Brussels is one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, with about 1.1 million inhabitants of 170 different nationalities. These communities all have their shops, restaurants, cultural and nightlife institutions, making Brussels a wonderfully diverse, colourful and bustling city. It hosts the seat of different levels of the Belgian federal state (our so-called institutional lasagna), of the Benelux, the NATO and the main institutions of the European Union. Despite its international dimension, Brussels still breathes the atmosphere of a village in its many districts. Also, the many parks in Brussels and the green belt of forest and farmland around it, make the escape from the city only a ten minute drive.
Named “Europe’s unexpected art world hotspot” and a city that “has quietly emerged as one of the continent’s most exciting creative hubs”, Brussels counts many art museums and galleries (Royal Museums of Art and History, Magritte museums, Bozar, comics art museum, etc.) and holds a treasure for architecture adepts (Victor Horta's town houses, Art Nouveau, Art Deco). Around a cobbled rectangular market square, Grand-Place features late 17th century buildings emblematic of municipal and ducal powers and the old houses of corporations and guilds. If you are looking for a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times, go see the Atomium, built as part of the Belgian pavilion for the 1958 World’s Fair. Manneken Pis is a landmark 17th century bronze sculpture depicting a naked national hero who saved the city by urinating on the burning fuse of a bomb.
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