|Last updated: February 1, 2011|
The Benelux consists of three countries - Belgium [be], The Netherlands [ne], and Luxembourg [lux].
Belgium is one of the founding members of the European Community. It's capital, Brussels, is also the capital of the European Union. The Independent State of Belgium was established on 4 October 1830 and consists of two distinct regions: Flanders in the north, where the dominant language is Dutch or Flemish and Wallonia in the south where the dominant language is French. Brussels, which is centrally located is bilingual - officially speaking Dutch and French - you will also find a high percentage of residents who speak English as well as German.
Did You Know...
Belgium is a younger country than the United States.
Adolphe Sax, a Belgian, invented the saxophone in 1846.
Antwertp, Belgium's second largest city, is also the diamond capital of the world.
It was in Waterloo, a suburb of Brussels that Napoleon surrendered in 1815.
The national dish of Belgium is mussels and Belgian fried potatoes.
Belgium is the size of the state of Maryland with a population of 10 million people.
Belgium's road system is so well lighted at night that it can be seen by the astronauts.
Also one of the original members of the European Union, the Netherlands - who's official language is Dutch - is flanked to the north and south by the North Sea, to the east by Germany and to the south by Belgium. To protect the Netherlands from flooding, a sophisticated series of dikes and pumping stations have been implemented as over 25% of the country is below sea level.
The country's official name is the Netherlands, which literally translated means "low countries." However, the name "Holland" is often used.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the sixth smallest country and the only Grand Duchy in the world, is an independent sovereign state situated between Belgium, France and Germany. The country is divided into two regions: The "Eislek" or "Oesling" in the north covers one-third of the territory. While the "Good country" in the center and south covers the remainder of the territory.
"Lëtzebuergesch" is the everyday spoken language while French and German remain the official language of Luxembourg.
Points of Interest
The climate in the Benelux is usually temperate, influenced by the North Sea Gulf Stream. Extreme temperatures are very rare. The proximity to the sea reduces the harshness of winter, but also makes for cooler summer temperatures. Belgium is located in the path of the atmospheric depression which crosses the Atlantic from West to East, almost exactly where the masses of cold air coming from the North and the masses of warm air coming from the South meet. This produces regular but moderate rainfall.Medium-weight clothing is worn all year round, however, do not forget to bring warm sweaters and winter-wear for those days when the temperature drops lower than the norm. Umbrellas and raincoats will come in handy.
The Benelux is one hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time. Daylight savings begins from the end of March and lasts until the end of September. Durng this time, Belgium is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
Local time zone is Central European.
Location Time Date
Eastern [USA] 0600 Monday
Central [USA] 0500 Monday
Mountain [USA] 0400 Monday
Pacific [USA] 0300 Monday
Greenwich [UK] 1100 Monday
Central European [Germany] 1200 Monday
East Asia [Japan] 0400 Tuesday
In the four-border region of Belgium, Germany, France, The Netherlands and the Grand-Duche of Luxembourg, there exists a multitude of opportunities for cultural exchange. Belgium offers a tourist information bureau, "Office du Tourisme", which is located in every main city of the country. These offices provide information on sights, events, concerts, festivals and more. Newcomers should visit the Mons Tourism Office early in their tour.
People with an interest in the Arts will be quite surprised by the treasures they will find in the Benelux. The wealth in which these countries has to offer is completely out of proportion with its small size. Eight centuries of intense activity in the Arts has filled the Benelux region with treasures.
The Benelux offers a perpetual spectacle of folklore and merriment. Carnivals, ancient customs and commemorations of historic and legendary happenings bring celebrations throughout the year to the towns and villages. We recommend that you pick up a calendar of tourist events from the tourism office on the Grand Place of Mons.
Our vision is to be the U.S. service member’s community of choice, with premier services and facilities sustaining U.S. personnel in and in support of NATO.
Our mission is to provide Army base operations for joint military and interagency communities to support U.S. personnel in and in support of NATO throughout our seven-nation footprint.
|| History||| Facts|