Brussels, as an old charming town, holds a lot of European history and culture. For a Norwegian it gives you the chance to go through important history of Royalty, architecture, beer, chocolate and of course food. In my last post (please scroll down if you haven’t read it!), I gave you a peek of a gastronomic sensation. This time, I’ll guide you through the city as I experienced it together with my wife. The day before, while I attended a meeting, she found an excellent service: A Hop On, Hop Off tour bus trip:

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But lets start with some history and background:
Brussels was founded in 580 by Saint Grey, the Bishop of Cambrai. According to the legend, he risked his life to cross the Forest of Soignes and built a humble chapel on a small island in the Senne. A century later, that little island had become an important village, called ‘Broeksele’. At the beginning of the 11th century, Brussels was encircled with walls. Towers where raised here and there and seven gates opened on to the country. In the 14th century the town became prosperous owing to the drapery industry. This required buildings of a second encircling wall which gave to Brussels the pentagonal shape that it is still having nowadays.

This bus trip takes us through the whole city and on 13 stops, you get all of it. Its impossible to share all the beauty with you, but I have collected some highlights to share in movees. The first one is from Brussels Universal and International Exhibition in 1958 and the monumental construction called Atomium:

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Apart from Manneken Pis the Atomium is Brussels’ best-known landmark. Designed by the architect André Waterkeyn for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition, the 102m/326ft high steel and aluminum structure represents a molecule of iron magnified 165million times. Four of the nine spheres are now used for the presentation of a show about human life called “Biogenium”. The steel spheres (symbolizing the nine cantons in Belgium) 18 meters in diameter connect via tubes with escalators as long as 35 m, among the longest in Europe.

Then we have The Triumphal Arch:

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The transferal of the army’s parade ground Etterbeek allowed the city of the Cinquantenaire to be used for the exhibition of 1880, which organised to commemorate the fiftianth anniversary of Belgium’s independence. The architect Gédéon Bordiau constructed there a palace composed of two wings joined by semicircular colonnade on the model of South Kensington museum in London. The edifice had nevertheless to be interrupted by monumental arch, which was design to show off the prospect of the Rue de la Loi.

There is of course more, much more to show from this charming city, full of history. Let me en this little tour with some random pics from our collection. These and the rest you can see, if you click here:

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I hope you enjoyed this as much as my wife and me did during our day. There might be more posts in the coming days – We had one great experience at the fish marked in mind – so stay tuned!

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