Les plus grands Belges

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Les plus grands Belges (French for The Greatest Belgians), was a television show that aired in 2005 on the Belgian French-speaking public channel RTBF. In the program the audience could vote for the greatest Belgian by using the website, sending an SMS or using the telephone. In total several hundred thousand votes were cast.

A separate vote "De Grootste Belg" by the Belgian Dutch-speaking public channel VRT was held around the same time, producing strikingly different results, such as both top-10s sharing only three personalities. To some this illustrates the low significance of any national cultural identity that remains shared among the two predominant language communities of the country.

Because Father Damien holds the highest average ranking of the three shared personalities (third on this list and first on the Flemish list) it has been argued that he is the only one to be entitled "Greatest Belgian", as voted by all Belgians.

Top 10[edit]

  1. Jacques Brel, singer
  2. King Baudouin,
  3. Father Damien, priest and humanitarian
  4. Eddy Merckx, cyclist
  5. Sœur Emmanuelle, nun and humanitarian
  6. José van Dam, opera singer
  7. Benoît Poelvoorde, comedian, actor and film director (Man Bites Dog)
  8. Hergé, cartoonist (The Adventures of Tintin)
  9. René Magritte, painter
  10. Georges Simenon, author (Inspector Maigret)

11 to 100[edit]

  1. Paul-Henri Spaak Prime Minister
  2. King Albert I
  3. King Leopold II
  4. Justine Henin tennis player
  5. Ernest Solvay chemist, industrialist and philanthropist
  6. Victor Horta architect and designer
  7. Godfrey, Lord of Bouillon, a leader of the First Crusade and first ruler of the Kingdom of Jerusalem
  8. André Franquin comic artist (Gaston Lagaffe)
  9. Andreas Vesalius anatomist, physician, and author of one of the most influential books on human anatomy, On the Structure of the Human Body
  10. Adolphe Sax musical instrument designer and musician, best known for inventing the saxophone
  11. Peter Paul Rubens painter
  12. Philippe Geluck, cartoonist (Le Chat)
  13. Zénobe Gramme, inventor of the dynamo
  14. Raymond Goethals, soccer player and coach
  15. Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, film directors
  16. Annie Cordy, singer and comedian
  17. Marguerite Yourcenar author
  18. Amélie Nothomb, author
  19. Dirk Frimout, astronaut and first Belgian in space
  20. André Ernest Modeste Grétry, composer
  21. Jacky Ickx, racing car driver
  22. Luc Varenne, sports journalist
  23. Peyo, comic artist (The Smurfs)
  24. Salvatore Adamo, singer
  25. Maurice Grevisse, grammarian
  26. King Albert II
  27. Jules Bordet, microbiologist
  28. King Leopold I
  29. Stéphane Steeman, comedian
  30. Eugène Ysaÿe, violinist
  31. John Cockerill, industrialist
  32. Maurane, singer
  33. Émilie Dequenne, actress
  34. Toots Thielemans, jazz musician
  35. Maurice Carême, author and poet
  36. Haroun Tazieff, geologist
  37. Gerard Mercator, cartographer
  38. Edith Cavell, nurse
  39. Queen Fabiola
  40. Ambiorix, tribal chieftain
  41. Pierre Rapsat, singer
  42. Albert Frère, industrialist
  43. Christine Ockrent, journalist
  44. Gerard Mortier, opera director
  45. Paul Delvaux, painter
  46. Olivier Strelli, fashion designer
  47. Jules Delhaize, industrialist
  48. Pieter Brueghel The Elder, painter
  49. César Franck, composer
  50. Franco Dragone, theatre director
  51. Jaco Van Dormael, film director
  52. André Delvaux, film director
  53. Jules Destrée, politician
  54. Queen Elisabeth
  55. Christiane Lenain, comedian
  56. Kim Clijsters, tennis player
  57. Emile Verhaeren, author
  58. Princess Astrid
  59. Gerard Corbiau, film director
  60. Father Pire, priest and humanitarian
  61. Jean-Michel Folon, artist
  62. Ilya Prigogine, scientist
  63. Pierre Bartholomee, composer
  64. Lise Thiry, politician and scientist
  65. Jules Bastin, singer
  66. Django Reinhardt musician
  67. Henri Vernes, author
  68. Georges Lemaître, astronomer, creator of the Big Bang Theory
  69. Morris, comic artist (Lucky Luke)
  70. Maurice Maeterlinck, author
  71. Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant, duke
  72. Paul Vanden Boeynants, Prime Minister
  73. Arno Hintjens, singer
  74. Elvis Pompilio, fashion designer
  75. Gabrielle Petit, spy
  76. Jean-Joseph Charlier
  77. Emile Vandervelde, socialist politician
  78. Isabelle Gatti de Gamond, feminist
  79. Gaston Eyskens, Prime Minister
  80. Godfried Danneels, cardinal
  81. James Ensor, painter
  82. André Renard, politician
  83. François Bovesse, politician
  84. Pierre Kroll, cartoonist
  85. Arlette Vincent, TV presenter
  86. Gustave Boël, industrialist
  87. Paule Herreman, TV presenter and comedian
  88. Edgar P. Jacobs, comic artist (Blake and Mortimer)
  89. Jean Neuhaus, chocolate designer
  90. Jean Roba, comic artist (Boule et Bill)

External links[edit]