The capital region of Brussels is geographically located in the northern centre of Belgium and the administrative centre of the European Union. It is surrounded by the countries of Germany, Luxembourg, France and the Netherlands in Western Europe. Brussels is bordered by the Wallonia and Flemish regions, enclosed by the Valley of Senne River and lies approximately 60 miles (97km) away from the North Sea.
Brussels is mainly inhabited by the French and Dutch but nowadays, more noticeably in the city, it has changed into a more multicultural environment. The city is also officially bilingual, with information presented in both French and Flemish. The city centre of Brussels is split into a Lower Town based in the Senne Valley and is the main hub for businesses and industries and includes the historic heritage of the city. Here can be found the magnificent Grand’ Place; renowned as being one of the most attractive town squares in Europe.
The Upper Town is located on the valley’s east slope and is principally residential and governmental and is the location for the Parliament building, Royal Palace and offices and other important institutions. The vibrant atmosphere of Brussels is further enhanced by a mix of constructions from modern EU institutions to picturesque medieval streets, Gothic styled cathedrals and churches, squares, boulevards, impressive monuments, parks, cafés, restaurants and an active cultural life.
Some Places to See in Brussels
Grand Place Is the main tourist attraction of the City of Brussels. Concerts and musical happenings are organized all through the year on the square. The most famous events that take place here are the annual Ommegang (an historical procession at the beginning of July) and the biennial flower carpet. Almost all of the buildings have a historical significance and the Hotel de Ville (the Town Hall) is still used today. Located in Brussels city centre, just down from Brussels Centrale, this ancient market place is the starting point for tourists.Brussels
The Peeing Boy, or Mannekin Pis, as it is normally called by locals, attracts thousands of tourists every year to Brussels, local Brussels people celebrate many festivities with this bronze fountain. On last count there are over 700 costumes for this fellow for all events of the year and from countries around the world.
Palais de Justice The Palace of Justice is situated in the uptown area of Saint Gilles a grand structure that stands at the top of Brussels giving it a great panoramic view of the city below and one of the best vantage points for an evening cityscapes of Brussels. It has a distinctive golden dome and many columns decorating its façade, which faces onto the road, located at Place Poelaert near Avenue Louise shopping street.
AtomiumAtomium The Atomium is a replica of an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times. It was originally a temporary structure for the World Expo 1958 but like the Eiffel tower in Paris it still remains as a curiosity attracting thousands of visitors a year. It stands 332 feet (102 meters) high and consists of nine spheres of 59 feet (18 m) diameter connected by tubes measuring 94 feet (29 m) in length and 10 feet (3 m) thick. Escalators connect the spheres, most of which contain science exhibits. An elevator (said to be Europe’s fastest) leads to an observation gallery and restaurant in the topmost atom. The Atomium can be found in the Heysel area of Brussels. Opera House
The most famous opera house in Belgium is La Monnaie (the Mint) so called because it was constructed on the site of a coin mint. In the 18th century, this theatre was one of the most popular theatres in Europe after those in Paris. The opera house has undergone several incarnations since the original building was constructed in 1700. The second design by Louise Damesme was built in 1818 in the Neo-classsical design but this survived only 40 years to be built for a third time in a mix of Neo-Baroque, Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Rococo which remains to this day. The Opera House is located at Place de la Monnaie, directly behind an old shopping mall, the Munt Centrum, off Rue du Fosse aux Loups. It is north of the Grand Place and south of the shopping street called Rue Neuve.
The 19 Municipalities of Brussels:
- City of Brussels
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Useful information about Brussels, RGTS Europe Ltd operates a twice monthly small removal and light haulage service to Brussels.
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