If Belgium is the country of your expat dreams but you’re not sure where to settle then read all about the country’s top three cities!
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital city of the European Union. The city is the largest urban area in the country and is the seat of the French and Flemish community’s of Belgium. The city also hosts a number of international headquarters including those of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and is home to a large number of civil servants, politicians and diplomats. Aside from its diplomatic importance, Brussels is also home to a vibrant cultural scene and nightlife.
Over a million people live in Brussels.
Legend has it, there once was a child who prevented a huge bomb explosion in the city by peeing on the fuse. To show their gratitude, the people of Brussels made a statue to honour this brave child called the Mannken Pis which means ‘peeing fellow’.
The name Brussels means ‘dwelling in the marshes’.
Brussels sprouts have been grown in the Brussels area for over four hundred years.
The city’s main attractions include the UNESCO World Heritage site the Grand Place which is a Gothic town hall located in the old city centre. Another famous landmark is the Royal palace and the Gudula Cathedral. The headquarters of the European Union and NATO almost dominate parts of the city and are well worth a look.
The city of Antwerp got its name from a legend involving a giant called Antigoon and a young hero who cut off the giants hand and threw it into the river Scheldt. Hence the name Antwerpen, from the Dutch hand werpen,akin to Old English hand and wearpan (= to throw), which has changed to today’s warp. Today the city is one of Belgium’s biggest and is an important centre of culture and commerce. The cities inhabitants are nicknamed Sinjoren after the Spanish for senor, referring to the Spanish who ruled the city in the 17th century.
Antwerp is the diamond capital of the world as it is home to the mile long Diamond district, where dealers and cutters ply their trade.
The world’s first printed newspaper was published in Antwerp almost 400 years ago
The world famous Artist Rubens was a resident of the city and was where he made he made his masterpieces in 1640.
Europe’s second largest port is in Antwerp
Antwerp is a centre for European art and hosts a number of art galleries and museums. The museum of modern art is world class and is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. The old city centre of Antwerp has a marvellous focal point in Het Steen. The early 13th century medieval castle is the senior landmark in the city and contains a museum, as well as many other important points of interest.