Belgium is a small country located in Western Europe. It is bordered by France to the southwest, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, and the Netherlands to the north. The country covers an area of approximately 30,689 square kilometers and has a population of around 11 million people.
Belgium is known for being a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. It consists of three distinctive regions: Flanders in the north, where Dutch is primarily spoken, Wallonia in the south, where French is primarily spoken, and the Brussels-Capital Region, which is bilingual in French and Dutch. As a founding member of the European Union and host to its headquarters, Belgium holds significant political importance within Europe.
The country has a diverse cultural heritage, influenced by its neighboring countries. Belgian cuisine is renowned for its delicious chocolates, waffles, and beers. Moreover, Belgium is famous for its medieval cities, stunning architecture, and numerous historical sites, including the Grand Place in Brussels, the historic center of Bruges, and the Belfry of Tournai.
Belgium's economy is highly developed, with key sectors including services, manufacturing, and transportation. It is home to many multinational corporations and is considered a hub for international trade. Belgium is also recognized for its high standards of education and healthcare.
Overall, Belgium is a geographically and culturally rich country with a prominent role in European politics, a distinctive culinary scene, and a rich historical and architectural heritage.
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The word "Belgium" is derived from the Latin word "Belgica" or "Gallia Belgica", which referred to the region inhabited by the Belgae, a Celtic tribe who lived in ancient Gaul (present-day northern France, Belgium, and parts of the Netherlands). The origin of the name "Belgae" is uncertain, but it is believed to be derived from the Proto-Celtic word *belg-, which means "thunder". The Roman Empire later used "Belgica" to refer to a larger region that included modern-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and parts of the Netherlands, Germany, and France. Over time, "Belgica" evolved into "Belgic" in Old English and eventually transformed into "Belgium" in modern English.