Herman Achille Van Rompuy, born 31 October 1947 in Etterbeek, Brussels, is the first full-time President of the European Council.
On May 5, 1835, the first railway in continental Europe opened between Brussels-Groendreef/Allée verte and Mechelen.
Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans (born 29 April 1922, Brussels, Belgium), known as Toots Thielemans, is a Belgian jazz musician well known for his guitar and harmonica playing as well as his whistling. Thielemans is credited as one of the greatest harmonica players of the 20th century.
A generation ago, the three main drinks in a household were water, coffee and table beer.
Jean Joseph Étienne Lenoir was a Belgian engineer who developed the internal combustion engine in 1858. Prior designs for such engines were patented as early as 1807, but none were commercially successful. Lenoir’s engine was commercialized in sufficient quantities to be considered a success, a first for the internal combustion engine.
Elio Di Rupo (born 18 July 1951) is the Prime Minister of Belgium, and leader of the Socialist Party (PS).
In 1981, struggling with a drug addiction, Marvin Gaye moved to Ostend, Belgium where he wrote “Sexual Healing”.
On the 29th of April 1899 in Yvelines near Paris, France, a car driven by Camille Jenatzy set a new world land speed record, reaching a little more than 100 km/h .
The car was named Jamais Contente (translated as “The Never Satisfied”).
The first natural color picture in National Geographic was of a flower garden in Gent, Belgium in 1914
This image of a flower garden in Ghent, Belgium, published in 1914, was National Geographic Magazine’s first natural (not hand-tinted) color photograph.
Eddy Merckx, a former Belgian professional road bicycle racer, is considered to be the greatest pro-cyclist ever
Merckx, who turned professional in 1965, won the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia five times each, and the Vuelta a España once. He also won all of professional cycling’s classic “monument” races at least twice each (with 19 Classics victories in all).
Belgians save 12.2% of what is left over after taxes, making them the fourth most money saving people in the world after Spain, France and Ireland.
At 68 km (42 miles) in length, the Coast Tram, or Kusttram in Dutch, it is the longest tram line in the world.
Jacques Brel (8 April 1929 – 9 October 1978) was a Belgian singer-songwriter who was widely considered a master of the modern chanson.
Commonly referred to as French Fries, these yummy, crispy potato sticks originate from Belgium.
Westvleteren XII, brewed by the Trappist monks at Saint Sixtus monastery in Flanders, is often hailed as the best beer in the world.
Karl Marx was exiled and lived in Brussels from January 1845 to February 1848. The book was published in London in 1848.
On Saturday the 10th of October 2009, Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne took helm of the International Space Station (ISS), becoming the first European ever to command the $100 billion orbiting laboratory.
Audrey Hepburn was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on 4 May 1929 in Elsene, a municipality in Brussels, Belgium.
80% of the world’s rough diamonds, 50% of the cut diamonds and 45% of industrial diamonds pass through the four block diamond district.
The compulsory school age in Belgium is 6-18 years, though there is an opportunity for 16+ pupils to study part-time.
Dr. Evil, villain, antagonist, bad guy and arch nemesis of Austin Powers, was raised in Belgium.
Belgium produces 220,000 tonnes of chocolate per year. This amounts to 22 kg of chocolate per inhabitant annually, i.e. 61 grammes per day in average.
The tallest living horse is Big Jake, a nine-year-old Belgian Gelding horse, who measured 210.19 cm (20 hands 2.75 in, 82.75 in), without shoes, at Smokey Hollow Farms in Poynette, Wisconsin, USA.