Low Countries, region of NW Europe comprising the Netherlands, Belgium, and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The northern parts of the Netherlands and Belgium form a low plain bordering on the North Sea, but S Belgium and Luxembourg are part of the Ardennes plateau. The name Low Countries is a political and historic term rather than a strictly geographic concept. One of the wealthiest areas of medieval and modern Europe, it has also been a chronic battle site. For a history of the Low Countries, see articles on the individual nations and provinces (e.g., Flanders; Brabant, duchy of; Holland). See also Netherlands, Austrian and Spanish.