Grand-Place of Brussels
The Grand-Place is the central square of the City of Brussels. All over the world it is known for its decorative and aesthetic wealth. The Grand-Place is surrounded by the guild houses, the City Hall and the Maison du Roi.
The Grand-Place is considered as one of the most beautiful places of the world. The Grand-Place of Brussels was registered on the World Heritage List of the UNESCO in 1998.
At the Grand-Place, numerous historic events took place:
-1523: the first Protestant martyrs, Hendrik Voes and Jan Van Essen, are burned by the Inquisition there
-1568: the counts of Egmont and Hoorn are beheaded there
-August 1695: during the War of the League of Augsbourg, most of the houses on the Grand-Place were destroyed during a bombardment of the City by the French troops of marshal De Villeroy. Only the facade and the tower of the City Hall, which were the target, and some stone walls resisted the flaming canon balls. The houses surrounding the square were quickly reconstructed, in stone this time, by the various guilds. Among these, the house of the Brewers guild which shelters the Brewers Museumtoday.
This remarkable mansion is one of the main attractions in the Grand Place. It used to be a bread market in the 13th century and now it houses the Museum of the City of Brussels. Come here to explore the history of the city through paintings, sculptures, photos and other valuable memorabilia.
Also, costumes of the Manneken Pis statue can be seen here.
Just like many other buildings, this one had to be rebuilt, too. After its reconstruction in 1868, it gradually gained more and more importance, until it became an official historic site of Belgium in 1936.
City Hall of Brussels
Brussels Town Hall is one of Belgium's finest civic buildings. Not only because of the numerous sculptures adorning its walls, but also because of its perfect proportions and the incomparable beauty of its tower, the spire of which is topped by the archangel Saint-Michael. Brussels laid the foundation stone of the magnificent Gothic edifice in the spring of 1402. In 1695, when the city was bombarded by Marshal de Villeroy, the Town Hall was destroyed by fire. Its reception rooms and aldermen's offices contain fine Brussels tapestries from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, sumptuous Gothic wooden panelling,the insignia of ancient guilds and paintings from the collections at the Town Hall Museum.
Mont des Arts
The Kunstberg or Mont des Arts, meaning "hill/mountain of the arts", is a historic site in the center of Brussels. The showcase square was created for the Universal Exposition held in Brussels in 1910. It featured a park and a monumental staircase with cascading fountains descending the gentle slope from Place Royale down to Boulevard de l'Empereur/Keizerslaan. The original square was destroyed during the post-war construction frenzy known as Brusselization; between 1954 and 1965, the square and its surroundings gave way to massive, severely geometric postmodern structures such as the Royal Library of Belgium and the Congress Palace. The Mont des Arts offers one of Brussels finest views. From the vantage point on a hill, the famous tower of the Brussels Town Hall at the Grand Place is clearly visible. On a sunny day, the Koekelberg Basilica and even the Atomium can be seen.
Royal Palace of Brussels
Next to the Royal Park and strategically situated across from the Palace of the Nation stands the Royal Palace of Brussels. Representing part of Belgiums constitutional monarchy, the Royal Palace of Brussels serves as the official palace where the king welcomes heads of state and government and conducts events.
The history of the Royal Palace in its current form is not very old; it was built in 1900 at the request of King Leopold II. However, the ruins under the palace, on which it was built, are centuries old. These ruins are remnants of Coudenberg Palace, a very old palatial complex dating back to the 11th century. It was a home of the Dukes of Brabant who together with other successors extended and improved the palace for many centuries. Unfortunately, this prestigious complex was destroyed by a fire in 1731.
Almost 50 years after the disaster, there were four separate buildings built on the ruins. Two of them were connected by a colonnade from the initiative of King William II of the Netherlands. It was already built in the neoclassical style with a peristyle, under the supervision of Belgian architect Tilman-François Suys.
The facade is huge and splendid, and the overall impression is even better with the precisely cut green bushes in the front yard. However, to spot the Queen or King in the window, you would have to visit the Royal Palace of Laeken, which is the official residence of the King and Queen of Belgium.
MAtomium is an unavoidable icon of Brussels, important place for international tourism, unique creation in the history of architecture and emblematic vestige of the World fair in Brussels (Expo 58), the Atomium is today the most popular tourist attraction of Europes Capital.
The Atomium was constructed for the first post-war universal world exhibition (EXPO 58) The nine spheres represent an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. They represent the faith one had in the power of science and moreover in nuclear power.
The Atomium offers:
- a surrealistic walk through tubes and spheres
- the most beautiful panorama  over Brussels and its surroundings [92m]- a ne lunch at 95m height in the panoramic restaurant (light or gastronomic, always 100 % Belgian)
- a permanent exhibition about the history of the building
- temporary exhibitions with different themes
- a boutique full of original gifts with the Atomium colours
Visiting the European Parliament is a great way to find out about its work as the voice of European Union citizens, and about the impact it makes across both Europe and the world.
The European Parliament is based in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. Varied activities for visitors in each location cater to different age groups and interests. Visitors can see how the European Parliament works, how it evolved and how to spot its influence in their daily lives.
All visitor activities are free of charge and are predominantly available in each of the 24 official languages of the European Union.
The Place Royale, the Royal Square, close to the Royal Palace, is located at the Mont des Arts (Arts' Mount). The square is an ideal starting point for a comprehensive cultural tour.. In the middle of the square the statue of Godefroid de Bouillon, first King of Jerusalem (11th century). Around the square: Royal Palace, Church of St. Jacques sur Coudenberg, Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Rene Magritte Museum (belgian surrealist painter) and the Museum of Musical Instruments (Art Nouveau style). From there a lovely view of towndown!