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Culture of Belgium

Belgium is well known for its art, its great architecture, its beer, its food, and its chocolate. Its inhabitants have a reputation among their fellow Europeans for being chubby and sedentary.

The beer with the most prestige is that of the Trappist monks. Technically, it is an ale and traditionally each abbey's beer is served in its own glass (the forms, heights and widths are different). There are only six breweries that are allowed to brew Trappist beer.

The inhabitants of this country have a reputation for loving French fries. The fried potato strips, sold at many small shops and stands (often at train stations), are known locally as frieten in Dutch and frites in French, and are served with mayonnaise.

Many great French authors went to Belgium for refuge.

One of the great athletes of Belgium and the world was the cyclist Eddy Merckx. He won the Tour de France 5 times.

Hooverphonic, formed in the mid-1990s, is a Belgian pop / trip hop band that achieved international recognition through their inclusion on the soundtrack Bernardo Bertolucci's 1996 film Stealing Beauty (Io Ballo da Sola).

Belgium has occasionally been the butt of cruel jokes and jibes, such as in the Belgian-themed poems of Charles Baudelaire, where he calls the Belgians dirty and foolish.

See also: Belgium, List of Belgians, Franco-Belgian comics, Music of Belgium