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Visit Brussels
Universite libre de Bruxelles - Photo: Roby (License-cc-by-sa-2.0)
Universite libre de Bruxelles - Photo: Roby (License-cc-by-sa-2.0)

Brussels grew from a fortress in the 5th century, founded by a descendant of Charlemagne, to a metropolis of more than one million inhabitants. [1,8] The city's metropolitan area has a population of over XNUMX million, making it the largest in the country. Since the end of World War II, Brussels has been an important center for international politics. The presence of the main institutions of the European Union, as well as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), made the city a polyglot seat for many international organizations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants.

Although historically a region of Dutch speakers, Brussels has become a city with more and more French speakers over the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. Today, most of the inhabitants are native French speakers, although both languages ​​have official status in the city. Linguistic tensions still persist and the language laws of the municipalities around Brussels are a subject of much controversy in Belgium.

Throughout the city, the walls are painted with large images of comic book characters. All of these paintings are known as the Brussels Comic Book Route. In addition, the interior of some metro stations are designed by artists. The architecture in Brussels is diverse and you can find everything from medieval buildings, such as the Grand Place, to postmodern buildings, such as the institutions of the European Union.

The main architectural monuments of the city are the Grand Place, which since 1988 has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula and the Royal Castle of Laeken, with its large greenhouses. Another famous landmark is the Royal Palace. The Atomium is another significant symbolic construction in the country's architecture. It is a structure that measures 103 meters in height and 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)

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