Flemish Brabant is a province of Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. It borders on (clockwise from the North) the Belgian provinces of Antwerp
, Walloon Brabant
and East Flanders
. Flemish Brabant also completely surrounds the Brussels Capital Region. Its capital is Leuven.
It has a surface area of 2,106 km², a population of 1,015,000 inhabitants, and is divided into two administrative districts (arrondissementen in Dutch) which contain 65 municipalities.
Flemish Brabant was created in 1995 by the splitting of the former province of Brabant into three parts: two new provinces, Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant; and the Brussels-Capital Region, which no longer belongs to any province. The split was made to accommodate (with a delay) the division of Belgium in three regions (Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-Capital Region).
It is a province with a rich cultural history and a great diversity of typical products. Among them several of the world-famous Belgian beers.
The district Halle-Vilvoorde has Brussels in its middle. It is therefore mainly a residential area, but it also has large industrial zones. For example, it is home to Belgium's main airport.
The official language in Flemish Brabant is Dutch (as it is in the whole of Flanders), but a few municipalities are allowed to use French to communicate with their citizens; these are called the municipalities with linguistic facilities. Other such special municipalities can be found along the border between Flanders and Wallonia, and between Wallonia and the German-speaking area of Belgium. The fact that Halle-Vilvoorde surrounds Brussels (which is officially bilingual but whose inhabitants mostly speak French) makes for an interesting mix of both languages.
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