YWAM in Belgium
belgium & brussels
History & facts :
The Kingdom of Belgium is a federal state in Western Europe. Belgium is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU headquarters and the headquarters of several other major international organisations such as NATO. Strategically located in between cities like London, Paris and Amsterdam, Brussels is a central point for business, economics and polictics.
Belgium became an independent nation in 1830, and chose Brussels as its capital. Brussels is entirely surrounded by Dutch-speaking Flanders and its Flemish province called ‘Brabant’. As headquarters of many European institutions, Brussels is also referred to as the capital of Europe.
Being at the crossroads of cultures, Brussels fits the definition of “melting pot”, while it still retains its own unique character!
Brussels has about 1 million inhabitants and the population of the metropolitan area is just over 2 million. It is a multicultural city with large Turkish, Moroccan, Eastern European and Central African communities!
Brussels operates as a bilingual city where both French (80%) and Flemish (20%) are official languages. Thus all the streets have two names, which can sound totally different. For example, the Main Square is called both ‘la Grand Place’ and ‘de Grote Markt’.
Although officially bilingual, French is undoubtedly Brussels’ lingua franca!
More about the location of Brussels
Brussels is located by the Senne River, a tributary of the Schelde. The city began as a village on an island in the Senne and ultimately became a holding of the dukes of Brabant. In 1530 it became the capital of Netherlands, which was then under Habsburg (Austria- Hungary) control. Brussels was part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands from 1815, before it became a centre of Belgian rebellion in 1830 and eventually became the capital of Belgium!
Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a main centre for international politics. Hosting principal EU institutions as well as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the city has become a home for numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants.
Brussels in figures
- The population has around 1.1 million inhabitants. Roughly 40% of the city’s total population is foreign!
- Brussels is known as a very green city : There are lots of public parks in the centre, and a large forest surrounds the city!
- The time is GMT +1 in winter and GMT + 2 in summer. Brussels has a temperate, maritime climate, which means the umbrella is your best friend: wind and rain are usual weather circumstances!
- The average temperature in summer is ± 16°Celsius, even though we do get the occasional heat wave!
- The average temperature in winter is ± 3°Celsius.
- A motorway ring road has been built roughly 6 km from the centre of Brussels to make both transit and entry into the city easier. If you do not own a car, you can easily navigate through the city using the bus, tram and metro – system, checking in with the so-called ‘Mobib’ card!
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