the friendly & welcoming people who with three official languages
still find it easy to converse in English, the 4th unofficial language.
Maybe it’s the stunning architecture decorating the quaint cobblestone squares. Or perhaps it’s the incredible cuisine
found in the vast array of restaurants where each meal seems better
than the last. Energetic and carefree, the overall mood in Belgium is
infectious, summoning in all of us to live as Belgians and enjoy life
to the fullest.
Well situated between France and Holland, the kingdom of Belgium
encompasses all the best that Europe has to offer in an area no bigger
than Maryland. Within the span of one day you can take a romantic
cruise down a canal in Bruges, hunt for diamonds in Antwerp, enjoy waffles on the beach in Oostende and explore a fine art museum in Brussels. A dense train network connects all of Belgium and makes navigation simple and comfortable for travelers.
Often called the Essence of Europe, Belgium is both multicultural and multilingual.
Flanders in the north, a flatland criss-crossed by canals, is proud of
its medieval art cities, Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent. To the south in
Wallonia, you will find the rolling hills of the Ardennes, countless
castles, and the cities of Liege, Namur, and Tournai. The city of
Brussels is one of the world's great cosmopolitan capitals, home to
both the European Union and NATO, as well as a wealth of international
trade and finance companies.
Belgium's history has always been linked to both commercial and
cultural exchange, and much of its character is due to its role as the
great meeting place of Western Europe. It would be difficult to name a
European country who didn’t want to stake their claim in Belgium at one
time or another. Traces of the Austrians, Spanish, French and Dutch can
still be seen in its architecture and in the lifestyle of its people.
You will see superb examples of art and architecture past and present -
Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, and Art Nouveau.
Somehow, Belgium has maintained a low-key approach to all of this
international sophistication. It is a country for connoisseurs, but
connoisseurs who do not take themselves too seriously. Because the
Belgians themselves certainly do not. And after all this we didn’t even
mention the beer & chocolate.