Belgium has a reputation for being a boring little country, but we know the truth. This little place has done some pretty big things. We’d like to share 15 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about Belgium.
Back in January one of CheeseWeb’s old posts went viral, in a big way. Andrew and I sat back and watched in awe as thousands of hits were recorded in one day, on our 25 Things You Didn’t Know About Belgium post. Even now, months later, the article is receiving over 100 hits most days.
While traffic came to the post from around the world, it particularly seemed to resonate with the Belgian community both at home and abroad. The resounding consensus was “Hey! Belgium really is a cool country!” (We’ve been telling you that all along, haven’t we?)
But you know what? There are more than 25 interesting facts about Belgium. Since we wrote that post back in 2009, we’ve discovered even more. So without further ado, here are 15 More Things You Didn’t Know About Belgium.
- France and Germany may be known for castles, but there are more castles in Belgium per square mile than any other country.
- Belgium has the densest rail network in the world with 4078 kms of track.
- Belgian households have the highest percentage of cable TV in the world, at 97%
- You may think of Holland when you think of tulips, but the bulbs arrived in Antwerp first, in 1562.
- The world’s first recorded lottery took place in Belgium, to raise money for the poor.
- Brussels has 138 restaurants per square mile.
- The only Belgian race car, the Vertigo, holds the Guinness World Record for fastest acceleration from 0-100km/h in 3.266 seconds.
- In 2006, the Association of European Airports reported Brussels International Airport was the most punctual of the 27 largest airports on the continent.
- A drive through the suburbs will substantiate, Belgium produces the widest variety of bricks in the world.
- Besix, a Belgian construction company, was one of four contracted to construct the world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai.
- The world’s biggest baby, weighing 5.4kg and measuring 57cm long, was born in Knokke in December of 2006.
- Belgium was the first country to issue electronic passports, meeting ICAO standards, and along with Italy, was the first to issue electronic ID cards in March 2003.
- The smallest town in the world is Durbuy, Belgium, with less than 500 inhabitants.
- Both the name of the euro currency and the design of the € symbol were proposed by Belgians.
- Although it is now based in Paris, Club Med was started in 1950 by Belgian Gérard Blitz.
Do you know any interesting facts about Belgium we haven’t covered in either of our posts? Share them in the comments below.