Let yourself be surprised by the history of Belgium in all its facets. The Memorial Van Damme has repeatedly been voted the best athletics event in the world. Every few years, international artists are invited to light up the city of Ghent. For a weekend away. Which makes perfect sense as the Ardennes offers it all: nature, culture and adventure. The praline was invented in Belgium in , which means Belgium was where they were eaten for the very first time. Today, our iconic chocolates are satisfying the palates of chocolate-lovers around the world.
Located just down the street from the Grand Place, this little statue is dressed throughout the year in some of his different costumes. Our national pride! Can the Red Devils win the World Cup and make history? Meteorologists whose forecast also guided the round-the-world flight of Solar Impulse 2, a plane entirely propelled by solar energy… and the energy of many Belgian companies, such as Solvay, one of the main partners of the Swiss plane.
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There are 12 Trappist breweries worldwide, six of which are right here in Belgium. So whether you're a beer lover or just plain curious, visit one of the abbeys and sample their beers. In Mons, it makes perfect sense to see a dragon roaming the streets on Trinity Sunday, the day associated with tongues of fire. Historic folklore that has not escaped the attention of Unesco and which is on its Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. We don't like to go overboard about it… but we always help ourselves to seconds. Belgian food is fantastic. A museum that brings music to your ears.
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This beautiful art nouveau building houses over 8, different musical instruments, making it one of the largest and most diverse collections in the world. The European Innovation Scoreboard assesses the strengths and weaknesses of national innovation systems in European countries and Belgium's regional neighbours.
We rank 8th on the scoreboard, classed as a 'strong innovator'. Belgium's research system ranks highly too.
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A name earned due to its charming canals and narrow medieval streets. This is a city bursting with history. There are fantastic films… and then there are fantastic films. Belgians love the good life. We have a packed cultural calendar, plenty of greenery and an outstanding healthcare system. No wonder we rank 17th in the World Happiness index. Some of the world's leading biotech companies are based in Belgium. Furthermore, these companies apply leading research methods to boost yields, protect the environment, improve health and enhance the quality of life.
How do you make one of the most beautiful city squares in the world even more beautiful? Fill it with flowers! Every other year the cobblestones of the Grand-Place in Brussels are covered with more than a million begonias. Belgium's open economy has always been a source of pride. Not only that, a recent study shows that Belgium is the third most globalised country in the world. The Antwerp MHKA is exceptional not only because of its location — in an old grain silo, but also for its bold exhibitions.
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Prepare to be inspired by its selection of contemporary art, film and visual culture. When you're looking for property in Europe, Brussels is among the most popular locations.
Prices here are significantly lower than in other international centres like Paris, London and Frankfurt. Belgian workers focus on finding solutions, speak several languages and, according to the OECD, are among the most productive in the world. In short, including a Belgian on your team is always a good idea.
Pilsner, Abbey beer, Trappist beer, Dubbel, Tripel, Quadrupel, blonde ale, brown ale, amber ale, Lambic beer… Tasting them is a lot easier than listing them! You'll be hard-pressed to find more comic book artists per square metre anywhere else in the world. Smurf the following link to find out more.
Belgium is home to one of the world's largest 3D printing facilities. Furthermore, it is home to the industry's largest group of software developers. The interesting mix of architectural styles reflects the history of our Western culture. High-speed connections are vital for the digital economy. Although our soil is not very rich in exotic trees, it is the ideal breeding-ground for cinematographic talent.
Whether it is traditional cinema or animation, Belgian stories win unanimous support in many international festivals.
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But rest assured, black-tie is not required when visiting us. In , the Belgian Charles van de Poele invented the electric tramway. From then on, our passion for the tram never faltered. And since we also love our coastline, we adorned it with a 67 km-long tramline with 68 stops from La Panne to Knokke. You will need 2h21 to travel all of it.
Enough time to gaze upon the seascapes Marvin Gaye also fell in love with. IMEC is an innovation hub that is a worldwide pioneer in research into nanoelectronics and digital technology. Hockey has become a Belgian trademark; to the point that our Red Lions became world champions. Four days and three procedures are all you need to get a business up and running, making Belgium a frontrunner in Europe.
But that's not all. You can also benefit from our Tax Shelter system, as well as an innovative crowdfunding platform.
More than 2, foreign companies have their European head office in Belgium. Our country lies at the heart of the EU and is a hub for international contacts. Belgium was one of the founders of the EU and remains an important international player today. As one of the founding fathers of Art Nouveau, Victor Horta was a prime mover behind the grandeur of modern Brussels. Hotel Solvay and Brugmann Hospital are just two of his masterpieces in the capital city.
Oostduinkerke is the only place in the world where shrimp fishing on horseback is still practised.
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A year-old tradition that has been proudly kept alive to this day. Ypres is known as a city of peace… and cats. In fact, every three years the Kattenfestival passes through its streets. Participants are more than happy to put their best paw forward. A Bruges brewery saw its beer output increase dramatically. A 3 km-long torrent of beer, and the ancient canals carrying the quiet waters of the Reie river are none the wiser.
Belgium is a world leader in exports, dispatching diamonds, carpets, chocolate, margarine, glass and cars to destinations all over the globe. Another of Belgium's attractions is its pension funding organisations OFPs , which enable multinationals to set up their pan-European pension funds here. Currently, 15 such pension funds are located here, placing Belgium in Europe's top 3. Not the palm trees or the tropical beaches, but the magnificent world below the sea.
At 33 meters, this is the second deepest diving pool in the world. Being a major European port, Antwerp deserved a Port House worthy of this status. Het Havenhuis was designed by the prestigious Zaha Hadid Architects firm. It welcomes a crew of employees of the Antwerp Port Authority on board, along with lucky visitors who can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city and port without getting seasick.
According to a charter dating from , John of Bohemia, count of Luxembourg, granted the status of city to Durbuy. Since then, it has been the smallest city in the world. Small city, huge heart. Visit Flanders Fields today and you'll find fields of poppies and countless memories of the Great War, years after the fact. The "Last Post" is still played every evening at the Menin Gate to commemorate the fallen.
Over years ago, the people of Brussels planted the Meyboom for the very first time. Today, this folkloric tradition has evolved into a colourful parade that features giant dolls and is recognised by UNESCO.