Brussels, Belgium

By | November 21, 2021

Located in the center of Belgium, Brussels is the capital and main city of the country and the province of Brabant. According to abbreviationfinder, Brussels is located on the banks of the Senne River, near the city of Antwerp. Home to the headquarters of the European Union and NATO, this metropolis is often referred to as the capital of Europe. It has earned this title for offering more than just government buildings, with more than 80 museums, the Royal Palace and a rich history, its cultural appeal is evident.


The name of the city probably derives from the term Broekzelle, which in Dutch means ‘swamp village’. It was originally a Gallo-Roman colony, founded before the 7th century AD, in a marshy area of the Senne valley. In the 12th century, there was already a flourishing artisan and industrial activity in the city, which was later consolidated thanks to the privileges granted by the Dukes of Brabant in the years 1312 and 1356. The conditions of the charters established, on the one hand, the reduction of the taxes that the city had to pay and, on the other, the right to have its own representation in the government. In 1383 It became the capital of the Duchy of Brabant, a condition that Leuven had until then, and for the next four centuries it was the seat of government. In 1430 Brabant became part of the Duchy of Burgundy and in 1477, it became a possession of the Austrian Habsburgs.

During the second half of the 16th century, Protestantism spread rapidly among the residents of the city and other cities of the country, who were at that time under the leadership of the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs (Carlos I and Felipe II) and who they established in the city the main organs of government. The religious conflicts that were unleashed gave rise to the insurrection and, to combat it, the Spanish general Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba, who in 1567 was sent to the Netherlands, established his headquarters in Brussels. His repressive policy led to the execution of some Flemish leaders such as Lamoral, Earl of Egmont, and Philip de Montmorency, Earl of Horn. In 1576 Guillermo de Orange entered the city, but in 1585 the Spanish army, under the command of General Alejandro Farnesio, conquered it again. The city was heavily bombed during the French invasion of 1695. In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht granted the government of the Spanish Netherlands to Austria. During the French Revolution in 1792, the city fell to the French, who would exercise control over it until the conclusion of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Among the conditions established by the Congress of Vienna (1815), included the fact that the city was integrated into the kingdom of the Netherlands, which included present-day Belgium and present-day Netherlands.

Later, it was the most prominent scene of the revolt for the independence of Belgium, and when this was achieved, it became the capital of the newly created Kingdom of Belgium (1831). During the course of World War I, the Germans occupied the city from August 1914 to November 1918. In the following world conflict, it was again occupied by the Germans from May 1940 to September 1944. Population (2006), 145,717 residents.

Recent history

Terrorist attacks

The 22 of March of 2016 occur a series of terrorist attacks in Brussels when it was shaken by two coordinated attacks that included two explosions at Zaventem airport, and an hour later another explosion occurred in the central station Metro Maalbeek also in the Belgian capital. The terrorist attacks left 35 dead and 270 wounded [1] . See population of Belgium.

Urban landscape

The city, characterized by an abundance of tree-lined boulevards, magnificent gardens, numerous monuments and beautiful buildings, is located in the center of northern Europe, and is the headquarters of important international organizations such as the European Union and the Treaty Organization. North Atlantic (NATO). The center of Brussels is organized around the Plaza Mayor or Grand-Place, which constitutes one of the main European architectural ensembles, in fact, it was declared in 1998 Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. In it, beautiful buildings from the seventeenth century, richly decorated, the guild houses, and other previous ones, such as the town hall, from the fifteenth century, stand out., which constitutes one of the main manifestations of the flamboyant Brabanzón Gothic in the country. Among the religious monuments of great value, the Cathedral of San Miguel occupies a prominent place, an example of the Gothic style built in the 13th century and famous for its extraordinary stained glass windows; the church of Notre Dame de Finistère and that of Saint Jacques sur Coudenberg. Among those of a civil nature, the Hôtel de Ville, in Gothic style and dating from the 15th century, the Royal Palace, the Palace of the Nation, from the 18th century, the Palace of Justice and the Stock Exchange, both from the 19th century. Important cultural and higher education institutions are the Free University of Brussels (1834), which since 1970 It is made up of two universities, one Dutch-speaking and the other French-speaking, the École Royale Militaire (Royal Military School, 1834), academies of letters, fine arts and medicine, the Royal Library and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts.


In addition to being the main railway junction in the country, it is connected to the network of inland channels, and through them to the sea. The port area is located in the northern part of the city, near Vilvoorde. The export trade is based on products such as nails, iron, marble, coal, candles, glass and sugar. The import is based on minerals, palm oil and coffee. The city has long been famous for the artisanal production of lace and tapestries. Another part of the industrial activity is based on the printing establishments, brewers, distilleries, sugar refining, iron and brass foundry, textiles, manufacture of electronic material and furniture.

Brussels, Belgium