Can you name 10 famous Belgians?

Vee  and I are spending a few days this week on a short break in Antwerp in the northern (Flemish) part of Belgium. Our guide book offers the following 10 famous Belgians:

  1. Gerard Mercator  (1512-1594) – the inventor of the Mercator projection to represent the spherical globe on a flat page.
  2. Georges Simeon (1903-1989)- the writer of 400 novels including 75 featuring Inspector Maigret.
  3. Queen Astrid (1905-1935) – the Swedish princess (does that count?) who married Prince Leopold of Belgium in 1934.
  4. Georges Remi (1907-1983) – the creator of Tintin using the pen name Herge.
  5. Jacques Brel (1929-1978) – a singer-songwriter who made his name in France (does that count?).
  6. Johnny Hallyday – the godfather of French rock and roll whose father was Belgian (does that count?).
  7. Eddie Merckx – five times winner of the Tour de France.
  8. Jean-Claude Van Damme – star of action movies.
  9. Justine Henin-Hardenne – a tennis champion.
  10. Kim Clijsters – another tennis champion, now retired.

So, be honest, how many did you know were famous Belgians?

Of course, depending on your definition of ‘famous’, it’s amazing how many famous Belgians can be identified. You can find a list of 263 here.


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