Belgium has been the site of so many battles between the European powers it earned the nickname 'the cockpit of Europe.' Upheavals in the area can be traced back to the first century BCE, when the Roman Republic took over the area.
Belgium is linguistically divided with Dutch dominant in the north and French in the south. There is also a German-speaking minority in the east. This has resulted in many heated and divisive political debates.
The largest diamond trading centre in the world is located in Antwerp in the north. Belgium was one of the founding members of the European Union and is the site of its headquarters.