|The Wallonian flag
Industry has been the area's economic lifeline for centuries. During the Middle Ages iron was already being manufactured in the provinces of Liege, Charleroi, and Namur and their mines continued to play an important role right up to the industrial revolution. By the 19th century, the area was the first fully industrialized region in continental Europe with coal and iron making Wallonia the most prosperous part of Belgium until the middle of the 20th century. Following the end of World War II, aging infrastructure and antiquated factories hastened the region's economic downward slide. Today, the region continues to lag behind their northern counterpart with perpetually higher rates of unemployment and a lower GDP than neighboring Flanders.
|Where is Wallonia? Here it is.
I am so excited that Wallonia has so much to offer and I can't wait to get out and discover it all. But we're starting now with a weekend full of festivals and local events to attend. I'll be sure to post more about those experiences soon.