Sights of Brussels
In the North-Western part of Europe, between France and Germany, there is a small state – the Kingdom of Belgium with the capital Brussels, which was first mentioned in the XI century. Acquaintance with the capital of this state will be interesting for tourists. The historic center of Brussels is limited to the boulevard ring, which appeared on the site of the ancient fortress walls.
The city center is divided into two parts – Upper and Lower Town. In the upper part of the city there are palace and park complexes and the most important sights. Ever since ancient times, the Lower City has belonged to merchants, artisans, and then to industrial enterprises.
The districts of the capital practically and in our time have retained their functions. There are various government offices, numerous museums, and the headquarters of the European Commission in the Upper Town. In the lower town there are hotels, shopping centers, stock exchange, banks.
One of the main attractions of Brussels is the Large Square – Grand Place, which is located in the Lower Town. The main decoration of the square is the building of the town hall, built in the first half of the XV century. In 1450, a 90-meter-high watch tower with a statue of Sv. Michael, who is considered the patron saint of Brussels.
Here on the square is the “Royal House”, the construction of which dates back to the XVI century. Despite its name, no king ever lived in this house. At one time this house served as a bakery warehouse, then a tribunal and a prison. In 1873 the building was reconstructed by the efforts of the architect Victor Yamara. Today it houses the Brussels Communal Museum. The perimeter of the Grand Place Square is decorated with guild houses, built at different times.
Having passed a little away from the central square, we can see the world famous fountain “Manneken Pis”, which is also considered one of the symbols of Brussels. Legend has it that a few centuries ago a boy, thus, saved the city from fire.
It is noteworthy that the Manneken Pis is the owner of a unique wardrobe, which consists of more than two thousand costumes, which are carefully preserved in the Brussels Communal Museum. During the visits of foreign politicians, by tradition, the boy is dressed in the appropriate outfit. Among the many costumes he has and the Ukrainian national costume.
In addition, there is the oldest shopping arcade in Europe in the Lower Town – St. Gallery. Hubert, the opening of which took place in 1847. Now there are many cozy cafes and expensive boutiques.
In the Upper Town is the Royal Palace. This is a complex where the residence of the King of Belgium, the Parliament and the Royal Academy are now located. Surrounds its majestic Brussels Park, designed in the style of French gardens.
Before entering the Royal Palace, you can see the magnificent equestrian monument of Gottfried Bouillon – one of the leaders of the first crusade in 1096-99. In the northern part of the Upper Town there are three parks – Royal, Laken and Heysel.
In the park Heysel, you can see another of the symbols of Brussels – the hundred-meter model of the Atomium iron crystal. This model was built in honor of the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958. This building for Brussels is such a symbol as the Eiffel Tower for Paris.