Belgium is located in Western Europe. It’s located to the north of France, also bordering with Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, and the Netherlands to the north. A strip of land in the northwest lies on the North Sea. The country’s capital is Brussels, located a few miles north of the invisible language barrier that runs east to west. It began as a small hamlet in the 7th century, although officially founded in c. 979, and eventually grew to the city it is today (Wikipedia, “Brussels” 5). The entire country covers an area of 30,528 km². Despite its small size, Belgium has three distinct landscapes. Beginning in the northwest, on the North sea is an area of seacoast and flat coastal plains. Lower Belgium, as it’s called, only reaches to about 100 m above sea level. Central Belgium is between 100 and 200 m above sea level. It’s characterized by low and very fertile clay plateaus. Upper Belgium, more commonly known as the Ardennes region is in the southeast of Belgium. It’s height above sea level can range from 200 to over 500m. The area is known to be heavily forested and characterized by rolling hills. It’s a popular tourist destination with its beautiful valleys and beech forests, but because of its abundance of trees it’s also the least populated area, as can be seen in the population density map to the left. Upper Belgium begins below the Sambre and Meuse rivers (BFG 1). After this point, population sharply decreases. However, it should be noted that population would have decreased before the river line, if not for the large coal deposits that existed there along with iron and steel as well as other nonferrous metals. Other areas rich with natural resources are in northern Belgium. Examples of the...
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