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Belgium
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Independence / Republic Days
Independence Declared from the Netherlands 4 October 1830

Capital
Brussels

Current Time in Brussels (Belgium)

Weather in Belgium
Click here

Calling code
32

Currency
Euro (€)1 (EUR)

Geographic Coordinates
50°51'N 4°21'E

Official languages
Dutch
French
German

Select NGOs
Droits Quotidiens
World Conservation Union

 

Location
Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between France and the Netherlands

Geographic coordinates
50 50 N, 4 00 E

Map references
Europe

Area
total: 30,528 sq km
country comparison to the world: 141
land: 30,278 sq km
water: 250 sq km

Area - comparative
about the size of Maryland

Coastline
66.5 km

Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: geographic coordinates define outer limit
continental shelf: median line with neighbors

Elevation extremes
lowest point: North Sea 0 m
highest point: Botrange 694 m

Nationality
noun: Belgian(s)
adjective: Belgian

Languages
Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

National symbol(s)
lion

National anthem
name: "La Brabanconne" (The Song of Brabant)

National Anthem lyrics/music: Louis-Alexandre DECHET[French] Victor CEULEMANS [Dutch]/Francois VAN CAMPENHOUT
note: adopted 1830; Louis-Alexandre DECHET was an actor at the theater in which the revolution against the Netherlands began; according to legend, he wrote the lyrics with a group of young people in a Brussels cafe

Budget
revenues: $241.9 billion
expenditures: $258.2 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues
47.7% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 16

Flag Description
three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), yellow, and red; the vertical design was based on the flag of France; the colors are those of the arms of the duchy of Brabant (yellow lion with red claws and tongue on a black field)

Belgium National Anthem
First version (end of August 1830)
Dignes enfants de la Belgique
Qu’un beau délire a soulevé,
À votre élan patriotique
De grand succès sont réservés.
Restons armés que rien ne change !
Gardons la même volonté,
Et nous verrons refleurir l’Orange
Sur l’arbre de la Liberté.
Aux cris de meurtre et de pillage,
Des méchants s’étaient rassemblés,
Mais votre énergique courage
Loin de vous les a refoulés.
Maintenant, purs de cette fange
Qui flétrissait votre cité,
Amis, il faut greffer l’Orange
Sur l’arbre de la Liberté.
Et toi, dans qui ton peuple espère,
Nassau, consacre enfin nos droits ;
Des Belges en restant le père
Tu seras l’exemple des rois.
Abjure un ministre étrange,
Rejette un nom trop détesté,
Et tu verras mûrir l’Orange
Sur l’arbre de la Liberté.
Mais malheur, si, de l’arbitraire
Protégeant les affreux projets,
Sur nous du canon sanguinaire,
Tu venais lancer les boulets !
Alors tout est fini, tout change,
Plus de pacte, plus de traité,
Et tu verras tomber l’Orange
De l’arbre de la Liberté.

Second version (end of September 1830)

Qui l’aurait cru ? …de l’arbitraire
Consacrant les affreux projets,
Sur nous de l’airain militaire
Un prince a lancé les boulets.
C’en est fait ! Oui, Belges, tout change,
Avec Nassau plus d’indigne traité !
La mitraille a brisé l’Orange
Sur l’arbre de la Liberté.
Trop généreuse en sa colère,
La Belgique, vengeant ses droits,
D’un roi, qu’elle appelait son père,
N’implorait que de justes lois.
Mais lui dans sa fureur étrange,
Par le canon que son fils a pointé,
Au sang belge a noyé l’Orange
Sous l’arbre de la Liberté.
Fiers brabançons, peuples de braves,
Qu’on voit combattre sans fléchir,
Du sceptre honteux des Bataves,
Tes balles sauront t’affranchir.
Sur Bruxelles, au pied de l’archange,
Ton saint drapeau pour jamais est planté,
Et, fier de verdir sans l’Orange,
Croît l’arbre de la Liberté.
Et vous, objets de nobles larmes,
Braves, morts au feu des cannons,
Avant que la patrie en armes
Ait pu connaître au moins vos noms,
Sous l’humble terre où l’on vous range,
Dormez, martyrs, bataillon indompté !
Dormez en paix, loin de l’Orange,
Sous l’arbre de la Liberté.

Third version (1860)

Après des siècles et des siècles d'esclavage,
Le Belge sortant du tombeau
A reconquis par sa force et son courage
Son nom, ses droits et son drapeau.
Et ta main souveraine et fière,
Désormais, peuple indompté,
Grava sur ta vieille bannière :
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté !
Grava sur ta vieille bannière :
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté !
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté !
Le Roi, la Loi, la Liberté !
Source

Belgium National Anthem
English Translation
First version (end of August 1830) (in English)

Worthy children of Belgium
Whom a fine passion has aroused,
To your patriotic fervour
Great successes lie in store.
Remain under arms, so that naught shall change!
Let us keep to the same will,
And we shall see Orange bloom anew
Upon the tree of Liberty.

To cries of murder and pillage,
The wicked had rallied around,
But your forceful courage
Has pushed them far away.
Now, pure of this filth
That was soiling your city,
Friends, we must graft Orange
Onto the tree of Liberty.

And you, in whom your people place their hopes,
Nassau, set firm our rights at last;
Remaining the father of the Belgians,
You'll be the example of kings.
Forswear a foreign minister,
Reject a too hated name,
And you will see Orange ripen
Upon the tree of Liberty.

But woe to you if, wilfully,
Pursuing dreadful plans,
You turn on us
The bloody cannon's fire!
Then all is over, all is changing;
No more pact, no more treaty,
And you shall see Orange fall
From the tree of Liberty.

Second version (end of September 1830) (in English)

Who'd have believed it? ... wilfully
Pursuing dreadful plans,
On us, with cannon's brass,
A prince has opened fire.
It has been done! Yes, Belgians, all is changing;
No more unworthy treaty with Nassau!
Grapeshot has shattered Orange
Upon the tree of Liberty.


Too generous in her anger,
Belgium, avenging her rights,
From a king, whom she called her father,
Sought no more than just laws.
But he, in his unexpected fury,
By the cannon aimed by his son
Has drowned Orange in Belgian blood
Beneath the tree of Liberty.

O proud, brave people of Brabant,
Seen not to flinch amid the fight,
From the Batavians' shameful sceptre
Your bullets will set you free.
On Brussels, together with the archangel[3]
Your holy flag is planted for ever;
And, proud to grow green without Orange,
Grows higher the tree of Liberty.

And you, objects of noble tears,
The brave, who died under cannon fire,
Before the Fatherland, under arms,
Could know at least your names,
Beneath the humble earth where you are laid,
Sleep, martyrs, unbroken battalion!
Sleep in peace, far from Orange,
Beneath the tree of Liberty.

Third version (1860) (in English)

After century on century in slavery,
The Belgian, arising from the tomb,
Has reconquered through his strength and courage
His name, his rights and his flag.

And now, undaunted people,
Your hand, sovereign and proud,
Has inscribed on your ancient banner:

The King, and Law, and Liberty!
Inscribed on your ancient banner:
The King, and Law, and Liberty!
The King, and Law, and Liberty!
Source

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