Despite its small size, Belgium has produced quite a few people of international importance. I went on a search for famous Belgians and was amazed by how many I found. Too many to include them all in one post, actually, so I had to be selective.
I decided to only include real people (no movie or strip characters) who accomplished something extraordinary (getting in the “Guinness Book of World Records” is extraordinary, being a prime minister isn't) that is also known abroad or has had international importance.
That means I only included famous people from Belgium who are internationally known, either because of who they are or for what they did.
I also tried to stick to famous people in Belgium who are or were actually Belgians – meaning they were born when Belgium was already a country and not before 1830. However, I did make a few exceptions for people born in what is now Belgium as there were just too many fabulous ones that I couldn't not include.
- 1. Audrey Hepburn
- 2. Jean-Claude van Damme
- 3. Georges Remi
- 4. Peter Paul Rubens
- 5. Adolphe Sax
- 6. René Magritte
- 7. Jacques Brel
- 8. Andreas Vesalius
- 9. Gerardus Mercator
- 10. Jean “Toots” Thielemans
- 11. Joseph Merlin
- 12. Rudy Beckers
- 13. Robert Caillau
- 14. Constant Loiseau
- 15. Lambert Adolphe Quetelet
- 16. Ferdinand Peeters
- 17. Jules Bordet
- 18. Ferdinand Verbiest
- 19. Ingrid Daubechies
- 20. Charles Van Depoele
- 21. Étienne Lenoir
- 22. Baron Peter Piot
- 23. Jan Baptist van Helmont
- 24. Georges Lemaître
- 25. Ernest Solvay
- 26. Leo Hendrik Baekeland
- 27. Julius Aloysius Nieuwland
- 28. Joseph Plateau
- 29. Edward De Smedt
- 30. Albert Claude
- 31. Adrien de Gerlache
- 32. Camille Jenatzy
- 33. Walter Artefeuille
- 34. John Massis
- 35. Pierre Culliford
- 36. Victor Horta
- 37. Jean-Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt
- 38. Plastic Bertrand
- 39. Sandra Kim
- 40. Singing Nun
- 41. Technotronic
- 42. Johnny Galecki
- 43. Stefan Everts
- 44. John Langenus
- 45. John Houblon
- 46. Pierre Minuit
- 47. Gérard Blit
- 48. Sir Eugene Goossens
- 49. Keizer Karel/Charles V
- 50. Charlotte of Belgium
- 51. Alain Billiet
- 52. Frank De Winne
- 53. Victor de Laveleye
- Who are the most famous Belgian scientists and inventors?
- Who are the most famous Belgians who held a special record?
- Who are the most famous Belgian artists?
- Who are the most famous Belgian singers and musicians?
- Who are the most famous Belgian actors?
- Who are the most famous Belgian sportsmen?
- Who are the most famous Belgian chefs?
Lastly, I didn't include that many sportsmen or famous Belgian musicians because I simply didn't see where to draw the line with them. Honestly, there are a lot! :-) So sorry, your favorite Belgian tennis player or baroque painter won't be here.
So yes, I've surely missed some people. If you know a famous Belgian who you think should definitely be on this list, feel free to let me know in the comments and I'll see what I can do :-) . All the lists are sorted based on the mentions of each Belgian name across the web.
Listed below are the most famous Belgians.
- Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels in 1929. She was an famous actress and humanitarian; known for classic films such as “Breakfast at Tiffany's” and “Roman Holiday”.
- Jean-Claude van Damme. Jean-Claude van Damme is a Belgian martial artist and actor. He was born in 1960 in Brussels and started training in karate at age 10 and became a European karate champion in the 1970s. Van Damme moved to the US in the 1980s and became a top action movie star in hits like Bloodsport and Universal Soldier.
- Georges Remi. Georges Remi, known as Hergé, was an influential Belgian cartoonist who created the iconic comic book series The Adventures of Tintin in 1929. Hergé was born in 1907 in Brussels. He pioneered the clear line style and developed storylines filled with adventure that immersed readers in exotic locales, leaving an enduring legacy on European comics.
- Peter Paul Rubens. Peter Paul Rubens was a prolific Flemish Baroque painter who lived from 1577 to 1640. He was born in Westphalia and known for his altarpieces, history paintings, portraits, landscapes and tapestries. Rubens apprenticed locally before studying art in Italy. After returning to Antwerp, he was appointed court painter and received many commissions. Rubens ran a large studio and trained young painters, producing a prolific output. His most famous works include the Descent from the Cross and Marie de’ Medici cycle. Rubens had an enormous influence on 17th century art.
- Adolphe Sax. Adolphe Sax was a Belgian instrument designer who invented the saxophone in 1841. Sax combined features of the clarinet and ophicleide to create the saxophone. He also invented the saxhorn family of brass instruments and worked to improve many other musical instruments throughout his life.
- René Magritte. René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist painter known for his images of ordinary objects in unexpected contexts that challenge perceptions of reality. His iconic works include The Son of Man and The Treachery of Images. Magritte rose to prominence in the 1920s Paris surrealist art scene.
- Jacques Brel. Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer-songwriter born in 1929 who pioneered the nouvelle chanson movement with his highly emotional lyrics and unique performance style. Though he retired abruptly in 1967, Brel's songs remain widely popular today.
- Andreas Vesalius. Andreas Vesalius was a 16th-century Flemish anatomist who is considered the founder of modern human anatomy. He was born in Brussels in 1514. Vesalius studied medicine and became frustrated with traditional anatomy teaching, which relied on Galen's ancient texts. Vesalius began performing human dissections himself and produced detailed anatomical illustrations. His 1543 book De Humani Corporis Fabrica was the first accurate textbook of human anatomy based on dissection. Vesalius established human dissection and primary observation as essential to anatomy, overturning Galen's errors. His contributions remain foundational.
- Gerardus Mercator. Gerardus Mercator was a Belgian (Flemish) cartographer born in 1512. He created the Mercator projection map in 1569 and pioneered the atlas map collection idea. Mercator left a lasting impact on cartography through maps, globes, projections and promoting italic script.
- Jean “Toots” Thielemans. Belgian jazz musician Jean “Toots” Thielemans became renowned for his chromatic harmonica playing as well as his guitar and whistling skills over a decades-long career recording and performing with jazz greats after moving to the US in 1952. He composed famous jazz standard “Bluesette” in 1961.
1. Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was a beloved actress and humanitarian known for her graceful beauty and iconic sense of style. She was born Audrey Kathleen Ruston on May 4, 1929 in Ixelles, Brussels to a Dutch baroness mother and British banker father. Hepburn studied ballet as a child and pursued acting in England in her early twenties. Her breakthrough role came in 1953's Roman Holiday, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress. She went on to star in a string of successful and stylish films throughout the 1950s and 60s including Sabrina, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany's and My Fair Lady.
Hepburn was admired for her ability to exude sophistication and innocence. She became closely associated with French fashion designer Hubert de Givenchy. While Hepburn scaled back her acting career in the late 1960s to devote time to her family, she took on humanitarian work for UNICEF in 1988, traveling the world to assist children in need. She received many awards for her iconic film roles and humanitarianism before passing away in 1993 at age 63.
2. Jean-Claude van Damme
Jean-Claude van Damme is a Belgian martial artist and actor known for his karate and kickboxing skills. He was born as Jean-Claude Camille François Van Varenberg on October 18, 1960 in Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Brussels, Belgium. Van Damme started training in shotokan karate at the age of 10 and went on to earn a black belt and become a champion on the European karate circuit in the 1970s. He is renowned for his athleticism and ability to perform splits and spinning jump kicks. Van Damme moved to the United States in the 1980s to pursue acting and starred in breakout hits like Bloodsport (1988) and Kickboxer (1989) that launched his career. He became one of the top action stars of the 1990s, headlining films like Double Impact, Universal Soldier, Hard Target and Timecop. More recently, he has branched out into dramatic roles and voice work in animated films. Though past his peak years as an action hero, Van Damme remains an icon of martial arts cinema. His nickname is “the muschles of Brussels”.
3. Georges Remi
Georges Remi, better known by his pen name Hergé, was a Belgian cartoonist who created the iconic comic book series The Adventures of Tintin. Hergé was born in 1907 in Etterbeek, Brussels. As a young man, he worked as an illustrator and cartoonist for various Belgian newspapers and magazines. In 1929, he created the character of Tintin, an intrepid young reporter, for a children's supplement. Hergé went on to produce 23 Tintin comic albums over the next 50 years. The Adventures of Tintin were wildly popular and translated into dozens of languages, establishing Hergé as one of the most influential cartoonists of the 20th century. Hergé pioneered the “Ligne claire” clear line style of drawing, which uses strong lines and flat colors. He also developed engaging storylines filled with adventure, mystery and humor. Hergé's well-researched stories immersed readers in exotic locales ranging from the Soviet Union to the Moon. The Adventures of Tintin left an enduring legacy and laid the foundations of European comics for generations to come. Hergé Museum is dedicated to Georges Remi and his work.
4. Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens was a prolific Flemish Baroque painter and draughtsman who lived from 1577 to 1640. He was born in Siegen, Westphalia, which is now Germany, to Jan Rubens and Maria Pypelincks. Rubens is considered one of the most influential artists of the Flemish Baroque tradition. He was known for his exuberant Counter-Reformation altarpieces, history paintings, portraits, landscapes and tapestries. Rubens was classically educated in Latin and classical literature early in life. He apprenticed under several local artists before travelling to Italy in 1600, where he studied classical and Renaissance art. After his return to Antwerp in 1608, Rubens was appointed as court painter to the Spanish Habsburg rulers. He received important commissions from the Catholic Church and various European nobility. Rubens ran a large studio in Antwerp, training many young painters who helped produce his prolific artistic output. His most famous works include the Descent from the Cross triptych, Marie de’ Medici cycle and portraits like Chateau de Steen with Hunter. Rubens had an enormous influence on 17th century art.
5. Adolphe Sax
Adolphe Sax was a Belgian musical instrument designer and musician who invented the saxophone. Sax was born on November 6, 1814 in Dinant, Belgium. As a young man, Sax became interested in improving the tone and projection of wind instruments. He invented the saxophone in 1841 by combining features of the clarinet and ophicleide. Sax patented the saxophone in 1846 and presented it at the Industrial Exhibition in Paris. The saxophone, named for its inventor, would go on to become a popular and iconic instrument in jazz, rock and pop music. Sax also invented the saxhorn family of brass instruments. Throughout his life, Sax worked to improve the design of many other instruments as well, including the clarinet, flute, oboe, bass clarinet and trumpet. He established a company to manufacture his instruments in Paris in 1851. However, Sax faced much resistance from competitors and instrument makers during his lifetime and struggled financially. He died in poverty in Paris in 1894.
6. René Magritte
René Magritte was a Belgian surrealist artist known for his thought-provoking and startling images. He was born in 1898 in Lessines, Belgium. Magritte is most famous for his paintings of ordinary objects in strange, unexpected contexts that challenge observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality. Some of his most iconic works include The Son of Man, depicting a man in a suit with an apple covering his face and The Treachery of Images, featuring a pipe with the caption “This is not a pipe.” Magritte also frequently painted impersonal suited men, bowler hats and green apples. His work aimed to make ordinary things seem unfamiliar and compelling while exploring ideas of illusion, reality and representation. Magritte had his first solo exhibition in Brussels in 1927 and rose to international prominence when he moved to Paris in the 1920s. He was an influential figure in the surrealist art movement along with contemporaries like Salvador Dalí. Magritte's unsettling and thought-provoking images left a lasting impact on 20th century art.
7. Jacques Brel
Jacques Brel was a Belgian singer-songwriter who became internationally famous starting in the late 1950s. Brel was born on April 8, 1929 in Schaerbeek, Brussels. Known for his highly emotional lyrics and theatrical stage presence, Brel created some of the most popular French songs of all time. Major hits included “Ne me quitte pas”, “La valse à mille temps” and “Amsterdam”. Though he initially performed traditional pop music, Brel was at the forefront of the nouvelle chanson movement which brought opera and cabaret influences into popular music. Unlike his contemporaries, he wrote his own material and accompaniment. After a decade at the top of the French charts, Brel abruptly retired from performing in 1967 to pursue other creative endeavors like acting and directing. Jacques Brel died from lung cancer at age 49 in 1978.
8. Andreas Vesalius
Andreas Vesalius was a 16th-century Flemish anatomist and physician who is considered the founder of modern human anatomy. He was born on December 31, 1514 in Brussels, which at the time was part of the Habsburg Netherlands. Vesalius studied medicine at the universities of Leuven, Paris and Padua. He became frustrated with the traditional methods of teaching anatomy, which relied heavily on the ancient texts of Galen and did not emphasize actual human dissection. At the University of Padua, Vesalius began performing human dissections himself and produced highly detailed anatomical illustrations. His magnum opus, De Humani Corporis Fabrica, published in 1543, was the first comprehensive and accurate textbook of human anatomy based on direct observation and dissection. The Fabrica overturned many anatomical errors from Galen and other ancient authors and established Vesalius as the foremost authority on human anatomy. With his emphasis on hands-on dissection, detailed visual documentation and reliance on primary observation over textual authority, Vesalius ushered in a new era of scientific medicine. Though he encountered much resistance during his lifetime, his contributions remain foundational to the modern study of anatomy.
9. Gerardus Mercator
Gerardus Mercator was a legendary Belgian / Flemish cartographer, geographer and mathematician. He was born on March 5th, 1512 in Rupelmonde, County of Flanders (modern-day Belgium). Mercator is best known for creating the Mercator projection map in 1569. This was a groundbreaking world map that depicted rhumb lines or sailing courses of constant bearing, as straight lines. The Mercator projection became very popular for marine navigation because it allowed sailors to plot a straight course easily. Mercator also pioneered the use of the word “atlas” to describe a collection of maps, when he published the Atlas in 1595 after his death. The Mercator projection and atlas idea remain standard practices in cartography today. Mercator made many other contributions like globes, scientific instruments and promoting the use of italic script on maps. He studied mathematics, philosophy and theology and was persecuted for his Protestant leanings. Mercator left an enduring mark on cartography and geography.
10. Jean “Toots” Thielemans
Jean “Toots” Thielemans was a Belgian jazz musician known for playing chromatic harmonica as well as guitar and whistling. Thielemans was born on April 29, 1922 in Brussels, Belgium. He began playing accordion at age 3 and later taught himself to play guitar and harmonica as a teenager after being inspired by jazz musicians like Django Reinhardt and Charlie Parker. Thielemans gained recognition touring Europe with Benny Goodman's band in 1949-1950 before moving to the United States in 1952. There he played with notable jazz artists including Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Dinah Washington and was a member of the George Shearing Quintet from 1953-1959. Thielemans composed and recorded the jazz standard “Bluesette” in 1961, featuring his guitar and whistling skills. He continued to perform and record as a bandleader and sideman over the following decades, appearing on pop records and film soundtracks while also releasing his own albums. Thielemans was known for his harmonica playing in a bebop style and adapting chromatic harmonica to jazz. He received numerous honors over his long career, including being named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2009.
11. Joseph Merlin
John Joseph Merlin from Huy developed the first roller skate and brought it to a masquerade in the Carlisle House in London in the 1760s.
12. Rudy Beckers
In 1987 the Belgian Rudy Beckers invented parking sensors, now used in cars all over the world. He requested a patent and was officially recognized as the inventor of the parking sensor in 1988. After that, he annually had to pay 1,000 Belgian frank to keep the patent, but at a certain moment forgot to do so. This caused the patent to be released. Rudy didn't make any money from his invention, but it will forever hold his name.
13. Robert Caillau
Robert Caillau is a Belgian informatics engineer and computer scientist. Oh and he helped Tim Berners-Lee develop the World Wide Web.
14. Constant Loiseau
The Belgian doctor Constant Loiseau invented the optometer, an instrument that measures the refraction of light by the eye. It was first used by military doctors to test whether a man's eyesight was good enough to serve in the military or not. It became widely used after and led to the rise of optometrists.
15. Lambert Adolphe Quetelet
The Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Quetelet invented the Body Mass Index.
16. Ferdinand Peeters
Ferdinand Peeters was a Belgian gynecologist and the inventor of the contraception pill with the right dose.
17. Jules Bordet
The Belgian immunologist and bacteriologist Jules Bordet developed the first vaccine against whooping cough. Jules Bordet also won the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1919.
18. Ferdinand Verbiest
Many people claim that in 1672, the Flemish Jesuit missionary Ferdinand Verbiest made the first automobile ever. It was a small model that ran on steam and was made for the Chinese Emperor.
19. Ingrid Daubechies
Also on the list of famous Belgians is the Belgian physicist Ingrid Daubechies. She developed the mathematical model used by the FBI to stock fingerprints.
20. Charles Van Depoele
The Belgian electrical engineer and inventor Charles Van Depoele invented the electric railway. His first railway was laid in Chicago in 1883.
21. Étienne Lenoir
Étienne Lenoir, a Belgian engineer, developed the first successful internal combustion engine.
22. Baron Peter Piot
The Belgian Baron Peter Piot co-discovered the Ebola virus in 1976.
23. Jan Baptist van Helmont
The word “gas” was proposed by Flemish chemist Jan Baptist van Helmont as a phonetic spelling of his Dutch pronunciation of the Greek word “chaos”. The same chemist proved that plants feed mostly on water and not on soil.
24. Georges Lemaître
What's now known as “The Big Bang Theory of Physics” was presented for the first time in 1927 by a Belgian priest and scientist called Georges Lemaître
25. Ernest Solvay
The Belgian chemist and industrialist Ernest Solvay is the inventor of the Solvay process, a process for manufacturing soda ash from brine and limestone. There are still around 70 factories practicing the Solvay process around the world today.
26. Leo Hendrik Baekeland
Bakelite, a popular plastic, is named after its Belgian inventor, the chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland. He also invented Velox photographic paper.
27. Julius Aloysius Nieuwland
The Belgian reverend Julius Aloysius Nieuwland is famous for creating synthetic rubber. His invention led to the creation of neoprene by Dupont.
28. Joseph Plateau
The Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau invented the stroboscope.
29. Edward De Smedt
In 1870, the Belgian Edward De Smedt invented concrete asphalt, used for roads.
30. Albert Claude
The Belgian biochemist Albert Claude developed the technique of cell fractionation. He was also the first to employ an electron microscope in the field of biology and the first to publish a detailed structure of a cell. Claude won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1974, together with the Belgian Christian de Duve and the Romanian-American George Emil Palade.
31. Adrien de Gerlache
The Belgian Adrien de Gerlache was the commander of the first scientific expedition to Antarctica — a two-year expedition from 1897 to 1899.
32. Camille Jenatzy
The Belgian engineer Camille Jenatzy was the first driver to reach the speed of 100 km/h. He did so in 1899 behind the wheel of his electric car La Jamais Contente, which means “She who's never pleased”.
33. Walter Artefeuille
The Belgian Walter Artefeuille made it into the “Guinness Book of World Records” for lifting 281.5 kg 17 cm high above the ground… with his teeth. This was in 1990.
34. John Massis
26. However, it's the Belgian John Massis (real name Wilfried Morbée) who is known as the man with the strongest teeth in the world. He performed all kinds of stunts bending iron with his teeth and stopping moving vehicles. He managed to get several entries in the “Guinness Book of World Records”.
35. Pierre Culliford
The Belgian Pierre Culliford, also known by his artist name Peyo, was the creator of “The Smurfs”.
36. Victor Horta
Architect Victor Horta was the main founder of the Art Nouveau style popular between the 1890s and the 1910s. Outside of Belgium, you can still see the influence this movement had on the art and architecture of cities like Paris, Barcelona, Turin and Helsinki.
37. Jean-Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt
Another famous Belgian artist is jazz musician Jean-Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt. He invented the technique for playing guitar with two fingers after an accident in 1928 left him with burns and limited use of the fingers in his left hand.
38. Plastic Bertrand
Punk rock singer Plastic Bertrand, known from the hit “Ca plane pour moi”, was born as Roger Jouret in Brussels, Belgium in 1958. “Ca plane pour moi” was the third ever French language song to make it to the Billboard Top 100 in the US. Jouret now has his own art gallery.
39. Sandra Kim
The Belgian Sandra Kim was the youngest singer ever to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 1986. She was only 13! It made her one of the best-known Belgian female singers for a while – definitely in Europe.
40. Singing Nun
The song “Dominique” by the Belgian Singing Nun was the first French-language song to enter the Billboard Top 100 in 1963-1964; “Je t'aime… moi non plus” by the French Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin was the other one.
The song “Pump up the Jam” was written by the Belgian band Technotronic.
42. Johnny Galecki
Johnny Galecki, most known for the role of Leonard Hofstadter in “The Big Bang Theory”, was born in Bree, Belgium, but raised in the States. His father was in the US army.
43. Stefan Everts
The Belgian Stefan Everts is the only motocross racer with 10 World Championship titles from 1991 to 2006.
44. John Langenus
The Belgian referee John Langenus was the referee that had the honor to guide the first World Cup final in 1930.
45. John Houblon
The Bank of England was founded by John Houblon, a Walloon protestant who fled Belgium for religious persecution. His face is on the £50 notes.
46. Pierre Minuit
New York City was founded by the Belgian Pierre Minuit. He bought the island of Manhattan in 1626 from its original inhabitants. Okay, technically he was born in what's now Germany, but he did have a Walloon father and I think I can be very flexible on this one ;-)
47. Gérard Blit
Although it is now based in Paris, Club Med was started in 1950 by the Belgian Gérard Blit.
48. Sir Eugene Goossens
Sir Eugene Goossens, a conductor of Belgian origin, gave the idea for the construction of the opera house in Sydney.
49. Keizer Karel/Charles V
On February 24, 1500, Keizer Karel/Charles V was born in Hof ter Walle in Ghent.
50. Charlotte of Belgium
The last Empress of Mexico was Charlotte of Belgium, daughter of King Leopold I of Belgium, himself the uncle of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
51. Alain Billiet
The name of the “Euro” currency was proposed by a Belgian in 1992 and the Euro sign (€) was designed by a Belgian designer named Alain Billiet.
52. Frank De Winne
The Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne was the first European to command the International Space Station.
53. Victor de Laveleye
And the last one on our list of famous people from Belgium: the v-sign was invented by the Belgian politician Victor de Laveleye. In 1941, during World War II, he asked the Belgians to choose the V as a rallying sign. V is the first letter of the words victoire and vrijheid, “freedom” in French and Dutch. It was taken over all over Europe and became the sign of victory and freedom.
Who are the most famous Belgian scientists and inventors?
Listed below are the most famous Belgian scientists and inventors.
- John Joseph Merlin. John Joseph Merlin from Huy developed the first roller skate and brought it to a masquerade in the Carlisle House in London in the 1760s.
- Rudy Beckers. The Belgian Rudy Beckers invented parking sensors in 1987.
- Adolphe Sax. Adolphe Sax was a Belgian who invented the saxophone.
- Robert Caillau. Robert Caillau is a Belgian informatics engineer and computer scientist who helped developing the World Wide Web.
- Constant Loiseau. Constant Loiseau invented the optometer.
- Ferdinand Peeters. Ferdinand Peeters was a Belgian gynecologist and the inventor of the contraception pill.
Who are the most famous Belgians who held a special record?
Listed below are the most famous Belgian who held a special record.
- Camille Jenatzy. Camille Jenatzy was a Belgian engineer. He was the first driver to reach the speed of 100 km/h.
- Walter Artefeuille. Walter Artefeuille made it into the “Guinness Book of World Records” for lifting 281.5 kg 17 cm high above the ground… with his teeth.
- John Massis. John Massis, whose real name is Wilfried Morbée, was the man with the strongest teeth in the world. He has broken several records in the “Guinness Book of World Records”.
Who are the most famous Belgian artists?
Listed below are the most famous Belgian artists.
- Pierre Culliford. The Belgian Pierre Culliford also known by his artist name Peyo, was the creator of “The Smurfs”.
- Georges Remi. Georges Remi, also know as Hergé, created the comic journalist Tintin. He was born and lived in Belgium.
- Peter Paul Rubens. Peter Paul Rubens was one of the finest representatives of the Belgian / Flemish Baroque style.
- Victor Horta. The Belgian architect Victor Horta was the main founder of the Art Nouveau style popular between the 1890s and the 1910s.
- René Magritte. René Magritte, the famous surrealist painter was Belgian.
Who are the most famous Belgian singers and musicians?
Listed below are the most famous Belgian artists.
- Jacques Brel. The Belgian singer, Jacques Brel was probably one of the internationally best-known Belgian celebrities
- Jean-Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt. Jean-Baptiste “Django” Reinhardt famous Belgian artist is jazz musician.
- Jean “Toots” Thielemans. The Belgian Jean “Toots” Thielemans was the world's most famous harmonica player.
- Plastic Bertrand. Plastic Bertrand, the famous punk rock singer, was also Belgian.
- Sandra Kim. Belgian Sandra Kim was the youngest singer ever to win the Eurovision Song Contest.
Who are the most famous Belgian actors?
Listed below are the most famous Belgian actors.
- Jean-Claude van Damme. Jean-Claude van Damme is a Belgian actor and martial artist. He became a famous action movie star and starred in movies like Bloodsport and Universal Soldier.
- Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels in 1929. Her father was a British banker and her mother a Dutch baroness.
- Johnny Galecki. Johnny Galecki was born in Bree, Belgium, but raised in the States. He is most known for the role of Leonard Hofstadter in “The Big Bang Theory”. His father was in the US army.
Who are the most famous Belgian sportsmen?
Listed below are the most famous Belgian sportsmen.
- Stefan Everts. The Belgian Stefan Everts is the only motocross racer with 10 World Championship titles from 1991 to 2006.
- John Langenus. 52. The Belgian referee John Langenus was the referee that had the honor to guide the first World Cup final in 1930.
Who are the most famous Belgian chefs?
Listed below are the most famous Belgian chefs.
- Alain Coumont: A 61-year-old Belgian chef, Alain Coumont founded Le Pain Quotidien, an organic bakery restaurant chain that originated in Brussels. Celebrated for his organic and artisanal methods, Coumont's signature offerings comprise tartines, soups, salads and authentic Belgian pastries. As Le Pain Quotidien's chief creative officer, he remains actively engaged.
- Peter Goossens: At 58, Peter Goossens, hailing from Zottegem, has held three Michelin stars since 2005 for Hof van Cleve. Revered as the “Godfather of Belgian Gastronomy”, Goossens brilliantly incorporates local elements into haute cuisine. His standout dishes, like the Young pigeon ‘Anjou' with bacon, are culinary masterpieces.
- Sergio Herman: Sergio Herman, a 50-year-old Belgian chef originally from the Netherlands, shines with his modern French culinary techniques. Once the star of Oud Sluis, he's now associated with top restaurants like The Jane in Antwerp. Herman's dishes, such as Scallops with sea urchin, are iconic in the culinary world.
- Gert De Mangeleer: A 44-year-old prodigy from Torhout, Gert De Mangeleer is renowned for his modernized French cuisine. Formerly at the helm of Hertog Jan, he's now involved with BOUCHERIE Timbaud and FOODMAKER Gent. Dishes like smoked herring with beetroot highlight De Mangeleer's unique culinary genius.
- Christophe Hardiquest: Christophe Hardiquest, a 47-year-old chef from Wallonia, is the mastermind behind Bon Bon in Brussels. Earning Michelin stars for his contemporary Belgian food and cuisine, Hardiquest creatively revamps Belgian classics. His signature creations, like blood sausage with egg cream, exemplify his innovative approach.
So, what do you think of this list of famous Belgians? Did you know many of these famous people of Belgium? Do you know any other famous people born in Belgium that are or should be known abroad? Let me know in the comments!
What are the most fun facts about Belgium?
Listed below are the most fun facts about Belgium.
- Belgium became an independent country in 1830 and is located in Western Europe. It consists of three federal regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south and Brussels in the center.
- The official name of Belgium is the “Kingdom of Belgium” and the current monarch is King Philippe of the Belgians.
- Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. Flemish is not a language but rather a dialect cluster spoken in the northern part of Belgium, known as Flanders.
- Belgium is known for its delicious cuisine, including famous treats like Belgian chocolate, waffles and beer. In fact, the country is home to over 1,000 different types of beer!
- Belgium is also famous for its comic book culture. The beloved comic series “The Adventures of Tintin” was created by Belgian cartoonist Hergé and the country has a dedicated Comic Strip Center in Brussels.
- Belgium is home to the Atomium, a unique architectural landmark that was built for the 1958 World Expo. It consists of nine interconnected spheres and offers panoramic views of Brussels.
- Tomorrowland. The world's largest music festivals takes place in Belgium every year.
These are just a few fun facts about Belgium that showcase its rich history, diverse culture and unique attractions.
PIN FOR LATER