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Discover Belgium


Tourism n Belgium
Tourism n Belgium

Tourists come to Belgium to enjoy its picturesque cities, some of which date to the Middle Ages; its artistic treasures; and its food. Brugge (Bruges) has a medieval center and well-preserved houses along a system of canals. Ghent’s medieval core is arranged around several open squares. Visitors to Brussels flock to the Grand-Place, with its ornate Renaissance and baroque buildings, and to the city’s many museums. Antwerp, Belgium’s chief port, also has a historic center. Oostende is the most popular beach resort in Belgium, and the Ardennes region is popular with outdoor enthusiasts. Among the artistic treasures are works by Flemish painters Jan van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden, Hans Memling, Pieter Bruegel, Hieronymus Bosch, and Peter Paul Rubens.

Belgium’s fine cuisine attracts gourmets. Many of the national specialties are based on seafood, including eel dishes and mussels cooked in white wine, or on foods cooked in beer. Belgian chocolates are internationally famous.

Communications


Belgium’s 7 nuclear power plants are the main source of electricity, supplying 56 percent of the country’s electric power. With the decline of the coal-mining industry, Belgium has been forced to rely on imported coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Since the 1980s environmental concerns about nuclear power (see Nuclear Energy) have led to greater reliance on renewable energy sources, such as solar power, biomass, and geothermal technologies; a gas-powered generator was also constructed. Legislation approved in 2003 calls for Belgium to close its seven nuclear reactors between 2015 and 2025. This means that Belgium will have to find a replacement for about two-fifths of its energy supply. Total electric power production was 80 billion kilowatt-hours in 2006. "Belgium" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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