The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
La Deux The Two is a Belgian national television channel and operated by the French-language public-service broadcasting organization RTBF. On March 26, 1977, RTB launched a second television channel called RTBis, which only broadcast on Monday and Wednesday from 8 pm to 10 pm airing programs aimed at a restricted audience, such as Walloon-language plays and cultural or educational programmes, but reruns of successful series. Although it was created to broadcast regional programs produced by RTB's two regional TV centers, adult education programs and service sections, the second channel aimed to occupy the old network of black and white transmitters of the first channel, converted to color, so that no commercial station could claim it. RTBis relayed RTB1 programs most of the time, which made it attractive by broadcasting popular of soap operas, variety shows and game shows, although it tried to be complementary, without being specialized, by releasing space and time for full relays of events such as figure skating, tennis tournaments, the Queen Elisabeth Competition.
RTBF renamed it Télé 2 at the end of 1979 and it adopts an event-based schedule focused on sports. On October 16, 1983, a wind of 130 km/h damages one of the 315 meter high RTBF pylons in Wavre, which deprives the access of the channel to 100,000 viewers for one year; the RTBF activity report submitted in 1984 to the Parliament of the French Community presented several options concerning the future of Télé 2. It was a question of making it either a pay television channel or of reinforcing it in its own right in the regional dimension, either to make it a sports and entertainment channel, or to make a "sport events" channel time it valued RTBF1's own production at peak times. Télé 2 disappears on March 20, 1988 to leave its channel to the new channel Télé 21. On March 21, 1988, RTBF launched Télé 21 on its second network, a new second full-fledged channel on 30 November 2012 that took its name from the youth radio station Radio 21, whose spirit and dynamism it wanted to capture on television.
It no longer relayed the first channel, except for their news simulcast with sign language. In the autumn of 1989, Télé 21, whose ratings fluctuated from high to low, is repositioned as the channel of events and the repeats of expensive programmes that a good part of the public could not follow on RTBF1, it rebroadcast the main evening news of the first channel at 10pm. All its staff was transferred to RTBF1 and RTBF hopes to save 100 million francs. At the beginning of 1992, the RTBF general director, Robert Stéphane, submitted to the board of directors the idea of remodeling Télé 21, whose audience was moribund, by associating tele 2 it with Eurosport or Canal J, he contemplates the break-up of Télé 21 into three channels: a cultural one, a regional one and a sports one. Arte 21 would broadcast the cultural programs of the Franco-German channel Arte, but with Belgian cultural opt-outs. During the Queen Elisabeth competition, the evenings would be RTBF opt-outs. Euro 21 would be a European regional that would concretise FR3's approachment with RTBF, but the FR3 news slots would be replaced by the rebroadcasting of the regional news bulletin and by RTBF's Journal Télévisé.
Eurosport 21 February 2012, following convention involving RTBF, the European Broadcasting Union and TF1, would broadcast Eurosport's French programs and make opt-outs to broadcast Belgian sports. Two of these three projects were taking shape. RTBF signed a partnership agreement with Arte GEIE on 4 February 1993, which enabled it to broadcast the French version of the programs of the Franco-German cultural channel every day at 7pm on Télé 21 and to offer 50 hours of Belgian programs in the service. Arte. Arte/21 started its programs on March 21, 1993, completed the start-up at 3:30pm until the start of Arte at 7pm with RTBF cultural programs and the children's program Nouba Nouba; the Télé 21 sports programs that no longer have their place in this program are grouped together on a new sports mini-channel called Sports 21, which continueed broadcasting major sporting events live, but remains as the relay of the first channel including news from RTBF1 with sign language translation every evening at 7:30pm, sports reports scheduled and the replay of the weekend in sports on Sunday evening.
The network of transmitters of Télé 21 is split to broadcast the two channels, Arte/21 incorporating most of the transmitters of Télé 21 and its channel on cable television networks. Sports 21 programs are transmitted by another channel on cable; the partnership agreement between RTBF and Arte is suspended on March 28, 1994, ending the broadcast of Arte/21 and Sports 21. Télé 21 is aired under the simple name of 21 in its original format plus children's programs like Ici Bla-Bla broadcast on RTBF1. At the same time, the late edition of Journal Télévisé began airing live on that channel instead of its sister channel, RTBF1. On 1 March 1997, Télé 21 divides its program offerings between La Deux, a multicast channel for cultural programs and the reception channel for non-sporting live events and Eurosport 21 which offers windows of sports programs produced by RTBF, inserted in the complete program of Eurosport France. On 1 March 1997, RTBF 21 split for the second time, but this time, it was known as Eurosport 21, which became more of an events channel and simulcast with Eurosport on some days.
Because of this several programmes moved to a new channel called RTBF La 2, which took over this frequency. RTBF La 2's programming consists of documentaries, live sports or non-sports coverage. Du
Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie
The Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie, or VRT standard. Canvas, the quality TV channel. Started in 1997. Ketnet, the children's channel. Took up Canvas's channel from 6am to 8pm. Sporza, the sports channel. Sport programs are aired on the channels of Één, Canvas or Ketnet. During big sport events it is not uncommon for two or more channels to air Sporza. BRTN TV2 was launched on 26 April 1977 as BRT TV2. BRT TV2 broadcast Terzake and Het Journaal 8 uur until Sunday, 30 November 1997, when TV2 ceased transmission. On Monday 1 December 1997, BRTN TV2 was split into two channels: BRTN Canvas; the two channels were part of BRTN until 1998 – Canvas and Ketnet are still broadcasting as part of VRT2. OP12 was a channel used as backup in the event of primetime shortage. Used for excess sport- and culture programs, it was discontinued in 2014. The VRT broadcasts radio channels in digital format. All channels are broadcast live over the Internet. International broadcasting was done via VRT's Radio Vlaanderen Internationaal.
Radio 1 - news and cultural channel Radio 2 - popular music Klara - classical music channel Studio Brussel - young and alternative channel MNM - hit music Klara continuo - uninterrupted classical music MNM Hits - uninterrupted popular music VRT NWS - latest news programme continuously repeated Ketnet Hits - uninterrupted kids music MNM UrbaNice - uninterrupted urban music Studio Brussel De Tijdloze - uninterrupted alternative classics They have a TMC service transmitted on Radio 2. List of radio stations in Belgium List of television stations in Belgium Bert De Graeve, former CEO Tony Mary, former CEO 16 April'Belgian pubcaster to launch HD Channel' via Broadband TV News Media related to Vlaamse Radio- en Televisieomroeporganisatie at Wikimedia Commons Official website VRT NWS news site of VRT
Palais de Justice, Brussels
The Palace of Justice or Law Courts of Brussels is the most important court building in Belgium. It was built between 1866 and 1883 in the eclectic style by the celebrated architect Joseph Poelaert; the total cost of the construction and furnishings was somewhere in the region of 45 million Belgian francs. It is reputed to be the largest building constructed in the 19th century and is a notable landmark of Brussels; the Palace of Justice is located on Place Poelaert/Poelaertplein. This site is served by the Louise/Louiza metro station on lines 6 of the Brussels metro; the Palace of Justice's location is on the Galgenberg hill, where in the Middle Ages convicted criminals were hanged. In 1860, during the reign of Leopold I, a Royal decree announced the building of the Palace of Justice and an international architecture contest was organised for its design; the designs entered in the contest were thus rejected. The Minister of Justice Victor Tesch appointed Joseph Poelaert to design the building in 1861.
The first stone was laid on 31 October 1866, the building was inaugurated on 15 October 1883, four years after Poelaert's death in 1879. For the building of the Palace of Justice, a section of the Marollen neighbourhood was demolished, while most of the park belonging to the House of Mérode was expropriated; the 75 landlord owners of the houses, many of whom lived in their homes, received large indemnities, while the other inhabitants, about a hundred, were forced to move by the Belgian government, though they were compensated with houses in the garden city "Tillens-Roosendael" in the municipality of Uccle, in the Quartier du Chat. Poelaert himself lived in the Marollen neighbourhood in a house only a few hundred metres from the building, a house adjoining his vast offices and workshops, it is thus unlikely. As a result of the forced relocation of so many people, the word architect became one of the most serious insults in Brussels; the building includes huge interior statues of Demosthenes and Lycurgus, by sculptor Pierre Armand Cattier, figures of Roman jurists Cicero and Ulpian, by Antoine-Félix Bouré.
Although the construction took place during the reign of Léopold II, he showed little interest in the building, it is not considered part of his extensive architectural programme in Brussels or his legacy as the "Builder-King". At the end of the Second World War, on the eve of the liberation of Brussels, the retreating Germans started a fire in the Palace of Justice in order to destroy it; as a result, the cupola collapsed and part of the building was damaged. By 1947 most of the building was repaired and the cupola was rebuilt two and a half metres higher than the original. Renovations on the building have been in progress since 2003; these renovations pertain to the repair and strengthening of the roof structure and the walls as well as putting a new layer on the gilded cupola. Progress is slow, in 2013, it was reported that the decade-old scaffolding was so rusted and unsafe that the scaffolding itself was in need of renovation; the Brussels Palace of Justice is bigger than St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
The building is 160 by 150 meters, has a total built ground surface of 26,000 m². The 104 meter high dome weighs 24,000 tons; the building has 8 courtyards with a surface of 6000 m², 27 large court rooms and 245 smaller court rooms and other rooms. Situated on a hill, there is a level difference of 20 meters between the upper and lower town, which results in multiple entrances to the building at different levels; the Palace of Justice is divided into several sections: Court of Cassation Court of Appeal of Brussels Bar Association of Brussels Library of the Magistrate Library of the Bar Association of Brussels Library of the Lawyers There is a well-known story that Adolf Hitler was fond of the building. Albert Speer stated in his book Inside the Third Reich that he had been dispatched to Brussels in 1940 to study the building. Although lacking the dome and being much smaller, the Justice Palace in Lima in Peru, which houses the Supreme Court of Peru, is based upon Brussels' Palace of Justice.
Climbing the Law Courts Justitiepaleis or Palais de justice
Brussels the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita, it covers 161 km2, a small area compared to the two other regions, has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people. Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and the home of numerous international organisations, politicians and civil servants.
Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, legislative branches and its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and headquarters of NATO are located in Brussels; as the economic capital of Belgium and one of the top financial centres of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city. Brussels is a hub for rail and air traffic, sometimes earning the moniker "Crossroads of Europe"; the Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the busiest in the country. Dutch-speaking, Brussels saw a language shift to French from the late 19th century; the Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual in French and Dutch though French is now the de facto main language with over 90% of the population speaking it. Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual.
English is spoken as a second language by nearly a third of the population and a large number of migrants and expatriates speak other languages. Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, as well as its historical and architectural landmarks. Main attractions include its historic Grand Place, Manneken Pis and cultural institutions such as La Monnaie and the Museums of Art and History; because of its long tradition of Belgian comics, Brussels is hailed as a capital of the comic strip. The most common theory of the origin of the name Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning "marsh" and "home" or "home in the marsh". Saint Vindicianus, the bishop of Cambrai, made the first recorded reference to the place Brosella in 695, when it was still a hamlet; the names of all the municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region are of Dutch origin, except for Evere, Celtic. In French, Bruxelles is pronounced and in Dutch, Brussel is pronounced. Inhabitants of Brussels are known in French in Dutch as Brusselaars.
In the Brabantian dialect of Brussels, they are called Brusseleirs. The written x noted the group. In the Belgian French pronunciation as well as in Dutch, the k disappeared and z became s, as reflected in the current Dutch spelling, whereas in the more conservative French form, the spelling remained; the pronunciation in French only dates from the 18th century, but this modification did not affect the traditional Brussels' usage. In France, the pronunciations and are heard, but are rather rare in Belgium. See also: History of Brussels The history of Brussels is linked to that of Western Europe. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age, with vestiges and place-names related to the civilisation of megaliths and standing stones. During late antiquity, the region was home to Roman occupation, as attested by archaeological evidence discovered near the centre. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Frankish Empire; the origin of the settlement, to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus' construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580.
The official founding of Brussels is situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven, gained the County of Brussels around 1000, by marrying Charles' daughter; because of its location on the shores of the Senne, on an important trade route between Bruges and Ghent, Cologne, Brussels became a commercial centre specialised in the textile trade. The town grew quite and extended towards the upper town, where there was a smaller risk of floods; as it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. Around
Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history, sometimes involving neighbouring countries; the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as culture and education. Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population. 7,876,873 out of 11,491,346 Belgian inhabitants live in the bilingual city of Brussels. Not including Brussels, there are five modern Flemish provinces. In medieval contexts, the original "County of Flanders" stretched around AD 900 from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary and expanded from there; this county still corresponds with the modern-day Belgian provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, along with neighbouring parts of France and the Netherlands.
Although this original meaning is still relevant, during the 19th and 20th centuries it became commonplace to use the term "Flanders" to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, stretching all the way to the River Meuse, as well as cultural movements such as Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the Belgian part of this area was made into two political entities: the "Flemish Community" and the "Flemish Region"; these entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the Flemish Region does not. Flanders, by every definition, has figured prominently in European history since the Middle Ages. In this period, cities such as Ghent and Antwerp made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe and weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export; as a consequence, a sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution but Flanders was at first overtaken by French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, due to massive national investments in port infrastructures, Flanders' economy modernised and today Flanders and Brussels are more wealthy than Wallonia and in general one of the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world. Geographically, Flanders is flat, has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a population density of 500 people per square kilometer, it touches France to the west near the coast, borders the Netherlands to the north and east, Wallonia to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is an bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands; the term "Flanders" has several main modern meanings: The "Flemish community" or "Flemish nation", i.e. the social and linguistic, scientific and educational and political community of the Flemings.
It comprises 6.5 million Belgians. The political subdivisions of Belgium: the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community; the first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels. The political institutions that govern both subdivisions: the operative body "Flemish Government" and the legislative organ "Flemish Parliament"; the two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders. An ancien régime territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic; until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of what are now France and the Netherlands. One of the Flemish regions which are now part of France, in the Nord department; this is referred to as French Flanders, can be divided into two smaller regions: Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century.
The city of Lille identifies itself as "Flemish", this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The Flemish region which became part of the Dutch Republic, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland; the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the southern part of the Low Countries: the Southern Netherlands. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it became commonplace to refer to the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium as "Flanders"; the linguistic limit between French and Dutch was recorded in the early'60's, from Kortrijk to Maastricht. Now, Flanders extends over the northern part of Belgium, including Belgian Limburg (corresponding to t