1. Welcome, lone traveler from Ashburn!
Perhaps, Belgium’s best attractions are castles, garden, and just Mother Nature. Though triumphs have emerged though its historic journey, Belgians are generally satisfied and take pride of their predefined world spot. Aside from nature and architecture, Belgium is highly noted for rendering high value towards freedom.
Geography and climate
Belgium is located on the western side of Europe. The country bordered by Netherlands, Germany, France, and Luxembourg is neither large nor small containing only a total area of 30,528 square kilometers.
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On the northwestern region of the country lies a 40-mile stretch of sea coast facing the North Sea. Networks of both small and principal rivers also abound. The rivers and the sea are considered to be vital artillery for Belgium economy aiding transport of imported and exported goods to and from the country and the rest of Europe. The country has three major regions namely; Anglo-Belgian Basin, Hercynian orogenic belt, and the Paris Basin.
Belgium enjoys a taste of the distinct seasons and climates that Western Europe experience; relatively mild winter across the plain, summers are also not classified as extremely hot, there’s a rainy season, and the rest of the year may be cloudy or humid.
History, politics, and economy
Similar to Belgium’s neighbor countries, it was a former province of the great Roman Empire under the rule of Julius Caesar. During this time, Belgium was known as Gallia Belgica. Native settlers of Belgium are known as the Belgae, a race that has its ascendants with mixes of the early Celtic and Germanic tribes. After the Romans, the Franks came in next, afterwards, Charlemagne. After the fall of the Carolinian Empire, Belgium became part of the larger kingdom known as Lotharingia comprised of Belgium with its two neighbor states, Netherlands, and Luxembourg. Later on Lotharingia was absorbed by the German Empire.
Luxembourg and Belgium were subjected to the rule of the king of Netherlands until 1830, the time it gained its independence. During the World Wars I and II, it was politically and militarily occupied by the Nazis (Germans).
Belgium together with Netherlands and Luxembourg were noted in history as the Low Countries. But these Low Countries have essentially enjoyed an economic activity and prosperity far above the rest of Europe or perhaps, the world. All these historical riches can be evidenced by the lavish and luxurious palaces, fortresses, castles, and buildings in Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven, Tournai, Mons, and in many more areas.
Culture, people, and the arts
The most noticeable aspect in Belgium’s history and culture is its strong influence of the Roman Catholic religion. The freedom to choose faith and religion is ensured across the country, but, ever since the time of the “Holy Roman Empire”, Catholicism has been rooted in the people. In fact a lot of Belgian missionaries have crossed the high seas and oceans with the intent of Christianizing majority of the world population.
Languages accepted in Belgium are Dutch, French, and German. But this language diversity didn’t hold back Belgians to institute several artistic movements that have influenced Europe and the rest of the world. Belgium has its fare global share on fine arts, architecture, landscaping, music, dance, and many more. Among the most popular genres include; the Mosan art, Flemish Renaissance, Baroque paintings and architecture, etc.
Other places of interest
Bruges is perfect for historic artifacts and landmark lovers. This particular region is home to majority of the medieval architecture including the feel and atmosphere. Brussels and Antwerp dynamically combine medieval history and current day lifestyle. Ghent can also be cited as the best rival of Paris. Belgium has been one of the melting pots of business and international organization headquarters not only in Europe but also across the globe.