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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 01:27AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
This is the thread that is dedicated to and is about the country of Belgium.



We have World Hosts that are folks who are helping out with the country threads. There can be multiple group members who are World Hosts for any country.

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and the North Sea.

It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi) and has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups: the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59% of the population, and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population, which comprises 41% of all Belgians.

Additionally, there is a small group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area, and bordering Germany.

Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (along with parts of Northern France and Western Germany) were known as the Low Countries; it once covered a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica.

From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, the area of Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, causing it to be dubbed the "Battlefield of Europe," a reputation strengthened by both world wars.

Today, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other. Its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia.

The Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual (French and Dutch) enclave within the Flemish Region.

A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia.

Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.

Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased; there is significant separatism particularly among the Flemish; controversial language laws exist such as the municipalities with language facilities; and the formation of a coalition government took 18 months following the June 2010 federal election, a world record.

Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels.

Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO, and a part of the trilateral Benelux Union. Its capital, Brussels, hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is also a part of the Schengen Area. Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index.

Remainder of Article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium

Source: Wikipedia

Location:





Flag:


National Flag


Variant Flag of Belgium
Use: Civil Ensign


Variant Flag of Belgium
Use: State Ensign



Variant Flag of Belgium
Use: Naval Ensign



The flag on the Royal Palace of Brussels


message 2: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 01:20AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Belgium Country Profile from the BBC:

For such a small country, Belgium has been a major European battleground over the centuries.

Occupied by Germany during the First and Second World Wars, it has experienced an economic boom in the past 50 years to become a model Western European liberal democracy.

However, there has also been a growing divide between the mainly Dutch-speaking north and the mainly French-speaking south, as well as concerns about the growth of Islamic extremism among immigrant communities in the capital, Brussels.

Brussels is the headquarters of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), making it the polyglot home of an army of international diplomats and civil servants.

Key facts - Kingdom of Belgium
Capital: Brussels

10.8m population - similar to Somalia

30,528 sq km area - similar to Lesotho

77 - 83 years - life expectancy (men - women)

$41,700 GDP per capita - similar to Finland

UN, World Bank, CIA World Facebook

LEADERS:


Monarch: King Philippe and Queen Mathilde

King Philippe succeeded to the throne in July 2013 on the abdication of his father, the 79-year-old Albert II, who stepped down on health grounds.

Respect for the monarchy is one of the few factors that crosses the communal divide in Belgium, and King Albert exercised his constitutional authority in advising political leaders on the formation of a government during the 2010-2011 parliamentary stalemate.

Prime minister: Charles Michel



Following elections, Reform Movement leader Charles Michel formed a right-wing coalition in October 2014, becoming at 38 the country's youngest prime minister since 1841.

His liberal party comes from the French-speaking community, but the other three parties in the coalition represent Flemish speakers - including the nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), which came first in the elections.

Read Fuller Biographies:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-...

MEDIA



Belgian broadcasting mirrors the unique political and linguistic nature of the country. The cultural communities, rather than the federal authorities, are responsible for regulating radio and TV.

Read full media profile:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-...

TIMELINE:

Some key dates in Belgium's history:

1830 - Declaration of independence from Netherlands.

1914-18 First World War - Occupied by Germany.

1940-45 Second World War - German occupation.

1993 - Constitution changed to recognise division of country into three administrative regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.

2002 - Euro replaces Belgian franc.

2016 March - Islamic State suicide bombers kill 35 people in attacks on Brussels.

http://ichef-1.bbci.co.uk/news/834/cp...
Belgians take flight during World War II

Read a fuller timeline:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-...

Source for all of above: BBC
Images: Getty Images


message 3: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Coat of Arms:




message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 01:46AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
National Anthem:

La Brabanconne'
The Song of Brabant

Link: https://youtu.be/d9u_Ituu2Q8


Cover of a score of the Brabanconne. dated around 1910

Lyrics:

ANTHEM LYRICS - ENGLISH TRANSLATION

O beloved Belgium, sacred land of our fathers,
Our heart and soul are dedicated to you.
Our strength and the blood of our veins we offer,
Be our goal, in work and battle.
Prosper, O country, in unbreakable unity,
Always be yourself and free.
Trust in the word that, undaunted, you can speak:
For King, for Freedom and for Law.
For King, for Freedom and for Law.

(repeat previous two lines)

Another Translation in English:

O Belgium – O mother dear –
To you we stretch our hearts and arms,
With blood to spill for you, O fatherland!
We swear with one cry – You shall live!
You shall live, so great and beautiful,
And your invincible unity
Shall have for device immortal –
The King, and Law, and Liberty!
Shall have for device immortal –
The King, and Law, and Liberty!
The King, and Law, and Liberty!
The King, and Law, and Liberty!

About the National Anthem:

The "Brabançonne" (French: [bʁabɑ̃sɔn]) is the national anthem of Belgium. The originally-French title refers to Brabant; the name is maintained untranslated in Belgium's other two official languages, Dutch and German.

Dutch Language:

O dierbaar België, O heilig land der Vaad'ren,
Onze ziel en ons hart zijn u gewijd.
Aanvaard ons kracht en bloed van ons ad'ren,
Wees ons doel in arbeid en in strijd.
Bloei, o land, in eendracht niet te breken;
Wees immer uzelf en ongeknecht,
Het woord getrouw, dat g' onbevreesd moogt spreken,
Voor Vorst, voor Vrijheid en voor Recht!
Het woord getrouw, dat g' onbevreesd moogt spreken,
Voor Vorst, voor Vrijheid en voor Recht!
Voor Vorst, voor Vrijheid en voor Recht!
Voor Vorst, voor Vrijheid en voor Recht!

German Language

O liebes Land, o Belgiens Erde,
Dir unser Herz, Dir unsere Hand,
Dir unser Blut, o Heimaterde,
wir schwören's Dir, o Vaterland!
So blühe froh in voller Schöne,
zu der die Freiheit Dich erzog,
und fortan singen Deine Söhne:
Gesetz und König und die Freiheit hoch!
und fortan singen Deine Söhne:
Gesetz und König und die Freiheit hoch!
Gesetz und König und die Freiheit hoch!
Gesetz und König und die Freiheit hoch!

Trilingual Version:

O dierbaar België, O heilig land der Vaad'ren,
Onze ziel en ons hart zijn u gewijd.
À toi notre sang, ô Patrie!
Nous le jurons tous, tu vivras!
So blühe froh in voller Schöne,
zu der die Freiheit Dich erzog,
und fortan singen Deine Söhne:
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté!
Het woord getrouw, dat g' onbevreesd moogt spreken,
Voor Vorst, voor Vrijheid en voor Recht!
Gesetz und König und die Freiheit hoch!
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté!

According to Wikipedia -

In recent years, an unofficial short version of the anthem is sung during Belgian National Day on July 21 yearly, combining the words of the anthem in all three of Belgium's official languages, similar to the bilingual version of O Canada. The lyrics are from the 4th verse of the anthem.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Brab...

Source: Wikipedia, Youtube


message 5: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 01:49AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
The Belgium Anthem being performed:

The Belgian National Anthem (Dutch / French / German) — Scala & Kolacny Brothers

Women's choir Scala and Kolacny Brothers, on Belgium National Day 2009 (July 21), performed a modern short trilingual version of the Belgian royal and national anthem under the direction of Yves Segers, Officer Bandmaster and conductor of the famous Royal Symphonic Band of the Belgian guides.

Link: https://youtu.be/HUTQ7gn7910

Source: Youtube




message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Belgium Facts:

Capital
Brussels
50°51′N 4°21′E

Largest city
Antwerp

Official languages
Dutch
French
German

Ethnic groups
Demographics - link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgium...

Demonic
Belgian

Government
Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy

• Monarch
Philippe

• Prime Minister
Charles Michel

Legislature
Federal Parliament

• Upper house
Senate

• Lower house
Chamber of Representatives

Independence from the Netherlands

• Declared
4 October 1830

• Recognised
19 April 1839

• Founded the EEC (now the EU)
1 January 1958

Area

• Total
30,528 km2 (11,787 sq mi) (140th)

• Water (%)
6.4

Population
• 1 January 2016 census
11,250,585[2] (75th)

• Density
363.6/km2 (941.7/sq mi) (23rd)

GDP (PPP)
2016 estimate

• Total
$508.598 billion[3] (38th)

• Per capita
$44,881[3] (20th)

GDP (nominal)
2016 estimate

• Total
$470.179 billion[3] (23rd)

• Per capita
$41,491[3] (17th)

Gini (2011)
26.3[4]
low

HDI (2014)
Increase 0.890[5]
very high · 21st

Currency
Euro (€) (EUR)

Time zone
CET (UTC+1)

• Summer (DST)
CEST (UTC+2)

Drives on the
right

Calling code
+32

ISO 3166 code
BE

Internet TLD
.be

a) The flag's official proportions of 13:15 are rarely seen; proportions of 2:3 or similar are more common.

b) The Brussels region is the de facto capital, but the City of Brussels municipality is the de jure capital[6]

c) The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union member states.


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
History of Belgium:

The name 'Belgium' is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire.

The Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor.

Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries. Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège.

The Eighty Years' War (1568–1648) divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces (Belgica Foederata in Latin, the "Federated Netherlands") and the Southern Netherlands (Belgica Regia, the "Royal Netherlands"). The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish (Spanish Netherlands) and the Austrian Habsburgs (Austrian Netherlands) and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napoleon.

In 1830, the Belgian Revolution led to the separation of the Southern Provinces from the Netherlands and to the establishment of a Catholic and bourgeois, officially French-speaking and neutral, independent Belgium under a provisional government and a national congress.

Since the installation of Leopold I as king on 21 July 1831, now celebrated as Belgium's National Day, Belgium has been a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with a laicist constitution based on the Napoleonic code.

Although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 (with plural voting until 1919) and for women in 1949.

The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party and the Liberal Party, with the Belgian Labour Party emerging towards the end of the 19th century. French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie. It progressively lost its overall importance as Dutch became recognized as well.

This recognition became official in 1898 and in 1967 the parliament accepted a Dutch version of the Constitution.

The Berlin Conference of 1885 ceded control of the Congo Free State to King Leopold II as his private possession. From around 1900 there was growing international concern for the extreme and savage treatment of the Congolese population (millions of whom are thought to have died) under Leopold II, for whom the Congo was primarily a source of revenue from ivory and rubber production.

Many Congolese were killed by Leopold's agents for failing to meet production quotas for ivory and rubber.

It is estimated that nearly 10 million were killed during the Leopold period. In 1908 this outcry led the Belgian state to assume responsibility for the government of the colony, henceforth called the Belgian Congo. A Belgian commission in 1919 estimated that Congo's population was half what it was in 1879.

Germany invaded Belgium in August 1914 as part of the Schlieffen Plan to attack France and much of the Western Front fighting of World War I occurred in western parts of the country. The opening months of the war were known as the Rape of Belgium due to German excesses. Belgium assumed control of the German colonies of Ruanda-Urundi (modern-day Rwanda and Burundi) during the war, and in 1924 the League of Nations mandated them to Belgium.

In the aftermath of the First World War, the Prussian districts of Eupen and Malmedy were annexed by Belgium in 1925, thereby causing the presence of a German-speaking minority.

German forces again invaded the country in May 1940 and 40,690 Belgians, over half of them Jews, were killed during the subsequent occupation and The Holocaust. From September 1944 to February 1945 Belgium was liberated by the Allies.

After World War II, a general strike forced King Leopold III, who many Belgians felt had collaborated with Germany during the war, to abdicate in 1951. The Belgian Congo gained independence in 1960 during the Congo Crisis; Ruanda-Urundi followed with its independence two years later. Belgium joined NATO as a founding member and formed the Benelux group of nations with the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Belgium became one of the six founding members of the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 and of the European Atomic Energy Community and European Economic Community, established in 1957. The latter has now become the European Union, for which Belgium hosts major administrations and institutions, including the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the extraordinary and committee sessions of the European Parliament.


Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830 (1834), by Egide Charles Gustave Wappers

Source: Wikipedia


message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Provinces:



The territory of Belgium is divided into three Regions, two of which, the Flemish Region and Walloon Region, are in turn subdivided into provinces; the third Region, the Brussels Capital Region, is neither a province nor a part of a province.

Flanders (a region) includes provinces of West Flanders, East Flanders, Antwerp, Flemish Brabant, and Limburg.

Wallonia (a region) consists of provinces of Hainaut, Walloon Brabant, Liege, Namur, and Luxembourg.

Brussels Capital Region is neither a province nor a part of a province.


message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 02:25AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Cuisine


Moules-frites / mosselen met friet is the national dish of Belgium

Many highly ranked Belgian restaurants can be found in the most influential restaurant guides, such as the Michelin Guide.

Belgium is famous for beer, chocolate, waffles and french fries with mayonnaise. Contrary to their name, french fries are claimed to have originated in Belgium, although their exact place of origin is uncertain. The national dishes are "steak and fries with salad", and "mussels with fries".

Brands of Belgian chocolate and pralines, like Côte d'Or, Neuhaus, Leonidas and Godiva are famous, as well as independent producers such as Burie and Del Rey in Antwerp and Mary's in Brussels.

Belgium produces over 1100 varieties of beer. The Trappist beer of the Abbey of Westvleteren has repeatedly been rated the world's best beer.

The biggest brewer in the world by volume is Anheuser-Busch InBev, based in Leuven.


message 10: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 02:36AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Travels to Flanders in Belgium - Episode 399



Hear about travel to Flanders in Belgium from the Amateur Traveler.

Chris Christensen stated - "I recently traveled to 5 cities in Belgium: Antwerp, Ghent, Ieper, Bruges and Brussels. Each of these historic cities is wonderfully picturesque, even on a grey November day.

The main purpose for this trip was a press trip with VisitFlanders around the upcoming anniversary of World War I. I talk about some of the historic sites and events related to the Great War including the 150 cemeteries around Ieper, Belgium as well as its Last Post ceremony.

I saw 4 great museums that I will talk about:

- Ieper – Flanders Field Museum
- Antwerp – Ruben’s House
- Antwerp – Red Star Line Museum
- Brussels – Musical Instrument Museum

I also talk about the beautiful sites of Flander’s “Art Cities” including Bruges which is a UNESCO World History site. Here the bells of the clock town, the musical instruments of the Musical Instrument Museum and the bugle calls of the last post in Ieper as we explore Flanders together".

Link to the podcast: http://europe.amateurtraveler.com/tra...

Source: Amateur Traveler
Chris Christensen

Note: Folks these are well done


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 02:49AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod


IN FLANDERS FIELDS POEM
The World’s Most Famous WAR MEMORIAL POEM
By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields


Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

History:

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915
during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium


On May 2, 1915, John McCrae’s close friend and former student Alexis Helmer was killed by a German shell. That evening, in the absence of a Chaplain, John McCrae recited from memory a few passages from the Church of England’s “Order of the Burial of the Dead”. For security reasons Helmer’s burial in Essex Farm Cemetery was performed in complete darkness.

The next day, May 3, 1915, Sergeant-Major Cyril Allinson was delivering mail. McCrae was sitting at the back of an ambulance parked near the dressing station beside the YserCanal, just a few hundred yards north of Ypres, Belgium.

In Flanders Fields Poem

As John McCrae was writing his In Flanders Fields poem, Allinson silently watched and later recalled, “His face was very tired but calm as he wrote. He looked around from time to time, his eyes straying to Helmer's grave."

Within moments, John McCrae had completed the “In Flanders Fields” poem and when he was done, without a word, McCrae took his mail and handed the poem to Allinson.

Allinson was deeply moved:

“The (Flanders Fields) poem was an exact description of the scene in front of us both. He used the word blow in that line because the poppies actually were being blown that morning by a gentle east wind. It never occurred to me at that time that it would ever be published. It seemed to me just an exact description of the scene."

Inspiration for the poem - The Death of Lieutenant Alexis Helmer



Link: http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/john-...

In Flanders Fields read by Anthony Davies
https://youtu.be/K6BlOkpdkg8

Source: Flanders Field Music and The Great War and Youtube


message 12: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Some Videos:

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20140...

Source: BBC


message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Belgium: Bruges and Brussels

We start in Bruges to check into a medieval hospital, savor the exquisite art of Memling, and climb a bell tower, getting up close and fortissimo at a carillon concert. Then we ride the train to Brussels, where passionate chefs — creators of French fries and Europe's finest chocolate — give us a taste of their art.

Link: https://youtu.be/gZuI-dR9pfU

Source: Youtube


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
The Guns of August

The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman by Barbara W. Tuchman Barbara W. Tuchman

Synopsis:

Pulitzer-Prize-winning chronicle of the outbreak of World War I and events along the Western Front, including Belgium.


message 15: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 03:07AM) (new)

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The Abyss
Note: Novel


The Abyss by Marguerite Yourcenar by Marguerite Yourcenar Marguerite Yourcenar

Synopsis:

Story of an atheist in Renaissance Bruges, written by one of Belgium's greatest novelists.


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 03:13AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
The Battle of the Bulge
Voices of History


The Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was the last major German offensive campaign of World War II. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France, and Luxembourg, on the Western Front, towards the end of World War II, in the European theatre.

Link of Youtube: https://youtu.be/uWatKEGgS5o


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

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message 18: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 10:17AM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod

The Grand Place; the Town Hall is at the left.

Grand Place

The Grand Place is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by opulent guildhalls and two larger edifices, the city's Town Hall, and the Breadhouse (French: Maison du Roi, Dutch: Broodhuis) building containing the Museum of the City of Brussels. The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels. It measures 68 by 110 metres (223 by 361 ft), and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Early history

In the 10th century, Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine constructed a fort on Saint-Géry Island, the furthest inland point at which the Senne river was still navigable. This was the seed of what would become Brussels. By the end of the 11th century, an open-air marketplace was set up on a dried-up marsh near the fort that was surrounded by sandbanks. The market was called the Nedermerckt, or Lower Market.

The market likely developed around the same time as the commercial development of Brussels. A document from 1174 mentions a lower market (Latin: forum inferius) not far from the port on the Senne river. The market was well situated along the Causeway (Dutch: Steenweg), an important commercial road which connected the prosperous regions of the Rhineland and the County of Flanders.

At the beginning of the 13th century, three indoor markets were built on the northern edge of the Grand Place; a meat market, a bread market and a cloth market. These buildings, which belonged to the Duke of Brabant, allowed the wares to be showcased even in bad weather, but also allowed the Dukes to keep track of the storage and sale of goods, in order to collect taxes. Other buildings, made of wood or stone, enclosed the Grand Place.

Remainder of article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_P...



Unesco Write-up:
http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/857

Annual Flower Carpet:
http://www.flowercarpet.be



Some Videos:
http://www.brussels.be/artdet.cfm?id=...

More:
Brussels Grand Place Guide by Jeff Slaughter by Jeff Slaughter (no photo)


message 19: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 26, 2017 10:35PM) (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Fascinating:

10 AMAZING Facts About Belgium

https://youtu.be/cPZwk2vmQpk

Source: Youtube


message 20: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
10 Things You Did not Know about Belgium

Most people outside of Europe don’t really know much about Belgium and even other Europeans tend not to know too much about it. From being the seat of the EU, to waffles to its many political divisions, Belgium is a small land with an abundance of history, which is why it is now time to give you the 10 Things You Didn't Know About Belgium

Link: https://youtu.be/kEe1UHYJwgw

Source: Youtube


message 21: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jun 07, 2020 11:57AM) (new)

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This is a wonderful little film that was put together at the beginning of NATO for all of the member states. This was the one put together for the country of Belgium.

Introducing 🇧🇪Belgium [The Atlantic Community Series - NATO Documentaries, 1955]



On 2 June 1949, Paul-Henri Spaak, the Prime and Foreign Minister of Belgium, signed his country’s Instrument of Accession to the North Atlantic Treaty.

The film presents Belgium's history and contribution to the Atlantic Community.

It successively shows the cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent, the Belgian historical and cultural heritage, the dense railway network, trade activities in Belgium, including commerce with the Belgian Congo, and the importance of the textile and railway industries.

The story concludes on the crucial place of Belgium as an international center in the Atlantic Community.

"Introducing Belgium" is part of a series originally designed as "Know your Allies", and finally titled "the Atlantic Community Series".
Its objectives were to familiarize public opinion in each of the member country with the other Alliance members and to emphasize the national contributions to Western culture and political traditions, economic reconstruction and allied defense in the framework of NATO.

The series was produced between 1954 and 1956 and financed by the US government in the context of the Marshall Plan with the cooperation of the Information Service of NATO, and distributed by NATO. The films in the Atlantic Community Series received large non-theatrical distribution and, in some cases, were shown in cinemas and on TV. Language versions were made and distributed with the help of the national governments.

“My country and NATO” tells the story of each one of NATO’s members, using a selection of unique archival materials to take you back in time.

Link to film: https://youtu.be/HMR4BSF2_O0
Note: This is an excellent little film produced between 1954 - 1956 so there is a lot of history in the making here. And it shows a lot of pride in the country.

Nato - Declassified Belgium
Link: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/de...

Nato Declassified
Link to article:
https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/de...


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