If there’s one thing we like, it’s fun facts about Belgium. So when we discovered the “Did you know?” section on the “Focus on Belgium” website, we couldn’t resist sharing some of our favourite anecdotes with you. Get ready because Belgium might just surprise you!
Our national candy is jealously guarded! The cuberdon is exclusively produced in Belgium by a handful of craftsmen who hold the secret of its recipe. Although our cuberdon is delicious, it is very difficult to preserve over time, which is why we do not export it outside our borders.
Since the 17th century, the people of Brussels have adorned the Manneken Pis with its most beautiful costumes. As he is dressed 130 times a year, his wardrobe has to be renewed regularly. The most famous Brussels ketje therefore receives about 15 new outfits a year. There are now more than 1,000 costumes in the Manneken Pis collection, which is part of Brussels’ heritage! The Manneken Pis is a real fashion victim!
Remember the audio cassettes of your favourite music, all your compilations were gathered in these small plastic boxes? Well, did you know that we owe the invention of the audio cassette to the Flemish engineer Gilbert Mestdagh and his team? Indeed, our iconic cassettes were invented and developed in Hasselt before being marketed by Philips worldwide. It almost makes us want to bring back our old walkmans!
We know the mythical Woodstock Festival which took place in 1969 in the United States. What is less known is that there was also a small Woodstock in Belgium the same year! Two young French people who were desperately looking for a venue to host their festival found it in Belgium. The biggest stars of the time, including Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd, met at Amougies in Hainaut for a rock’n’roll weekend!
Nothing stops the Belgians! The only work of art present on the Moon is a statuette named “Fallen Astronaut” in homage to the astronauts and cosmonauts who died for the conquest of space. This art piece was created by the Antwerp artist Paul Van Hoeydonck and placed on the Moon in 1971. He is in fact the first artist in the world to be exhibited outside the Earth. As another famous astronaut would say, “to infinity, and beyond”!
We would have been so proud to say that beer was born in Belgium. And yet, it was in Mesopotamia that beer would have first appeared… around 5,000 years BC! Of course, it wasn’t exactly the same beer that we drink today, but that’s where beer brewing was born. Beer did not arrive in Belgium until several centuries later! No matter what, it is still the Belgian beer culture that was recognised as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 2016!
This is a little bonus of our selection! Did you know that Jean-Claude Van Damme has his own life-size statue in Anderlecht? Our legendary actor and martial arts specialist inaugurated this statue in 2012, inspired by the character Frank Dux he played in the film Bloodsport. At the age of 60, JCVD still makes us dream!
This is the end of our article! But don’t worry, we’ll be back very soon with new anecdotes ! In the meantime, have a look at the Focus on Belgium website to learn more fun facts about Belgium!
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