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Interesting facts and figures about Belgium

La Grand Place, one of the most beautiful squares in the world, Brussels, Belgium
For its size, Belgium has proportionately the lowest number of McDonald restaurants per head of population in the world.

Breweries
Belgium has 178 breweries that together produce over 800 different types of beer.

Chocolate
Belgium produces over 220.000 tons of chocolate every year.
More chocolate is sold in Brussels International airport (Zaventem) than anywhere else in the world.

Painting with oils was invented by the Van Eyck brothers (painters in late fourteenth century and beginning of fifteenth century).

Country without government
Belgium holds the world record for being without a government for the longest period of time (nearly 2 years; even so, the country carried on fairly well)

WWW -World Wide Web
Robert Caillau (a Belgian) is the co-inventer of the World Wide Web.

Road asphalt
Modern day road asphalt was invented by Prof. Edward J. De Smedt (a Belgian).

BMI (Body Mass Index) is the brainchild of the Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Quetelet.

Light beer in schools
Back in the 1970s a light beer was served with school lunches.

Ghent Festival is the biggest cultural festival in Europe.

Tomorrowland is the biggest technofestival in the world.

Bakelite, an early plastic, was discovered by the Belgian Leo Hendrik
Baekeland.

Tramway
The Belgian coast tramway is the longest tramline in the world.

Castles
Belgium has more castles per square metre than any other country in the world.

The Big Bang theory was conceived by the Belgian priest and physicist Georges
Lemaitre.  A crater on the moon was named after him.

Rollerskates were invented by a Belgian, Jean-Joseph Merlin.

The “Communist Party Manifesto“ was drafted in Brussels by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Cartoons
The French-speaking community in Belgium produces the most cartoon albums per  head of population in the world.

Foundation of New York city
New York City was founded by the Belgian, Pierre Minuit (1589-1638). This Walloon (from Wallonia, French speaking southern region of Belgium) bought Manhattan island from its first inhabitants in 1626.

Ludwig von Beethoven’s family was originally Flemish and came from Mechelen Antwerp, Belgium.
Source: FICC Secretariat