Brussels by zzzmarcus


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Brussels Bruxelles (French) Brussel (Dutch) Brussels Capital-Region Région de Bruxelles-Capitale (French) Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (Dutch) Anderlecht Auderghem / Oudergem Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem City of Brussels Etterbeek Evere Forest / Vorst Ganshoren Ixelles / Elsene Jette Koekelberg Molenbeek-Saint-Jean / SintJans-Molenbeek Saint-Gilles / Sint-Gillis Saint-Josse-ten-Noode / SintJoost-ten-Node Schaerbeek / Schaarbeek Uccle / Ukkel Watermael-Boitsfort / Watermaal-Bosvoorde Woluwe-Saint-Lambert / SintLambrechts-Woluwe Woluwe-Saint-Pierre / SintPieters-Woluwe Government - MinisterPresident - Governor - Parl. President Area - Region Elevation Charles Picqué Véronique Paulus de Châtelet Eric Tomas

View of the old city centre from Kunstberg/Mont des Arts


Nickname(s): Capital of Europe, Comic city[1]

161.4 km2 (62.2 sq mi) 13 m (43 ft)

Population (1 November 2008)[2][3] 1,080,790 - Region 6,697/km2 (16,857/sq mi) - Density 2,676,701 - Metro Time zone - Summer (DST) ISO 3166
Location of Brussels (red)


– in the European Union (brown & light brown) – in Belgium (brown) Coordinates: 50°50′48″N 4°21′9″E / 50.84667°N 4.3525°E / 50.84667; 4.3525 Sovereign state Settled Founded Region Municipalities Belgium c.580 979 18 June 1989 List


Brussels (French: Bruxelles, pronounced [bʁyˈsɛl] ; Dutch: Brussel, pronounced [ˈbrʏsəl] ), officially the Brussels CapitalRegion, is the de facto capital city of the European Union (EU) and the largest urban area in Belgium.[4][5] It includes the Brussels municipality which is the capital of Belgium, Flanders and the French Community of Belgium by law.[6]


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Brussels has grown from a 10th-century fortress town founded by Charlemagne’s grandson into a metropolis of more than one million inhabitants.[7] The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers a total area of 4,127 km2, covering the CapitalRegion and 103 surrounding municipalities, and has a population of almost 2.7 million.[2][3] Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been an important centre for international politics. It hosts the main institutions of the European Union, and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Thus, Brussels is the polyglot home of many international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants.[8] Brussels is the EU’s third-richest city in terms of per capita income.[9] Although historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels has become increasingly francophone. Today most inhabitants are native French-speakers, although both languages have official status.[10] This process has led to a longstanding conflict between the French and Dutch speaking community, reflecting the situation in Belgium at large.[8]


1555 map of the city 1000. In 1047, his son Lambert II, Count of Leuven founded the Saint Gudula chapter. Because of its location on the shores of the Senne on an important trade route between Bruges and Ghent, and Cologne, Brussels grew quite quickly; it became a commercial centre that rapidly extended towards the upper town (St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral, Coudenberg, Zavel area...), where there was a smaller risk of floods. As it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. The Counts of Leuven became Dukes of Brabant at about this time (1183/1184). In the 11th century, the city got its first walls.[12] After the construction of the first walls of Brussels, in the early 13th century, Brussels grew significantly. In order to let the city expand, a second set of walls was erected between 1356 and 1383. Today, traces of it can still be seen, mostly because the "small ring", a series of roadways in downtown Brussels bounding the historic city centre, follows its former course. In the 15th century, by means of the wedding of heiress Margaret III of Flanders with Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, a new Duke of Brabant emerged from the House of Valois (namely Antoine, their son), with another line of descent from the Habsburgs

The name Brussels derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, which means marsh (bruoc) and home (sella) or "home in the marsh".

Middle Ages
The origin of the settlement that was to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus’ construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580.[11] The official founding of Brussels is usually situated around 979, because Duke Charles transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel in Brussels, located on what would be called Saint Gaugericus Island. The Holy Roman Emperor Otto II gave the duchy of Lower Lotharingia to Charles, the banished son of King Louis IV of France in 977, who would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. The county of Brussels was attributed to Lambert I of Leuven, count of Leuven around


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(Maximilian of Austria, later Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, married Mary of Burgundy, who was born in Brussels). Brabant had lost its independence, but Brussels became the Princely Capital of the prosperous Low Countries, and flourished.



Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830, Wappers (1834) opera La Muette de Portici at De Munt or La Monnaie theatre. On 21 July 1831, Leopold I, the first King of the Belgians, ascended the throne, undertaking the destruction of the city walls and the construction of many buildings. Following independence, the city underwent many more changes. The Senne had become a serious health hazard, and from 1867 to 1871 its entire urban area was completely covered over. This allowed urban renewal and the construction of modern buildings and boulevards which are characteristic of downtown Brussels today.

Grand Place after the 1695 bombardment by the French army Charles V, heir of the Low Countries since 1506, though (as he was only 6 years old) governed by his aunt Margaret of Austria until 1515, was declared King of Spain, in 1516, in the Cathedral of Saint Gudule in Brussels. Upon the death of his grandfather, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, Charles V became the new archduke of the Habsburg Empire and thus the Holy Roman Emperor of the Empire "on which the sun does not set". It was in the Palace complex at Coudenberg that Charles V abdicated in 1555. This impressive palace, famous all over Europe, had greatly expanded since it had first become the seat of the Dukes of Brabant, but it was destroyed by fire in 1731. All that remains is an archaeological site. In 1695, French troops sent by King Louis XIV bombarded Brussels with artillery. Together with the resulting fire, it was most destructive event in the entire history of Brussels. The Grand Place was destroyed, along with 4000 buildings, a third of those in the city. The reconstruction of the city centre, effected during subsequent years, profoundly changed the appearance of the city and left numerous traces still visible today.

Modern history

The 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels was the first world physics conference. During the 20th century the city has hosted various fairs and conferences, including the fifth Solvay Conference in 1927 and two world fairs: the Brussels International Exposition (1935) and the Expo ’58. In World War II Brussels was bombed by the German Luftwaffe from 10 May 1940 on;

In 1830, the Belgian revolution took place in Brussels after a performance of Auber’s


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most of the war damage to the city however took place in 1944–1945. The construction of the North-South Junction was completed in 1952. The first Brussels premetro was finished in 1969, and the first line of the Brussels Metro was opened in 1976. The Heysel Stadium disaster took place in Brussels on 29 May 1985. The Brussels Capital Region was founded on 18 June 1989 after a constitutional reform in 1970.[13][14]

The Brussels Capital-Region is one of the three regions of Belgium, while the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community do exercise, each for their part, their cultural competencies on the territory of the region. French and Dutch are the official languages; most public services are bilingual (exceptions being education and a couple of others). The Capital Region is predominantly French-speaking - about 85-90%[17][18][19] of the population are French-speakers (including migrants), and about 10-15%[19][20] are Dutch-speakers. In January 2006, of its registered inhabitants, 73.1% are Belgian nationals, 4.1% French nationals, 12.0% other EU nationals (usually expressing themselves in either French or English), 4.0% Moroccan nationals, and 6.8% other non-EU nationals.[21]

Brussels’ proximity to coastal areas influences the area’s climate by sending marine air masses from the Atlantic Ocean. Nearby wetlands also ensure a maritime temperate climate. On average (based on measurements the last 100 years), there are approximately 200 days of rain per year in the Brussels Capital-Region.[15]

Because of how the federalisation was handled in Belgium, but also because of the fact that the municipalities in the region did not take part in the merger that affected municipalities in the rest of Belgium in the seventies, the public institutions in Brussels offer a bewildering complexity. The complexity is more apparent in the lawbooks than in the facts, since the members of the Brussels Parliament and Government also act in other capacities, e.g. as members of the council of the Brussels agglomeration or the community commissions. One distinguishes:



Brussels Parliament building The region, with a regional parliament of 89 members (72 French-speaking, 17 Dutchspeaking, parties are organised on a linguistic basis), plus a regional government,

Charles Picqué has since 2004 been MinisterPresident of the Brussels Capital-Region.


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consisting of an officially linguistically neutral, but in practice French-speaking ministerpresident, two French-speaking and two Dutch-speaking ministers, one Dutch-speaking secretary of state and two French-speaking secretaries of state. This parliament can enact ordinances (Dutch: ordonnanties, French: ordonnances), which have equal status as a national legislative act. • The agglomeration, with a council and a board, with the same membership as the organs of the Brussels Region. This is a decentralised administrative public body, assuming competences which elsewhere in Belgium are exercised by municipalities or provinces (fire brigade, waste disposal). The by-laws enacted by it do not have the status of a legislative act. • A bi-communitarian public authority, Common Community Commission (Dutch: Gemeenschappelijke Gemeenschapscommissie, GGC, French: Commission communautaire commune, COCOM), with a United Assembly (i.e. the members of the regional parliament) and a United Board (the ministers - not the secretaries of state - of the region, with the minister-president not having the right to vote). This Commission has two capacities: it is a decentralised administrative public body, responsible for implementing cultural policies of common interest. It can give subsidies and enact by-laws. In another capacity it can also enact ordinances, which have equal status as a national legislative act, in the field of the welfare competencies of the communities: in the Brussels CapitalRegion, both the French Community and the Flemish Community can exercise competencies in the field of welfare, but only in regard to institutions that are unilingual (e.g. a private French-speaking retirement home or the Dutch-speaking hospital of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel). The Common Community Commission is competent for policies aiming directly at private persons or at bilingual institutions (e.g. the centra for social welfare of the 19 municipalities). Its ordinances have to be enacted with a majority in both linguistic groups. Failing such a majority, a new vote can be held, where a majority of at least one third in each linguistic group is sufficient.

• The Brussels Region is not a province, nor does it belong to one. Within the Region, 99% of the provincial competencies are assumed by the Brussels regional institutions. Remaining is only the governor of Brussels-Capital and some aides. • 6 inter-municipal policing zones • intercommunal societies created freely by the municipalities Also the federal state, the French Community and the Flemish Community exercise competencies on the territory of the region. 19 of the 72 French-speaking members of the Brussels Parliament are also members of the Parliament of the French Community of Belgium, and until 2004 this was also the case for six Dutch-speaking members, who were at the same time members of the Flemish Parliament. Now, people voting for a Flemish party have to vote separately for 6 directly elected members of the Flemish Parliament. Due to the multiple capacities of single members of parliament, there are parliamentarians who are at the same member of the Brussels Parliament, member of the Assembly of the Common Community Commission, member of the Assembly of the French Community Commission, member of the Parliament of the French Community of Belgium and "community senator" in the Belgian Senate. At the moment, this is the case for Mr. François Roelants du Vivier (for the Mouvement Réformateur), Mrs. Amina Derbaki Sbaï (since June 2004 for the Parti Socialiste, but beforehand, since 2003, for the Mouvement Réformateur) and Mrs Sfia Bouarfa (since 2001 for the Parti Socialiste).


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also conducted by a mayor, a council, and an executive.[23] In 1831, Belgium was divided into 2,739 1. Anderlecht municipalities, including the 19 in the 2. Auderghem/ Brussels Capital-Region.[24] Unlike most of Oudergem the municipalities in Belgium, the ones loc3. Sint-Agathaated in Berchem/ the Brussels Capital-Region were not merged with others during mergers occurBerchemring Sainte- in 1964, 1970, and 1975.[24] However, several municipalities outside of the Brussels Agathe 4. CityCapital-Region have been merged with the of City Brusselsof Brussels throughout its history including Laken, Haren, and Neder-Over-Heem5. Etterbeek beek, which were merged into the City of 6. Evere Brussels 7. Forest/Vorst in 1921.[25] The 8. Ganshoren largest and most populous of the municipalities is the City of Brussels, covering 9. Ixelles/ 32.6 Elsene square kilometres (12.6 sq mi) with 145,917 inhabitants. The least populous is 10. Jette 1 Koekelberg with 18,541 inhabitants, while 11. Koekelberg 2 the smallest in area is Saint-Josse-ten-Noode 12. Sint-Jans3 which only 1.1 square kilometres Molenbeek/ is 4 (0.4 sq mi). Despite being the smallest Molenbeek5 municipality, Saint-Josse-ten-Noode has the Saint-Jean 6 highest 13. Saint-Gilles/ population density of the 19 with 7 20,822 Sint-Gillis inhabitants per km². 8 14. Saint-Josse9 ten-Noode/ 9 Sint-Joost10 ten-Node 11 15. Schaerbeek/ 12 Schaarbeek 13 16. Uccle/Ukkel 14 17. Watermael15 Boitsfort/ 16 Watermaal17 Bosvoorde 18 18. Woluwe19 SaintThe 19 municipalities of the BrusselsLambert/ Capital Region SintThe Royal Lambrechts- Palace of Brussels Woluwe Despite what its name suggests, the Brussels 19. WoluweCapital-Region is not the capital of Belgium Saintin itself. Pierre/Sint- Article 194 of the Belgian Constitution Pieters- lays down that the capital of Belgium is the Woluwe City of Brussels, a smaller municipality within the capital region that once was the The 19 municipalities of the Brussels Capitcity’s core.[26] al-Region are political subdivisions with indiHowever, although the City of Brussels is vidual responsibilities for the handling of locthe official capital, the funds allowed by the al level duties, such as law enforcement and federation and region for the representative the upkeep of schools and roads within its role of the capital are divided among the 19 borders.[22][23] Municipal administration is municipalities, and some national institutions are sited in the other 18 municipalities. Thus,

In national politics


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while only the City of Brussels itself officially carries the title of capital of Belgium, in practice the entire capital region plays this role. The national institutions of the Belgian state are spread loosely around the region. For example the Belgian Federal Parliament and the legislative chambers of the Walloon Region and the Flemish Region.

into the Flemish Community.[28] This is related to different conceptions in the two communities, one focusing more on the communities and the other more on the regions, causing an asymmetrical federalism. Because of this devolution, the French Community Commission can enact decrees, which are legislative acts.

Seat of the Flemish Com- In international politics Brussels has since World War II become the munity and French administrative centre of many international Community organisations. Notably the European Union
The Brussels Capital-Region is one of the three federated regions of Belgium, alongside Wallonia and the Flemish Region. Geographically and linguistically, it is a (bilingual) enclave in the (unilingual) Flemish Region. Regions are one component of Belgium’s complex institutions, the three communities being the other component: Brussels’ inhabitants must deal with either the French (speaking) community or the Flemish Community for matters such as culture and education. Brussels is also the capital of both the French Community of Belgium (Communauté française de Belgique in French) and of Flanders (Vlaanderen); all Flemish capital institutions are established here: Flemish Parliament, Flemish government and its administration. • 2 community-specific public authorities, Flemish Community Commission (Dutch: Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, VGC) for the Flemings in Brussels, and the French Community Commission (French: Commission communautaire française or COCOF), with an assembly (i.e. the members of parliament of the linguistic group) and a board (the ministers and secretaries of state of the linguistic group). These commissions implement policies of the Flemish Community and the French Community in the Brussels Capital-Region. • The French Community Commission has also another capacity: some legislative competencies of the French Community have been devolved to the Walloon Region (for the French language area of Belgium) and to the French Community Commission (for the bilingual language area).[27] The Flemish Community, however, did the opposite; it merged the Flemish Region (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) have their main institutions in the city, along with many other international organisations such as the WEU, WCO and EUROCONTROL as well as international corporations. Brussels is third in the number of international conferences it hosts[29] also becoming one of the largest convention centres in the world.[30] The presence of the EU and the other international bodies has for example led to there being more ambassadors and journalists in Brussels than in Washington D.C..[31] International schools have also been established to serve this presence.[30]

European Union
Brussels serves as capital of the European Union, hosting the major political institutions of the Union.[5] The EU has not declared a capital formally, though the Treaty of Amsterdam formally gives Brussels the seat of the European Commission (the executive branch) and the Council of the European Union (a legislative and executive body, the main institution).[32][33] It locates the formal seat of European Parliament in the French city of Strasbourg, where votes take place, however meetings of political groups and committee groups (where most work takes place) are formally given to Brussels along with a set number of plenary sessions. Three quarters of Parliament now takes place at its Brussels hemicycle.[34] Between 2002 and 2004, the European Council also fixed its seat in the city.[35] Brussels, along with Luxembourg and Strasbourg, began to host institutions in 1957, soon becoming the centre of activities as the Commission and Council based their activities in what has become the "European Quarter".[32] Early building in Brussels was


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Population by national origin, 1 March 1991[37]
(last census ever organised in Belgium)


Belgians born in Belgium (to Belgian parents) Belgians born abroad (to Belgian parents) including: Congo, Rwanda and Burundi (former Belgian overseas territories) Naturalised migrants (not born in Belgium, not to Belgian parents) including: France Morocco Naturalised 1st and 2nd generations (born in Belgium, not to Belgian parents) including: France Morocco Non-naturalised 1st and 2nd generations including: Morocco Old migrants (born abroad, foreign nationals, living in Belgium in 1986) including: Morocco Italy Recent migrants (born abroad, foreign nationals, arrived in Belgium after 1986) including: France Morocco Total Brussels Capital-Region sporadic and uncontrolled with little planning, the current major buildings are the Berlaymont building of the Commission, symbolic of the quarter as a whole, the Justus Lipsius building of the Council and the Espace Léopold of Parliament.[33] Today the presence has increased considerably with the Commission alone occupying 865,000 m2 within the "European Quarter" in the east of the city (a quarter of the total office space in Brussels[5]). The concentration and density has caused concern that the presence of the institutions has caused a "ghetto effect" in that part of the city.[36] However the presence has contributed significantly to the importance of Brussels as an international centre.[31]

607,446 63.7% 21,028 8,116 36,938 6,348 3,022 17,045 2,757 2,522 2,2% (100%) 38.6% 3.9% (100%) 17.2% 8.2% 1.8% (100%) 16.2% 14.8% 9.2% (100%) 42.4%

87,987 37,300

123,411 12.9% 35,138 (100%) 16,027 28.5% 13% 60,185 8,513 4,970 6.3% (100%) 14.1% 8.3%

954,040 100% population density of 6,635 inhabitants per km². At the last Belgian census in 1991, there were 63.7% inhabitants in Brussels CapitalRegion who answered they were Belgian citizens, born as such in Belgium. However, there have been numerous individual or familial migrations towards Brussels since the end of the 18th century, including political refugees (Karl Marx, Victor Hugo, Pierre Joseph Proudhon, Léon Daudet e.g.) from neighbouring or more distanced countries as well as labour migrants, former foreign students or expatriates, and many Belgian families in Brussels can tell at least a foreign grandparent. And even among the Belgians, many became Belgian only recently. The original Dutch dialect of Brussels (Brussels) is a form of Brabantic (the variant of Dutch spoken in the ancient Duchy of Brabant) with a significant number of loanwords from French, and still survives among a minority of inhabitants called Brusseleers,

On 1 May 2008, the region had a population of 1,070,841 for 161.382 km2 which gives a


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many of them quite bi- and multilingual, or educated in French and not writing the Dutch language. Brussels and its suburbs evolved from a Dutch-dialect–speaking town to a mainly French-speaking town. The ethnic and national self-identification of the inhabitants is quite different along ethnic lines. For their French-speaking Bruxellois, it can vary from Belgian, Francophone Belgian, Bruxellois (like the Memelländer in interwar ethnic censuses in Memel), Walloon (for people who migrated from the Wallonia Region at an adult age); for immigrants from Flanders it is mainly either Flemish or Brusselaar (Dutch for an inhabitant); for the Brusseleers, most of them simply consider themselves as belonging to Brussels. For the many rather recent immigrants from other countries, the identification also includes all the national origins: people tend to call themselves Moroccans or Turks rather than an Americanstyle hyphenated version. Recent immigration has brought its population of foreign origin to 56%. The two largest foreign groups come from two francophone countries: France and Morocco.[21] The first language of roughly half of the inhabitants is not an official one of the Capital Region. Nevertheless, about three out of four residents have the Belgian national[38][39][40][41] In general the population of ity. Brussels is younger and the gap between rich and poor is wider. Brussels also has a large concentration of Muslims, mostly of Turkish and Moroccan ancestry, and mainly Frenchspeaking black Africans. However, Belgium does not collect statistics by ethnic background, so exact figures are unknown. Both immigration and its status as head of the European Commission made Brussels a really cosmopolitan city. The migrant communities, as well as rapidly growing communities of EU-nationals from other EUmember states, speak Moroccan dialectal Arabic, French, Turkish, Spanish (most Spanish came from the Asturias, a minority from Andalusia and some from Catalonia and the Basque country), Italian, Polish, Rif Berber, English and other languages, including those of every EU-member state in the expat communities. The degree of linguistic integration varies widely within each migrant group. Among all major migrants groups from outside the EU, a majority of the permanent residents have acquired the Belgian nationality.

Although historically (since the CounterReformation persecution and expulsion of Protestants by the Spanish in the 16th century) Roman Catholic, most people in Brussels are non-practising. About 10% of the population regularly attends church services. Among the religions, historically dominant Roman Catholicism prevailing mostly in a relaxed way, one finds large minorities of Muslims, atheists, agnosticists, and of the philosophical school of humanism, the latter mainly as vrijzinnig-laïcité (an approximate translation would be secularists or free thinkers) or practicing Humanism as a life stance - Brussels houses several key organisations for both kinds. Other (recognised) religions (Protestantism, Anglicanism, Orthodoxy and Judaism) are practised by much smaller groups in Brussels. Recognised religions and Laïcité enjoy public funding and school courses: every pupil in an official school from 6 years old to 18 must choose 2 hours per week of compulsory religion- or Laïcité-inspired morals.

Further Brussels information: Frenchification of

Languages spoken at home (Capital Region, 2006)[42] French only French & Dutch French & non-Dutch language Dutch only Neither French nor Dutch Since the founding of the Kingdom of Belgium in 1830, Brussels has transformed from being almost entirely Dutch-speaking,


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(Brabantian to be exact), to being a multilingual city with French (Belgian French to be exact) as the majority language and lingua franca. This language shift, the Frenchification of Brussels, is rooted in the 18th century but accelerated after Belgium became independent and Brussels expanded past its original boundaries.[43][44]

formerly Dutch-speaking municipalities in surrounding Flanders became majority French-speaking in the second half of the 20th century.[49][50][51] This phenomenon is, together with the future of Brussels, one of the most controversial topics in all of Belgian politics.[52][53] Given its Dutch-speaking origins and the role that Brussels plays as the capital city in a bilingual country, Flemish political parties demand that the entire Brussels Capital-Region be fully bilingual, including its subdivisions and public services. They also demand that the contested Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde arrondissement will be separated from the Brussels region. However, the French-speaking population regards the language border as artificial[54] and demands the extension of the bilingual region to at least all six municipalities with language facilities in the surroundings of Brussels.[55] Flemish politicians have strongly rejected these propos[56][57][58] als.

The architecture in Brussels is diverse, and spans from the mediaeval constructions on the Grand Place to the postmodern buildings of the EU institutions. Main attractions include the Grand Place, since 1988 a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Gothic town hall in the old centre, the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral and the Laken Castle with its large greenhouses. Another famous landmark is the Royal Palace. The Atomium is a symbolic 103-metre (338 ft) tall structure that was built for the 1958 World’s Fair. It consists of nine steel spheres connected by tubes, and forms a model of an iron crystal (specifically, a unit cell). The architect A. Waterkeyn devoted the building to science. Next to the Atomium is the Mini-Europe park with 1:25 scale maquettes of famous buildings from across Europe. The Manneken Pis, a bronze fountain of a small peeing boy is a famous tourist attraction and symbol of the city. The Statue of Europe Unity in Peace (French sculptor Bernard Romain):This monumental work dedicated to Europe carries a

Manneken Pis is seen as a symbol of French and Dutch cohabitation in Brussels.[45] Not only is French-speaking immigration responsible for the Frenchification of Brussels, but more importantly the language change over several generations from Dutch to French was performed in Brussels by the Flemish people themselves. The main reason for this was the low social prestige of the Dutch language in Belgium at the time.[46] From 1880 on, more and more Dutch-speaking people became bilingual, resulting in a rise of monolingual French-speakers after 1910. Halfway through the 20th century the number of monolingual French-speakers carried the day over the (mostly) bilingual Flemish inhabitants.[47] Only since the 1960s, after the fixation of the Belgian language border and the socio-economic development of Flanders was in full effect, could Dutch stem the tide of increasing French use.[48] Through immigration, a further number of


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Museum of the Army and the Comic Museum. Brussels also has a lively music scene, with everything from opera houses and concert halls to music bars and techno clubs. The city centre is notable for its Flemish town houses. Also particularly striking are the buildings in the Art Nouveau style by the Brussels architect Victor Horta. In the heyday of Art Nouveau new Brussels suburbs were developed, and many buildings are in this style. The architecture of the quarter Schaerbeek, Etterbeek Ixelles, and SaintGilles is particularly worth seeing. Another example of Brussels Art Nouveau is the Stoclet Palace, by the Viennese architect Josef Hoffmann. The modern buildings of Espace Leopold complete the picture.

The medieval Grand Place universal symbol of brotherhood,tolerance and hope.Etterbeek Van Maerlant street[2] Other landmarks include the Cinquantenaire park with its triumphal arch and nearby museums, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Brussels Stock Exchange, the Palace of Justice and the buildings of EU institutions in the European Quarter.

The Atomium in Heysel Park The city has had a renowned artist scene for many years. The famous Belgian surrealist René Magritte, for example, studied in Brussels. The city is also a capital of the comic strip; some treasured Belgian characters are Lucky Luke, Tintin, Cubitus, Gaston Lagaffe and Marsupilami. Throughout the city walls are painted with large motifs of comic book characters, and the interiors of some Metro stations are designed by artists. The Belgian Comics Museum combines two artistic leitmotifs of Brussels, being a museum devoted to Belgian comic strips, housed in the former Waucquez department store, designed by Victor Horta in the Art Nouveau style. The King Baudouin Stadium is a concert and competition facility with a 50,000 seat

Cinquantenaire triumphal arch Cultural facilities include the Brussels Theatre and the La Monnaie Theatre and opera house. There is a wide array of museums, from the Royal Museum of Fine Art to the


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capacity, the largest in Belgium. The site was formerly occupied by the Heysel Stadium.

food chains. The cafés are similar to bars, and offer beer and light dishes; coffee houses are called the Salons de Thé. Also widespread are brasseries, which usually offer a large number of beers and typical national dishes. Belgian cuisine is characterised by the combination of French cuisine with the more hearty Flemish fare. Notable specialities include Brussels waffles (gaufres) and mussels (usually as "moules frites," served with fries). The city is a stronghold of chocolate and pralines manufacturers with renowned companies like Godiva, Neuhaus and Leonidas. Numerous friteries are spread throughout the city, and in tourist areas, fresh, hot, waffles are also sold on the street. In addition to the regular selection of Belgian beer, the famous lambic style of beer is only brewed in and around Brussels, and the yeasts have their origin in the Senne valley. In mild contrast to the other versions, Kriek (cherry beer) enjoys outstanding popularity, as it does in the rest of Belgium. Kriek is available in almost every bar or restaurant.

Brussels contains over 40 museums,[59] including the Museum of Modern Art[60], and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium. The museum has an extensive collection of various painters, such as the Flemish painters like Bruegel, Rogier van der Weyden, Robert Campin, Anthony van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens.


Further information: Economy of Belgium Serving as the centre of administration for Europe, Brussels’ economy is largely serviceoriented. It is dominated by regional and world headquarters of multinationals, by European institutions, by various administrations, and by related services, though it does have a number of notable craft industries, such as the Cantillon Brewery, a lambic brewery founded in 1900.

Brussels is known for its local waffle (pictured) and chocolate. Brussels is known for its local waffle, its chocolate, its French fries and its numerous types of beers. The Brussels sprout was first cultivated in Brussels, hence its name. The gastronomic offer includes approximately 1,800 restaurants, and a number of high quality bars. Belgian cuisine is known among connoisseurs as one of the best in Europe. In addition to the traditional restaurants, there is a large number of cafés, bistros, and the usual range of international fast There are several universities in Brussels. The two main universities are the Université Libre de Bruxelles, a French-speaking university with about 20,000 students in three campuses in the city (and two others outside),[61] and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, a Dutch-speaking university with about 10,000 students.[62] Both universities originate from a single ancestor university founded in 1834, namely the Free University of Brussels, which was split in 1970 at about the same time the Flemish and French Communities gained legislative power over the organisation of higher education.


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Brussels is connected with other European cities through e.g. the Eurostar high-speed rail network.

Brussels is served by Brussels Airport, located in the nearby Flemish municipality of Zaventem, and by the much smaller Brussels South Charleroi Airport, located near Charleroi (Wallonia), some 50 km (30 mi) from Brussels. Brussels is also served by direct high-speed rail links: to London by the Eurostar train via the Channel Tunnel (1hr 51 min); to Amsterdam, Paris and Cologne by the Thalys; and to Cologne and Frankfurt by the German ICE.

Université Libre de Bruxelles Other universities include the Facultés Universitaires Saint-Louis with 2,000 students,[63] , the Catholic University of Brussels (Katholieke Universiteit Brussel)[64] , the Royal Military Academy, a military college established in 1834 by a French colonel[65] and two drama schools founded in 1982: the Dutch-speaking Koninklijk Conservatorium and the French-speaking Conservatoire Royal.[66][67] Still other universities have campuses in Brussels, such as the Université Catholique de Louvain that has had its medical faculty in the city since 1973.[68] In addition the Boston University Brussels campus was established in 1972 and offers masters degrees in business administration and international relations. Due to the post-war international presence in the city, there are also a number of international schools, including the International School of Brussels with 1,450 pupils between 2½ to 18,[69] the British School of Brussels, and the four European Schools serving those working in the EU institutions.[70]

Public transport
The Brussels Metro dates back to 1976, but underground lines known as premetro have been serviced by tramways since 1968. A comprehensive bus and tram network also covers the city. Brussels also has its own port on the Brussels-Scheldt Maritime Canal located in the northwest of the city. The BrusselsCharleroi Canal connects the industrial areas of Wallonia. An interticketing system means that a STIB/MIVB ticket holder can use the train or long-distance buses inside the city. The commuter services operated by De Lijn, TEC and SNCB/NMBS will in the next few years be augmented by a metropolitan RER rail network around Brussels. Since 2003 Brussels has had a car-sharing service operated by the Bremen company Cambio in partnership with STIB/MIVB and local ridesharing company taxi stop. In 2006 shared bicycles were also introduced.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

commonly referred to as the "ring" (French: ring Dutch: grote ring). It is pear-shaped as the southern side was never built as originally conceived, owing to residents’ objections. The city centre, sometimes known as "the pentagon", is surrounded by the "Small ring" (Dutch: kleine ring, French: petite ceinture), a sequence of boulevards formally numbered R20. These were built upon the site of the second set of city walls following their demolition. Metro line 2 runs under much of these. On the eastern side of the city, the R21 (French: grande ceinture, grote ring in Dutch) is formed by a string of boulevards that curves round from Laken (Laeken) to Ukkel (Uccle). Some premetro stations (see Brussels Metro) were built on that route. A little further out, a stretch numbered R22 leads from Zaventem to Sint-Job.

Road network

Twin cities
Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat is one of the city’s main streets In mediaeval times Brussels stood at the intersection of routes running north-south (the modern Hoogstraat/Rue Haute) and eastwest (Gentsesteenweg/Chaussée de GandGrasmarkt/Rue du Marché aux HerbesNaamsestraat/Rue de Namur). The ancient pattern of streets radiating from the Grand Place in large part remains, but has been overlaid by boulevards built over the River Zenne/Senne, over the city walls and over the railway connection between the North and South Stations. As one expects of a capital city, Brussels is the hub of the fan of old national roads, the principal ones being clockwise the N1 (N to Breda), N2 (E to Maastricht), N3 (E to Aachen), N4 (SE to Luxembourg) N5 (S to Rheims), N6 (SW to Maubeuge), N8 (W to Koksijde) and N9 (NW to Ostend).[71] Usually named steenwegen/chaussées, these highways normally run in a straight line, but on occasion lose themselves in a maze of narrow shopping streets. The town is skirted by the European route E19 (N-S) and the E40 (E-W), while the E411 leads away to the SE. Brussels has an orbital motorway, numbered R0 (R-zero) and

The Sonian Forest at the outskirts of Brussels Brussels is twinned with the following 15 cities: • Akhisar, Turkey • Atlanta, United States • Berlin, Germany • Beijing, China • Montreal, Canada • Macau, China • • • • Washington, D.C., United States Kiev, Ukraine Breda, The Netherlands

Prague, Czech Republic • Ljubljana, Slovenia • Sofia, Bulgaria • Tirana, Albania


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[12] (Dutch)Zo ontstond Brussel Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie - Commission of the Flemish Community in Brussels [13] Belgian Constitution, Article 3: "Belgium is made up of three regions: The Flemish region, the Walloon region and the Brussels region." [14] Brussels Capital-region / Creation [15] Site de l’institut météorologique belge [16] "Weather Information for Brussels". World Weather Information Service. c00191.htm. Retrieved on 6 January 2008. [17] (French) Personal website Lexilogos located in the Provence, on European Languages (English, French, German, Dutch, and so on) - French-speakers in Brussels are estimated at about 90% (estimation, not an ’official’ number because there are no linguistic census in Belgium) [18] (French) Langues majoritaires, langues minoritaires, dialectes et NTIC by Simon Petermann, Professor at the University of Liège, Wallonia, Belgium [19] ^ Flemish Academic E. Corijn, at a Colloquium regarding Brussels, on 5 December 2001, states that in Brussels there is 91% of the population speaking French at home, either alone or with another language, and there is about 20% speaking Dutch at home, either alone (9%) or with French (11%) - After ponderation, the repartition can be estimated at between 85 and 90% French-speaking, and the remaining are Dutch-speaking, corresponding to the estimations based on languages chosen in Brussels by citizens for their official documents (ID, driving licenses, weddings, birth, death, and so on) ; all these statistics on language are also available at Belgian Department of Justice (for weddings, birth, death), Department of Transport (for Driving licenses), Department of Interior (for IDs), because there are no means to know precisely the proportions since Belgium has abolished ’official’ linguistic censuses, thus official documents on language choices can only be estimations. [20] (French) Personal website Lexilogos located in the Provence, on European Languages (English, French, German,

• •

Madrid, Spain Moscow, Russia[72]

See also
• Brussels Regional Investment Company

[1] City Data. "Brussels". Retrieved on 2008-01-10. [2] ^ Statistics Belgium; Population de droit par commune au 1 janvier 2008 (excelfile) Population of all municipalities in Belgium, as of 1 January 2008. Retrieved on 2008-10-18. [3] ^ Statistics Belgium; De Belgische Stadsgewesten 2001 (pdf-file) Definitions of metropolitan areas in Belgium. The metropolitan area of Brussels is divided into three levels. First, the central agglomeration (geoperationaliseerde agglomeratie) with 1,451,047 inhabitants (2008-01-01, adjusted to municipal borders). Adding the closest surroundings (banlieue) gives a total of 1,831,496. And, including the outer commuter zone (forensenwoonzone) the population is 2,676,701. Retrieved on 2008-10-18. [4] It is the de facto city as it hosts all major political institutions - though Parliament formally votes in Strasbourg, most political work is carried out in Brussels and as such is considered the capital by definition. However, it should be noted that it is not formally declared in that language, though its position is spelled out in the Treaty of Amsterdam. See the section dedicated to this issue. [5] ^ Demey, Thierry (2007). Brussels, capital of Europe. S. Strange (trans.). Brussels: Badeaux. ISBN 2-9600414-2-9. [6] Welcome to Brussels [7] - History of Brussels [8] ^ BBC NEWS | Europe | Country profiles | Country profile: Belgium [9] [1] [10] BBC NEWS | Europe | Analysis: Where now for Belgium? [11] Brussels History


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dutch, and so on) - Dutch-speakers in Brussels are estimated at about 10% (estimation, not an ’official’ number because there are no linguistic census in Belgium) [21] ^ (French) IS 2007 - Population (Tableaux) [22] "Communes". Centre d’Informatique pour la Région Bruxelloise. 2004. region/region_de_bruxelles-capitale/ communes.shtml. Retrieved on 2008-08-04. [23] ^ "Managing across levels of government" (PDF). OECD. 1997. 107, 110. 43/1902434.pdf. Retrieved on 2008-08-05. [24] ^ Picavet, Georges (29 April 2003). "Municipalities (1795-now)". Georges Picavet. bel/_places/bel_places.html. Retrieved on 2008-08-04. [25] "Brussels Capital-Region". Georges Picavet. 4 June 2005. bel/2bru/index.html. Retrieved on 2008-08-04. [26] gwuk0015.htm#E11E15 [27] Procedure contained in art. 138 of the Belgian Constitution [28] Procedure in art. 137 of the Belgian Constitution [29] Brussels, an international city and European capital Université Libre de Bruxelles [30] ^ Brussels: home to international organisations [31] ^ E!Sharp magazine, January-February 2007 issue: Article "A tale of two cities". [32] ^ European Navigator Seat of the European Commission [33] ^ European Commission publication: Europe in Brussels 2007 [34] Wheatley, Paul (2006-10-02). "The twoseat parliament farce must end". Café Babel. article.asp?T=A&Id=2047. Retrieved on 2007-07-16. [35] Stark, Christine. "Evolution of the European Council: The implications of a permanent seat" (PDF).


belfast-2002.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-07-12. [36] Vucheva, Elitsa (2007-09-05). "EU quarter in Brussels set to grow". EU Observer. 24707. Retrieved on 2007-09-27. [37] T. Eggerickx et al., De allochtone bevolking in België, Algemene Volks- en Woningtelling op 1 maart 1991, Monografie nr. 3, 1999, Nationaal Instituut voor de Statistiek [38] Van Parijs, Philippe, Professor of economic and social ethics at the UCLouvain, Visiting Professor at Harvard University and the KULeuven. "Belgium’s new linguistic challenges" (pdf 0.7 MB). KVS Express (supplement to newspaper De Morgen) March–April 2007: Article from original source (pdf 4.9 MB) pages 34–36 republished by the Belgian Federal Government Service (ministry) of Economy — Directorategeneral Statistics Belgium. ac699_en.pdf. Retrieved on 2007-05-05. — The linguistic situation in Belgium (and in particular various estimations of the population speaking French and Dutch in Brussels) is discussed in detail. [39] "Van autochtoon naar allochtoon" (in Dutch). De Standaard (newspaper) online. Detail.aspx?artikelId=641B1LAQ&word=brussel+be Retrieved on 2007-05-05. "Meer dan de helft van de Brusselse bevolking is van vreemde afkomst. In 1961 was dat slechts 7 procent. (More than half of the Brussels’ population is of foreign origin. In 1961 this was only 7 percent.)". [40] Footnote: The Brussels region’s 56% residents of foreign origin include several percents of either Dutch people or native speakers of French, thus roughly half of the inhabitants do not speak either French or Dutch as primary language. [41] "Population et ménages" (in French) (pdf 1.4 MB). IBSA Cellule statistique — Min. Région Bruxelles-Capitale (Statistical cell — Ministry of the Brussels CapitalRegion). cmsmedia/fr/ is_2006_population_menages.pdf?uri=43742a961134 Retrieved on 2007-05-05. [42] (Dutch)”Taalgebruik in Brussel en de plaats van het Nederlands. Enkele


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


recente bevindingen”, Rudi Janssens, Verenigingen. Brussels Studies, Nummer 13, 7 January page.php?ID=1971. 2008 (see page 4). [52] "Brussels". Encyclopædia Britannica. [43] "Wallonie - Bruxelles, Le Service de la langue française" (in French). print?articleId=106096&fullArticle=true&tocId=968 1997-05-19. [53] "Bruxelles dans l’oeil du cyclone" (in services/pg027.htm. French). France 2. 2007-11-14. [44] "Villes, identités et médias francophones: regards croisés Belgique, Suisse, 34025346-fr.php?page=2. Canada" (in French). University of Laval, [54] "La Flandre ne prendra pas Bruxelles..." Québec. (in French). La Libre Belgique. colloques/colloque2001/actes/textes/ 2006-05-28. tourret.htm. article.phtml?id=10&subid=90&art_id=283113. [45] "Manneken-Pis schrijft slecht [55] The six municipalities with language Nederlands" (in Dutch). Het Nieuwsblad. facilities around Brussels are Wemmel, 2007-08-25. Kraainem, Wezembeek-Oppem, Sintarchives/2007/08/25/manneken-pisGenesius-Rode, Linkebeek and schrijft-slecht-nederlands/. Drogenbos. [46] G. Geerts. "Nederlands in België, Het [56] "Une question: partir ou rester?" (in Nederlands bedreigd en overlevend" (in French). La Libre Belgique. 2005-01-24. Dutch). Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse taal. M.C. van den Toorn, article.phtml?id=10&subid=90&art_id=202792. W. Pijnenburg, J.A. van Leuvensteijn and [57] "Position commune des partis J.M. van der Horst. démocratiques francophones" (in tekst/toor004gesc01_01/ French). Union des Francophones (UF), toor004gesc01_01_0029.htm. Province of Flemish Brabant. [47] (Dutch)"Thuis in gescheiden werelden" — De migratoire en sociale aspecten van [58] "Bruxelles-capitale: une forte identité" verfransing te Brussel in het midden van (in French). France 2. 2007-11-14. de 19e eeuw", BTNG-RBHC, XXI, 1990, 3-4, pp. 383-412, Machteld de 34025346-fr.php?page=7. Metsenaere, Eerst aanwezend assistent [59] Museum en docent Vrije Universiteit Brussel [60] Museum of Modern Art in Brussels. [48] J. Fleerackers, Chief of staff of the Museum Moderne Kunst Brussel. Musée Belgian Minister for Dutch culture and d’art moderne Bruxelles Flemish affairs (1973). "De historische [61] "Presentation of the Université libre de kracht van de Vlaamse beweging in Bruxelles". Université Libre de Bruxelles. België: de doelstellingen van gister, de verwezenlijkingen vandaag en de indexuk.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. culturele aspiraties voor morgen" (in [62] "About the University: Culture and Dutch). Digitale bibliotheek voor History". Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Nederlandse Letteren. about.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. _han001197301_01/ [63] "Institution: Historique". Facultés _han001197301_01_0009.htm. Universitaires Saint Louis. [49] "Kort historisch overzicht van het OVV" (in Dutch). Overlegcentrum van Vlaamse Retrieved on 2007-12-09. Verenigingen. [64] "Katholieke Universiteit Brussel". page.php?ID=3. Katholieke Universiteit Brussel. [50] "Bisbilles dans le Grand Bruxelles" (in French). Le Monde. 2007-10-02. index.htm. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. [65] "What makes the RMA so special?". 0,1-0@2-3214,36-969206@51-926038,0.html. Belgian Royal Military Academy. [51] "Sint-Stevens-Woluwe: een unicum in de Belgische geschiedenis" (in Dutch). infos/default.aspx?Page=1&SubPage=3. Overlegcentrum van Vlaamse Retrieved on 2007-12-09.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
[66] "Petite histoire du Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles". Conservatoire Royal. historique.html. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. [67] "Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel". Koninklijk Conservatorium. indexin.asp?pag=bib&nr=1. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. [68] "L’histoire de l’UCL à Bruxelles". Université Catholique de Louvain. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. [69] "ISB Profile". International School of Brussels.

page.cfm?p=7. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. [70] "Background". Schola Europaea. Retrieved on 2007-12-09. [71] Belgian N roads [72] Foregn relations of Moscow

External links
• • • • • Brussels Capital-Region, official site Brussels Pictures Brussels travel guide from Wikitravel Interactive map 360º Interactive Virtual Tour of Brussels with Google Maps • Brussels photo gallery

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