Brussels

The city of Brussels is the capital of Belgium, the largest urban centre of the country and the administrative centre of the European Union. Its population amounts to 140,000 inhabitants and is the historical core and the central municipality of the region of Brussels. The city is officially bilingual, forming border of North  Belgium and the francophone South.Signs and announcements in the streets are written in both languages, while the majority of the city's population is French-speaking. The city of Brussels is a city that combines and blends the past with the future. Art Nouveau, Baroque buildings and Gothic temples coexist in perfect harmony with the modern architecture. The Centre of Brussels is divided into two areas. The bottom area where includes the old city of 17th century, while the upper town is the European quarter with modern buildings where cross cultural Gothic churches, excellent museums and stately parks.

Attractions

Grand Place (Grand Plas): The Great square is the most beautiful square in the world, the most imposing and is located in the Centre of the city. Since 1998, is one of the monuments of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Surrounded by public and private buildings with stunning architecture, gold, Baroque facades, decorated arches, pediments and imposing stone statues. In the area of the square, located 39 old corporatist buildings, which currently operate as exclusive restaurants, pastry shops, café and sokolateries with the internationally renowned Belgian chocolates. The square among others include: • the Town Hall, the facade is adorned with 137 stone statues, donjon, arcades and a Gothic Tower of 96m., which is placed at the top of the statue of St. Michael of the city's protector. • The "King's House", which in the past was the residence of the Spanish kings, today hosts the Museum of the city and exposes his 16th century paintings, engravings and other artwork, as well as 400 costumes of Manneken Pis. This is the statue of a small boy, he urinates into a pond and a symbol of the city of Brussels. • The Palace of the Dukes of Brabant, consisting of seven consecutive corporate buildings and took its name from the busts of the Dukes in the facade.

Manneken Pis: The national symbol of Belgium is a small bronze statue was found which depicts a little boy urinating into a pond. There are many myths about this statue. One of them talks about a young boy who was awakened by the fire in the city and wiped out with pee, so missed fire and arrived at the King's Castle. Another legend speaks of a rich merchant in the city lost his son, but with the help of residents, found the baby boy of urinating in a garden. So to show his gratitude, he offered this statue in the city. Of course there is also the story, that the statue was intended to satirize the water shortage in the region.  Most known history however tells us about the 1142, when the troops of Duke Godfrey III of Leuven were fighting with the troops of Lord of Grimbergen. The soldiers  put the small Duke who then was just 2 years old in a basket and hung in a tree. From there, the boy pissed enemies and led the battle to victory.

Atomium: The Atomium consists of 9 bullets of diameter 18 m., connected to tubes that contain escalators. Represents the iron Atom, enlarged at 165 billion times. Constructed in 1958 for the world exhibition in Brussels in order to last initially for six months. The highest sphere is located in 103m. height and offers a panoramic view of the city of Brussels. Three of the bullets is closed to the public, while the rest contain reports of the 1950s. The Atomium is located in the northern part of the city and near the Mini Europe Park, which contains attractions from around the world to shrink.  

Parc du Cinquantenaire is a large public urban park located in the eastern part of Brussels. The Park was inaugurated in 1880 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence. Inside it is the Arc de Triomphe which was built to reflect the glorious past of Brussels, and was regarded as a gateway for those entering from the East side of town. Also located in the Park and museums: the Royal art and History Museum, the military museum and car Museum.

Museums

Royal Museum of fine arts is essentially two museums, the Museum of Antiquities and the Museum of contemporary art. The Museum of antiquities is famous for the richest and best collection of Flemish paintings in the world. On the first floor exhibits paintings, with works like "the Dormition of the Virgin ' Rubens ' and ' the Annunciation of the craftsman" of Flemaig. Contains tables religious content, neoclassic themes, portraits-portraits, hunting scenes and landscapes. Impression causing extremely "triptychs". The Museum is also proud of its "Rubens Room", which houses more than 20 paintings by the artist. The Museum also houses the famous painting "the death of Marat ' by Jacques-Louis David. The Museum of contemporary art with architecture that impress, has eight underground levels of which three are hosting seasonal exhibitions.

Museum of natural sciences specializes in natural history. Major exhibits is the collection of skeletons iguanas aged 250 million years old, found in 1878 in Bernissart area and the Hall of dinosaurs, which is considered the largest in the world and is dedicated to dinosaurs

Royal Museum of history and art: Sections of the Museum are ancient civilizations with exhibits from Egypt, Greece, Persia and the far East. Yet there are exhibits from China, Islam, Byzantium and India as well as from ancient civilizations of America. Even the proprietors and objects that pertain to Belgium as porcelain, silverware, glassware, carvings, stained glass and special collections from lace.

Royal Museum of the army and military history museum contains exhibits from the Belgium army, from the late 1700s until today, such as decorations, uniforms, weapons and paintings. In one of the sections is presented and the story of the struggle for the independence of Belgium, while there are even two new sections relating to the world wars and the action of the Belgian resistance.

Moving

In town are located 3 train stations which come together with the cities of the country but also with the other cities of Europe. Yet the city has its own port on the banks of the river Scheldt. The city as the capital of Belgium and the administrative centre of the European Union meets all requirements for all means of public transport such as buses, Metro and trams. Also available and taxis, but their price is considered prohibitive by the city's residents. In recent years the City provides bicycles located outside Metro stations.

Hotels

In Brussels, there are too many hotels for all tastes. You can find 5 star hotels with excellent design to simple traditional or family pension.

Fun

Brussels city is ideal for nightly entertainment. The town has many bars, for all tastes as pub with local beers and with decoration in travels in the 19th century, bars with jazz music and excellent wine varieties. Shops with popular artists or even club with famous dj playing techno, house or hip-hop.

Flavours

Making a ride in the streets of the city will not lose sight of the shop windows of stores that sell Belgian Pralines. The city of Brussels is a paradise for lovers of chocolate. I will not forget to try the Belgian beers with fruity aromas and exquisite flavours. As for the food, the city has very good restaurants and pubs in the Rue des Bouchers, but also in other areas of the city with local dishes, mussels and French fries, the veal in a sauce of Brown beer and Stoemp (mashed potato with meat and carrots). Generally the cuisine of Belgium is based in French, with a focus on seafood, due to the geographical point. Special place in Brussels holds the Greek cuisine, with an entire neighborhood of restaurants, Grill restaurants and taverns.

Shopping Guide

If you are interested in famous fashion houses, boutiques of French refinement and shopping malls should visit the street Avenue Louise, one of the most famous streets of the city. Even the Street Station, is the most famous shopping street, hosts prominent international department stores and shopping malls. Also do not forget to buy lace which are famous for their intimate and elegant patterns, until today the Belgium remains the home of the best laboratories lace and tapestries in the world. From the city there are plenty of impressive outdoor markets where you can find of cheap flowers and food items to electronics and antiques, especially on weekends.

 

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