Travels in Belgium: Brussels (June 6-10, 2014)

Le Grand Place

Attractions:

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After touring the major cities of Belgium, we finally reached the capital and de facto capital of the European Union, Brussels. Belgium itself is divided into 3 distinct governmental regions: 1) To the north is Flanders (Flemish); 2) To the south is Wallonia (French); and 3) Brussels-Capital. However, the one overseeing all 3 regions and making the overall decisions is the Federal Belgium government.

The physical presence of the government can be experienced at the European Quarter located in the city. (Our first hotel in Brussels called Thon Hotel was actually located within walking distance of the European Quarter but far from the main city center).

Atomium

As one enters the city of Brussels, one comes upon a marvelous sight of the Atomium—a structure of nine spheres that was the futuristic vision of the World’s Fair of 1958. Today, it is one of the best places to get a 360-degree panorama of the city. In addition to great views of the city, there are a few nice parks for strolling; the Brussels Royal Park located near the royal palace on Rue Ducale has several beech trees that line the pedestrian walkways for shade. Continue reading