Belgium’s identity is deeply intertwined with chocolate. As the world’s top chocolate producer at 650,000 annual tons, much of Belgium’s chocolate is exported globally. With about 500 chocolatiers and 2,000 chocolate shops, Belgium thoroughly caters to chocolate lovers.
Inventors and Trendsetters
Belgium has spawned famous inventors that have shaped culture worldwide. In 1846, Adolphe Sax patented the saxophone, which revolutionized music. In the 18th century, Joseph Merlin invented an early roller skate by affixing wheels to a wooden plank. The bustling coastal town of Spa originated the term spa to describe health resorts with mineral springs. In addition, you can also read an article on- Luxurious First Class Cabins – The Ultimate Flying Experience
Languages, Governance, and Civic Participation
Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French, and German. After going 541 days without an elected government from 2010–2011 due to disagreements between political parties, Belgium achieved the world record for the longest period a country has been without an official government. Since 1893, voting has been compulsory for Belgians, unlike in many other European countries.
Notable Historical Firsts
Belgium achieved many firsts that later spread globally. Opened in 1762 and still operating today, Le Redoute Casino in Spa is considered the first casino. Shortly before the debut of the Lumière brothers’ cinema in 1895, Belgium hosted the world’s first film screening in Brussels in November 1895. Additionally, you can also read about- World’s Most Stunning and Breathtaking Waterfalls
Several world records are held by Belgium. The Belgian coast hosts the longest tram line globally at 67 km (42 mi) with 68 stops. Belgium has the highest density of castles globally. Nemo 33, opened in 2004, is the world’s deepest swimming pool, at 35 meters (115 feet) deep.
Culture, Tradition, and Nature
Belgium harbors a rich culture, seen in events like Binche and Aalst carnivals and festival giants paraded through villages. Belgium has been a refuge for artists like Victor Hugo and Auguste Rodin fleeing unrest in France. Scenic waterways dot the landscape, including the Strépy-Thieu boat elevator, once the world’s tallest boat lift.
You May Find Interest: Traveling Solo? 4 Safety Tips You Can’t Ignore