Belgium is highly urbanized. The chief cities and their 2007 populations are Brussels (145,917), Antwerp (466,203), Ghent (235,143), Charleroi (201,550), and Liège (188,907).
The larger cities of Belgium are generally fascinating combinations of old and new, where ancient guild halls, churches, and houses contrast with modern office buildings, apartment houses, and factories.
Brussels, the capital, is famous for its beauty, boulevards, restaurants, and stores. The Grand-Place, a square in the center of Brussels, is surrounded by fine examples of medieval and Renaissance architecture, recalling the opulent splendors of an earlier time. Antwerp, a Flemish city, first developed as a major port in the 15th century and remains today one of the busiest ports in Europe. Ghent was a center of the Flemish lace and textile industries and a commercial port during the Middle Ages. The old part of the town, with its many waterways and bridges and medieval and Renaissance buildings, attracts thousands of tourists each year. Charleroi grew up near large coal deposits. Today, Charleroi and Liège are industrial centers. Encarta "Belgium" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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