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Wed, Nov 20, 2002 - Page 7 News List

Interesting facts about Belgium

, BELGIAN TRADE OFFICE

Adolph Sax (1814-1894), a Belgian from the city of Dinant in the South of Belgium developed many new music instruments the most famous of which was the Saxophone in 1846. This is why President Clinton, when on official visit in Belgium, called on the native city of Mr. Sax.

The greatest of the typically Belgian painter, Pieter Breughel, painted panoramic and encyclopedic paintings, with hundreds of figures illustrating in proverbs the follies, afflictions, passions and pastimes of human beings of all ages. In one of his most famous painting he depicted more than 100 proverbs of his time. One other of Belgium's masters of the baroque style painter Peter Paul Rubens was also a scholar and a diplomat.

Brussels is with Prague in the Czech republic the European capital of Art Nouveau also called Modern Style was pioneered by Belgian architects in the thirties. It was very popular and was greatly inspired by the Chinese and Japanese arts forms drawn from a keen observation of nature. Art nouveau is still also very popular in Taiwan especially in glass works such as the Tiffany lamps.

Belgium is a gourmet paradise and has the highest density of Michelin star-rated restaurants in Europe. It produces more than 600 different beers with the strongest brewed by monks in the monasteries such as Orval and Chimay, more than one can taste. Already more than 50 of these brands are imported in Taiwan to the great joy of the culinary diversity of Taiwanese consumers.

The tradition goes that every village of Belgium had its own brewery. Belgian Beer is not only made with the traditional ingredients such as grain, yeasts and hops but also such unusual ingredients as raspberries, peaches and black currents. There are even beers made with the in Taiwan popular coriander spice or even such other spices as ginger and cumin. When Belgian beer with Taiwanese pinlang?

Georges Simenon, creator of inspector Maigret, world-famous author of mystery novels. At the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his books, nine of his famous inspector Maigret spy novels will be translated by a Taiwanese publishing house into Chinese in 2003, following the Chinese translation in 2000 of the Belgian Amelie Nothomb world success book "Stupeur et Tremblement" where she tells her experiences in corporate Japan.

The city of Spa in the southern part of Belgium was and is still famous for its hot and mineral springs where royalty and spring lovers spend time to repair their health. Its name became a worldwide symbol of therapeutic bathing. In Taiwan it became synonymous of spring water healthcare.

The spring waters in the city of Spa were already discovered by the Romans and became so well known that in many parts of the world any town or place with or offering natural springs is called a "Spa." At the end of last century it was the in place for Europe royalty to bath in great elegance. In the 21st century the city of Spa became a cultural capital with music, opera, theater and movie festivals.

Founded in 1425, it bears the honor of being the oldest Catholic university in the world still in existence and the oldest university in the Low Countries. Its rich past of almost six hundred years has provided the University of Leuven through the centuries with its own, dynamic international dimension.

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