A day in Brussels


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September 2nd 2013
Published: October 5th 2013
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Atomium Atomium Atomium

Atomium was built for the World Fair in 1958 and consists of 9 steel balls connected with steel rods to each other

From atoms in a lattice to JCVD




In the previous two blog entries I have written about the places I visited in Normandy in France this summer. After I left France I went to Brussels in Belgium for a day. The Belgium part of the trip was not really intended in the first place but came up because flying home from Brussels was much cheaper than from Paris.



I spent the day walking around Brussels making stops at various tourist sights along the way. I didn’t spend much time at each place. Actually I sort of just walked to one place, took a photo and then walked to the next. It is not my favourite way to travel. I prefer to spend a bit more time and not just rush through things. But I only had a few hours in Brussels and I wanted to make the most out of it. In this blog entry I have posted photos of some of what I saw this day.



I can start by mentioning Atomium. Atomium was built for the World Fair in 1958 and consists of 9 steel balls connected with steel rods to
Atomium Atomium Atomium

The balls symbolise atoms and they are placed in the same pattern that iron atoms are in an iron crystal
each other. The balls symbolise atoms and they are placed in what is known as a lattice, that is a pattern that atoms might form on an atomic level. The lattice structure displayed at Atomium is known as body centred cubic in case you wanted to know by the way and is the same structure you can find in pure iron.



Atomium is in a part of Brussels called Heysel. Football fans will recognise that name and associate it with the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985 when 39 people were killed in a riot on the stand before the European Cup final between Liverpool FC and Juventus FC.



The stadium is today known under another name, King Baudoin stadium, and each year the track and field competition Memorial van Damme is held there. The name van Damme refers to Ivo van Damme, who was a Belgian middle-distance runner in the 1970-ies, not the actor Jean-Claude van Damme.



Jean-Claude van Damme was born in Brussels. His nickname is by the way “Muscles from Brussels”, a play with words referring both to his muscular physique and his birthplace. To the best of my knowledge there is no
JCVDJCVDJCVD

Jean-Claude van Damme, aka “Muscles from Brussels”, was born in Brussels. Near Westland Shopping Center in Brussels there is a statue of him.
sports event named after Jean-Claude van Damme but in Brussels there is a statue of him. It stands near Westland Shopping Center in western Brussels. If you wish to see a typical van Damme flick you can probably see pretty much any film he ever starred in. But if you would like to see a good film I can recommend JCVD. It's quite unlike his other movies and is really good.



The centre of Brussels is the Grand Place, a square surrounded by the town hall and several other 17th century buildings. The historical importance of square has been recognized by UNESCO who has put it on its world heritage list.



Near the Grand Place is a statue known as Manneken Pis, arguably the most famous of all tourist sites in Brussels. The statue shows a small boy who is urinating.



Manneken Pis has a lesser known “sister” statue, Jeanneke Pis, showing a small girl who is urinating.



Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium but, being the home of the EU parliament, can also be said to be the capital of EU. As a tourist site, the parliament building
FountainFountainFountain

Fountain in a park in central Brussels
was not very interesting though.


Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


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City HallCity Hall
City Hall

The City Hall is located at the centre of Brussels at the ssquare Grand Place
City HallCity Hall
City Hall

Detail on the façade of the City Hall
The Grand PlaceThe Grand Place
The Grand Place

The Grand Place is a square surrounded by several 17th century buildings.
Manneken PisManneken Pis
Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis, arguably the most famous of all tourist sites in Brussels
Jeanneke PisJeanneke Pis
Jeanneke Pis

Manneken Pis has a lesser known “sister” statue, Jeanneke Pis, showing a small girl who is urinating.
Shopping mallShopping mall
Shopping mall

Lovely shopping mall I found when I was looking for the Jeanneke Pis statue
The Our Lady of the Sablon ChurchThe Our Lady of the Sablon Church
The Our Lady of the Sablon Church

In Brussels there are many churches. This is the Our Lady of the Sablon Church
Our Lady of the Sablon ChurchOur Lady of the Sablon Church
Our Lady of the Sablon Church

Decoration in the church
EU buildingEU building
EU building

Brussels is not only the capital of Belgium but, being the home of the EU parliament, can also be said to be the capital of EU. As a tourist site the various buildings belonging to parliament building were not very interesting


5th October 2013

Thanks for the memories...
My first visit to Brussels was to the 1958 World's Fair. Then I worked there from 1984 to 1995. So your pictures bring back many wonderful memories. As you found out, Brussels is a very walkable city, and you hit the major sights. I hope you had time to eat some of the delicious food.
5th October 2013

Glad you enjoyed it
I am glad to hear that you enjoyed reading it. /Ake
6th October 2013
Shopping mall

Shopping
The lengths they go to attract custom...I bet it works...great corridor
7th October 2013

We loved our visit to Belgium
While we were in Brussels there was an International Music & Cultural Festival. It was fantastic. The food was amazing, the people friendly and it was safe and easy to move around. We loved all the chocolate shops. Thanks for sharing your observations.

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