Belgium’s history is intertwined with those of its neighbours: the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Luxembourg, and dates back before 1830. What is now Belgium was either a part of a larger territory, or divided into a number of smaller states. A feature of its history is the number of wars between other European powers which have included campaigns on Belgian territory. It is also remarkable as a European nation which contains, and is divided by, a language boundary between Latin-derived French, and Germanic Dutch. Belgium’s formation into a single independent country can be traced to several historic events, and is now is divided into three regions, Flanders (Dutch speaking) in the north, Wallonia (French-speaking) in the South, and bilingual Brussels in the middle. The economy is prosperous and well-integrated into Europe.
We spent a beautiful sunny afternoon in Belgium, enjoying lunch at an outdoor restaurant, and visiting some unique shops. I enjoyed the Belgium Chocolates, which I purchased to bring back to the States with me. I also bought several items made of authentic Belgium Lace. My visit there reminded me a great deal of Amsterdam, as far as the Renaissance architecture, and bicyclists were everywhere. Videos are at the end of this post. Enjoy!