Portal:Belgium


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Belgium (Dutch: België [ˈbɛlɣijə] (listen); French: Belgique [bɛlʒik] (listen); German: Belgien [ˈbɛlɡi̯ən] (listen)), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,689 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.5 million, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world and the 6th most densely populated country in Europe, with a density of 376 per square kilometre (970/sq mi). The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège, Bruges, Namur, and Leuven.

Belgium is a sovereign state and a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organization is complex and is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds. It is divided into three highly autonomous regions: the Flemish Region (Flanders) in the north, the Walloon Region (Wallonia) in the south, and the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita.

Belgium is home to two main linguistic communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 60 percent of the population, and the French-speaking Community, which constitutes about 40 percent of the population. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons. The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual in French and Dutch, although French is the dominant language. 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. (Full article...)

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The Adventures of Tintin (Les Aventures de Tintin) is a series of comic strip narratives created by Georges Remi under the pseudonym Hergé (a transposing of his initials, R G, as pronounced in French). They first appeared in French in a children's supplement to the Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle in 1929. Set in a painstakingly researched world closely mirroring our own, The Adventures of Tintin present a number of well realised characters in distinctive settings. The series has continued as a favourite of readers and critics alike for over 70 years.

The hero of the series is the titular character, Tintin, a young reporter and traveller. He is aided in his adventures from the beginning by his faithful dog Snowy (Milou in French). Later, popular additions to the cast included Captain Haddock and other colourful supporting characters.

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