From chocolate to beer and waffles to fries, Belgium is known for its multitude of delicious foods. But did you know it’s home to Europe’s first skyscraper? Or that it’s the top producer of billiards? Learn 10 incredible, and lesser known facts that belong to this great country.
1. Cricket was actually invented in Belgium! Sourced from a poem written in the 1500s, historians believe that northern Belgian immigrants brought the game to Britain from Belgium.
2. Belgium was the second country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage: only Netherlands preceded Belgium, when it legalized in 2003.
3. Important inventions from Belgium are: the saxophone, plastic, Body Mass Index, contraceptive pills, and even the internet!
4. The first skyscraper that was built in Europe was built in Antwerp in 1928. Until 1940, it was the tallest building in the continent.
5. The longest tram in the world is the Belgian Coast Tram, which travels between the French and Dutch borders.
6. Belgium’s highway can be seen from the moon! It’s one of the few man-made structures visible from such a distance.
7. Belgium has an incredible amount of castles! With more castles per kilometer than any other country in the world, Belgium holds the world record.
8. Renowned worldwide, Belgian chocolate has been in production for 400 years. The country has about 2,000 chocolate shops and the produces over 173,000 tons every year.
9. The world’s top exporter of billiard balls, with nearly 90% made in Belgium!
10. The diamond capital of the world is in Belgium – Antwerp has been trading the diamond since the 1400s, and the city is now credited with handling over 50% of all of the world’s diamonds.