Portal:Belgium

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Belgium Portal

Flag Belgium
Location of Belgium within Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. A small and densely populated country, it covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres (11,787 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11 million. 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 percent of the population, and the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. Additionally, there is a small group of German speakers, numbering around one percent, who live in the East Cantons. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

Historically, Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that also included parts of northern France and western Germany. Its name is derived from the Latin word Belgica, 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. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars. The country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution when it seceded from the Netherlands.

Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three highly autonomous regions and three communities: the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north, the mostly French-speaking Wallonia region in the south, and the German-speaking cantons in the east. The Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual (French and Dutch) enclave within the Flemish Region, though French is the dominant language. 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.

Belgium news

Did you know...

Flag of the Brussels-Capital Region, featuring the iris

Selected article

Father Damien, photograph by William Brigham.jpg

Father Damien, formally Joseph (Jozef) de Veuster, SS.CC. and Blessed Damien of Molokai (January 3, 1840, Tremelo – April 15, 1889, Molokai), was a Belgian Catholic missionary of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary who is revered primarily by Hawaii residents and Christians for having dedicated his life in service to the lepers of Molokai in the Kingdom of Hawaii. In Catholicism, Father Damien is the spiritual patron of people with leprosy, outcasts, and those with HIV/AIDS, and of the State of Hawaii. Father Damien Day is recognized each year in Hawaii on April 15. His Feast Day in the Catholic Church is May 10. Having been beatified in 1995, Father Damien is awaiting formal approval for sainthood.

The Father Damien Statue memorializes the priest in bronze at the United States Capitol. A full size replica stands in front of the Hawaii State Legislature. In 1995, Pope John Paul II beatified him and bestowed the official title of Blessed Damien of Molokai.

In 2005, Father Damien was chosen as the Greatest Belgian of all time by the Flemish public broadcasting service, VRT.

Things you can do

Related portals

Parent portals
Europe European Union NATO
Wikiproject Europe (small).svg Flag of Europe.svg Location NATO.svg


Portals of neighbouring countries
UK France Netherlands Germany Luxembourg
Portal:United Kingdom Portal:France Portal:Netherlands Portal:Germany Portal:Luxembourg


Subportals
Brussels
Flag of the Brussels-Capital Region.svg

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wikivoyage 
Travel guides

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database

Purge server cache