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Description Of Belgium's History And Geography

1889 words - 8 pages

Belgium is located in Western Europe. It’s located to the north of France, also bordering with Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, and the Netherlands to the north. A strip of land in the northwest lies on the North Sea. The country’s capital is Brussels, located a few miles north of the invisible language barrier that runs east to west. It began as a small hamlet in the 7th century, although officially founded in c. 979, and eventually grew to the city it is today (Wikipedia, “Brussels” 5). The entire country covers an area of 30,528 km². Despite its small size, Belgium has three distinct landscapes. Beginning in the northwest, on the North sea is an area of seacoast and flat coastal plains. Lower Belgium, as it’s called, only reaches to about 100 m above sea level. Central Belgium is between 100 and 200 m above sea level. It’s characterized by low and very fertile clay plateaus. Upper Belgium, more commonly known as the Ardennes region is in the southeast of Belgium. It’s height above sea level can range from 200 to over 500m. The area is known to be heavily forested and characterized by rolling hills. It’s a popular tourist destination with its beautiful valleys and beech forests, but because of its abundance of trees it’s also the least populated area, as can be seen in the population density map to the left. Upper Belgium begins below the Sambre and Meuse rivers (BFG 1). After this point, population sharply decreases. However, it should be noted that population would have decreased before the river line, if not for the large coal deposits that existed there along with iron and steel as well as other nonferrous metals. Other areas rich with natural resources are in northern Belgium. Examples of these areas can more clearly be seen in the area bordering the Netherlands. The patches of dense population are centered around metal deposits (Basic). While the natural deposits aren’t lucrative today, their effect on population can still be seen. As can be expected, the number of hospitals and medical centers in northern Belgium are much higher than in the less-populated provinces in the Ardennes region. For example, in the entire province of Luxembourg (the southernmost province bordering the country of Luxembourg) only contains one hospital, while the capital-region in itself contains eleven (Wiki, “List” 3). This trend is also shown among schools. But being such a small country, about the size of Maryland, travel isn’t impeded very much. In fact, it probably occurs very often among Belgian families. Driving from the farthest points, say from Arlon to Bruges, would only take about three hours, driving conservatively. While in Western Europe, Belgium is often overlooked as a tourist destination. The locations in Belgium popular with tourists aren’t overrun with them, and Belgians tend to be open to foreigners, so the community benefits from tourism in all ways. Since its formation, Belgium has acquired the...

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