about the history of the Belgian chocolate industry. At the same time, each guest of the museum, at the entrance and at the exit, is given a small bar of branded chocolate.
- One of the main sights of Brussels is the Manneken Pis statue. No one can say for sure when and for what reason it was installed. Some historians claim that the statue was erected to commemorate the 12th century Grimbergen War. The son of Gottfried III Levensky was, according to legend, suspended in a cradle on a high tree, from where he "watered" the enemy. according to another version - the boy saved his hometown, baying enemy ammunition, which were laid on the floor of the fortress wall.
- Moneylenders who gave money on the security of jewelry existed in the era of the Ancient World. But, the very first officially registered pawnshop opened on September 28, 1618 in Brussels. Leaving any valuable thing as a pledge, the client could get a loan from a pawnshop. The institution quickly gained popularity, after a while pawnshops began to appear in many countries.
- The unpretentious melody, which we call "Dog Waltz", has many names in different countries of the world. Musicologist from Japan Hiromi Oketani even compiled a mini-guide: according to his data, in Bulgaria it is "Cat's March", in Mexico - "Little Monkeys", in Switzerland - "Cutlet Waltz". Belgium also has an original name - "Flea Waltz".
- Belgium is one of the twenty leading countries in beer consumption per capita. The average Belgian drinks about 75 liters of this drink a year. Experts recognize Belgian beer as one of the best in the world, and even the Academy of Brewing operates at the Catholic University of Leuven.
- In 1920, the Summer Olympic Games were held in Antwerp. It is interesting that it was at this Olympics (summer!) That hockey players competed for the first time. The matches were played on artificial ice at the Antwerp Ice Palace. The champions, as expected, were the Canadians. But the hosts of the tournament were unsuccessful, losing in the quarterfinals to the Swedes with a score of 0: 8.
- But, the most popular sport in Belgium is not hockey, but football. Goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff is recognized as one of the best goalkeepers in the world of the twentieth century. At the 1986 World Cup, the striker of the Soviet national team, Igor Belanov, scored three goals for Pfaff in the 1/8 final match. True, the Belgians went to the next stage, having won 4: 3. In the same year, Belanov won the Ballon d'Or, and in 1987, Pfaff was named the best goalkeeper of the year in the world.
- Antwerp is called the diamond capital of the world. Moreover, he received this unofficial title a long time ago, back in the 16th century, the kings of France ordered diamond jewelry here, and not in their native Paris. And now the best diamond cutters in the world work in Antwerp, the Diamond Exchange is located here and diamond fairs are held.
- In 1842, Master Adolf Sachs designed the world's first saxophone. Sachs himself was born in Belgium, but moved to Paris in 1836. in order to obtain a patent for a saxophone, the master had to spend four whole years, he was accused of fraud, assuring that such a musical instrument simply does not exist.
- The border between Belgium and Holland often runs directly through residential buildings. One room can be in Belgium and the other in Holland. At the same time, the citizenship of the owner of the real estate is determined simply - on whose territory the main entrance is located.
- Some cafes are also separated by a border. More precisely, they were built right on the border, not without intent. According to the law, in the Netherlands, such establishments must close earlier, visitors simply change seats at tables that are located in another country.