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Vennbahn 336 Grenzbrücke Auel©vennbahn

Languages and borders

East Belgium is situated at the intersection of several countries and language and cultural regions. The language, the location and influences from the neighbouring countries have formed a very special identity within the region. The easy-going nature of the Belgians intermingles with German dependability. The image of the typical East Belgian is completed by a strong dash of savoir-vivre.

Languages and borders

It’s all about the location

Its location in the heart of Europe has had a formative influence on East Belgium. In the north, the borders of Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany come together. In the west, they are joined by the francophone region of Wallonia. The border with Luxembourg runs along the southern side, while those with the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Rhineland Palatinate are to be found in the east. The position and the influences on the region by its neighbours have created a very special identity in East Belgium. The easy-going nature of the Belgians is intermingled with German dependability. The image is completed by a strong dash of savoir-vivre.

Covering an area of 1,036 square kilometres, East Belgium proves surprisingly large in terms of its culture, language and cuisine. This rich diversity is also reflected in the language. French is spoken in and around Malmedy, while German is the language in the remaining areas of East Belgium. But the differences to the neighbouring countries are evident even without words. Right behind the border near Aachen is the start of a landscape whose charm has not been spoiled by land consolidation and agricultural production on an industrial scale.

It appears that the only purpose of the delightful narrow and winding lanes is to lead you to the next picture-postcard village, the next pretty town. Most probably, if not certainly, you will come across a restaurant on your trip in which regional cuisine is held in high esteem: East Belgium is always good for a surprise from a culinary point of view as well.


Points where borders meet