The Kingdom of Belgium is in many ways the heart of Europe, not only because this is where the European Commission, Council and Parliament are located. Within its borders, Belgium has both the northern and southern European, the German and the Latin. Though it creates frictions, it also makes the country exciting and multifaceted. The name comes from the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. The area where present day Belgium is situated has been a part of the Netherlands and a battlefield between the European super powers. Places like Waterloo and Leper, where the front line of World War I was located, testifies of the many wars fought here. 19 April 1839 Belgium was recognised as an independent country. Many probably associate Belgium with cartoons. This is where Tintin, the Smurfs and Lucky Luke come from. Belgium is one of the countries that have gender-neutral marriage legislation and the gay scene is primarily found in Antwerp and Brussels.
Facts: Population: 10 600 000 Official language: Dutch, French, German Area: 30 528 km² Currency: Euro Government: Parliamentary democracy and Constitutional monarchy Calling code: +32 Time zone: +1