Brussels Sights and Landmarks Guide, Belgium
Brussels: A Center of Culture and Society
Being the capital city of the European Union, and standing to be the largest urban area in Belgium, Brussels has more to offer than just its worldly-famous Belgian chocolates. Grown from centuries of history, this once small settlement, which was first built on an island in the river Senne, has transformed into a thriving metropolis of over a million inhabitants in population. The city has also been an important center of international politics, with major EU institutions and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization being based here.
A trip to Brussels is never complete without visiting some of the city’s most astonishing landmarks. Tourists can enjoy spectacular views when they visit the Atomium, where they take the 115-feet long escalators which are among the longest in Europe. Another sight not to be missed is the Manneken Pis, a statuette of a peeing boy and a dear landmark to the residents of the city. The glistening steel and glass office complex in the heart of the European District is the Justus Lipsius Building, home to the Council of the European Union. It was relocated in the 1980’s and has been the base of the council since 1995. Those seeking for a taste of culture and the arts in Brussels will appreciate the La Monnaie, the ancient Neo-classical opera house that is the center of the city’s cultural life.
Brussels is home to about 80 museums, showcasing many of the country’s finest art. Visitors can view the exhibits of Belgian History from its creation in 1803 to the present in the BELvue Museum, which was once a luxury hotel and royal home in the 18th century. The Brussels Museum of Gueuze, also known as the Cantillon brewery, is not only a museum but also a working establishment.
The Parc du Cinquantenaire is also a stop for museum lovers. Built by Leopold II in 1880, it houses three of the city’s museums: Autoworld, the Royal Museum of Army and Military History, and the Royal Museum of Art and History. For the sweet-toothed tourist, the historic Valk Mansion houses the Cocoa and Chocolate Museum, where tourists can experience the Belgian craft of creating world beating chocolates.
Palaces, Parks, and Churches
Quite a number of gardens, palaces, and churches can be found in Brussels. One cannot miss the Parc du Bruxelles, a haven of green in the city, with its tree-lined walks and abounding fountains and statues. Those seeking a showcase of architecture will admire the Grand Palace, one of the most ornate squares in the world. Standing as the commercial and civic center for Brussels to this day, the building and its cobbled streets make for one of the most magnificent collections of Baroque architecture in world today.
The magnificent Cathedrale St-Michel et Ste-Gudule on Parvis Ste-Gudule is one of Brussel’s monumental landmarks. Once the national church of Belgium, it dates back to the 13th century and was made a cathedral in 1962. On Place de Beguinage lies the Eglise St-Jean Baptiste au Beguinage, which was originally created in 1250 for the sect of widows and women from failed marriages. It presents an impressive and intricate façade typical of the Flemish-Baroque style of the 17th century.
Things about Brussels you may be interested in
Read our members' reviews about Brussels
- One-day trip in Brussels
review by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
Maybe the first thing I want to point out from the beginning is that Bruxelles is not a one day city to visit. In my opinion, 2 or 3 days is minimum to see what’s more important in this splendid capital. But let’s say you don’t have much of a choice, and you have to limit...
Read our members' travel tips about Brussels
travel tip by danpop posted more then 30 days ago
Atomium is an impressive 102 meters structure that is a 'never miss' sighting in Brussels. To get there from the Gare du Midi train station just take the metro route number 6 and get off at the Heisel station, last but one station for...
Members Who Have Been to Brussels
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