Brussels is the capital of Belgium and is internationally famous as the headquarters of both the European Union and NATO. It is an important industrial and commercial city famous for its fine lace, known as Brussels lace, tapestry weaving and textiles. Other industries include brewing and distilling, printing, machinery and electronics.
Brussels is located on the Senne River, a tributary of the Schelde, and is linked to the sea by a network of inland waterways. Its exports include nails, iron, marble, coal, candles, glass, and sugar. Brussels is also at the centre of the Belgian railway system.
First settled in the 6th century, Brussels started as a village on an island in the Senne finally becoming a city around 1312. In 1530, it became the capital of the Spanish Netherlands, which under Habsburg control. It became the capital of Belgium in 1830.


Church of Saint Michel

As can be expected, Brussels attracts many visitors, but most are on business, so the weekends, particularly in summer, are a good time to visit. Rooms, in even the most prestigious hotels with superb levels of comfort and service, can be found at reasonable rates. There are many noteworthy hotels located in historical buildings, sometimes full of antiques, and generally just a short walk from a place of interest. It is also possible to find rooms in houses at bargain prices.
Apart from having the world’s largest cinema complex, with 24 film theatres, Brussels has tree-shaded boulevards, magnificent parks, impressive monuments, and fine buildings including the 13th century Gothic church of Sainte Gudule, famous for its stained-glass windows; the 15th century Hotel de Ville; the 18th-century Palais de la Nation; the 19th-century Palais de Justice; and the Bourse. There is a large collection of art held in the
Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the famous bronze fountain statue, the Manneken Pis, is also found here.

Palais du Roi

The Grand Place by night




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