Tag Archives: Belgium

First published atlas

The first world atlas to be published was the Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theatre of the world) in 1570. The Flemish cartographer, Abraham Ortelius’ orignal collection was in Latin and contained 70 maps on 53 pages. Between 1570-1612, numerous updated editions were published including those in six other languages: German, Dutch, French, Spanish, English and Italian. Although the word ‘atlas’ here is retrospective (i.e it did not exist as a term in Ortelius’ time), the collection was the first time maps had been presented in this Continue reading →

First raising of the Olympic flag

Designed in 1914 by the founder of the modern Olympic Games, Pierre de Coubertin (France), the Olympic flag was raised for the first time at the 1920 Games, held in Antwerp, Belgium. The flag features five interlaced rings that represent the different continents from which the Olympic athletes come, and its colours – blue, yellow, black, green and red, combined with the white background – were selected because the national flag of every country in the world contains at least one of them. Unfortunately, the Continue reading →

Heaviest aircraft pulled over 100 m by a wheelchair (team)

The heaviest aircraft pulled over 100 m by a team of wheelchair users weighed 67.19 tonnes (148,128.59 lb) by Blijf Actief (Belgium) at Melsbroek Air Base in Brussels, Belgium, on 29 May 2011. The team consisted of 84 connected individuals who pulled a ‘C-130 Hercules’ non-stop for nearly four minutes. Participants pulled the plane for a total of 120 m, an extra 20 m past what was required. For this record, participants are permitted to be disabled or able-bodied and simply in the use of Continue reading →

Highest attendance for a tennis match

The highest attendance for a tennis match is 35,681 to see Kim Clijsters (Belgium) defeat Serena Williams (USA) 6-3, 6-2 at King Baudouin in Brussels, Belgium, on 8 July 2010. The exhibition match was umpired by tennis legend Martina Navratilova and bested the “Battles of the Sexes” match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which drew 30,472 people to the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, USA on 20 September 1973. Originally, Clijsters was to play fellow Belgian Justine Henin, but an elbow injury suffered at Continue reading →

Largest spirit tasting

The largest spirit tasting was achieved by 2,252 participants in an event organised by Whisky Unlimited in Gent, Belgium, on 31 January 2009. The list of spirits: The Singleton 12 years Cragganmore 12 years Bushmills Original Dalwhinnie 15 years Talisker 10 years Johnnie Walker Black Label 12 years

Largest boat lift

The Strepy-Thieu boat lift in Belgium has a vertical travel of 73.15 m (240 ft) and can lift barges weighing up to 1,350 tonnes. The structure, which opened in November 2001, has a total height of 117 m (384 ft) and forms part of the Canal de Centre, a man-made waterway that links the rivers Meuse and Scheldt. (note: there are other boat lifts with a similar capacity, but none with the same travel distance)