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The City of Brussels
Brussels
(French: Ville de Bruxelles [vil də bʁysɛl] or alternatively Bruxelles-Ville [bʁysɛl vil], Dutch: Stad Brussel [stɑd ˈbrɵsəl][2] or Brussel-Stad) is the largest municipality and historical centre of the Brussels-Capital Region, and the de jure capital of Belgium.[3] Besides the strict centre, it also covers the immediate northern outskirts where it borders municipalities in Flanders. It is the administrative centre of the European Union, thus often dubbed, along with the region, the EU's capital city. The City of Brussels
Brussels
is a municipality consisting of the central historic town and certain additional areas within the greater Brussels-Capital Region, namely Haren, Laeken
Laeken
and Neder-Over-Heembeek to the north, and Avenue Louise/Louizalaan and the Bois de la Cambre/Ter Kamerenbos park to the south. On 1 January 2017, the City of Brussels
Brussels
had a total population of 176,545. The total area is 32.61 km2 (12.59 sq mi) which gives a population density of 5,475 inhabitants per square kilometre (14,180/sq mi). As of 2007, there were approximately 50,000 registered non-Belgians in the City of Brussels.[4] In common with all the Brussels
Brussels
municipalities, it is legally bilingual (French–Dutch).

Contents

1 Territorial history 2 Districts

2.1 The Pentagon

2.1.1 The Central District 2.1.2 The Royal District 2.1.3 The Sablons District 2.1.4 The Marolles District 2.1.5 The Midi-Lemonnier District 2.1.6 The Senne District 2.1.7 The Quays District or Maritime District 2.1.8 The Marais-Jacqmain District 2.1.9 The Libertés District

2.2 Northern districts

2.2.1 Laeken 2.2.2 Mutsaard 2.2.3 Neder-Over-Heembeek 2.2.4 Haren

3 Mayors 4 See also 5 References 6 External links

Territorial history[edit]

Engraving from c. 1610

At first, the City of Brussels
Brussels
was simply defined, being the area within the second walls of Brussels, the modern-day small ring. As the city grew, the surrounding villages grew as well, eventually growing into a contiguous city, though the local governments retained control of their respective areas. The construction of Avenue Louise
Avenue Louise
was commissioned in 1847 as a monumental avenue bordered by chestnut trees that would allow easy access to the popular recreational area of the Bois de la Cambre. However, fierce resistance to the project was put up by the town of Ixelles
Ixelles
(which was then still separate from Brussels) through whose land the avenue was supposed to run. After years of fruitless negotiations, Brussels
Brussels
finally annexed the narrow band of land needed for the avenue plus the Bois de la Cambre
Bois de la Cambre
itself in 1864. That decision accounts for the unusual southeastern protrusion of the City of Brussels
Brussels
and for Ixelles
Ixelles
being split in two separate parts. The Université Libre de Bruxelles' Solbosch campus is also part of the City of Brussels, partially accounting for the bulge in the southeast end. Unlike most of the municipalities in Belgium, the ones located in the Brussels-Capital Region were not merged with others during mergers occurring in 1964, 1970, and 1975.[5] However, a few neighbouring municipalities have been merged into the City of Brussels, including Haren, Laeken
Laeken
and Neder-Over-Heembeek
Neder-Over-Heembeek
in 1921.[6] These comprise the northern bulge in the municipality. To the south-east is also a strip of land along Avenue Louise
Avenue Louise
that was annexed from the Ixelles municipality. Districts[edit] The Pentagon[edit]

Districts of Brussels

The Central District[edit] It is in the heart of the Saint-Géry Island, formed by the Senne and on which a first dungeon was built around 979, that the origin of the city is located. Today, the neighbourhood around the Halles Saint-Géry, a former covered market, is one of the trendy districts of the capital. In the centre of the city, there are some vestiges of the 13th century first walls of Brussels, which surrounded the first port on the Senne, the Romanesque church, later replaced by the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula, and the ducal castle of Coudenberg
Coudenberg
(Royal Quarter). In the centre of this triangle, are the Grand Place
Grand Place
of Brussels, the Îlot Sacré district (which takes its name from its resistance to demolition projects), itself crossed by the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, the Saint-Jacques district which welcomed the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela
and the Bourse district, built on the site of a former convent, whose remains have been uncovered.

Manneken Pis

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

Brussels
Brussels
Stock Exchange

Le Cracheur fountain

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert

The Royal District[edit] Thus named because it houses, on the one hand, the Royal Square, built under Charles-Alexander of Lorraine on the Coudenberg
Coudenberg
hill, on the site of the former Palace of the Dukes of Brabant, of which certain levels of foundation still exist, and on the other hand, the Royal Palace of Brussels, which faces the Brussels
Brussels
Park, on the other side of which is the Parliament. Below is the Central Station and the Mont des Arts where are located the Royal Library of Belgium, the Royal Belgian Film Archive (Cinematek), the Brussels
Brussels
Centre for Fine Arts, the Museum of Cinema, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), the BELvue Museum and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.

Museum Square

Brussels
Brussels
Park

Royal Palace

Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Academy Palace

The Sablons District[edit] From the Royal Square, rue de la Régence crosses the neighbourhoods of the Small and Large Sablons, a swanky district where the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon is located and where the antiques market is held, in which antique dealers, art dealers and other luxury shops have their businesses. Not far from there was the Maison du Peuple by Victor Horta, in Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
style. There is also the Egmont Palace and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.

Royal Conservatory

Fountain of Minerva

Egmont Palace

Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon

Fountain of the counts of Egmont and Horn

The Marolles District[edit] In the shadow of the gigantic Palace of Justice, lies the old Marolles district (not to be confused with the "Marolle" that purists delimit to only 7 streets). From Place de la Chapelle to Place du Jeu de Balle, where the daily flea market has been held since 1873, along rue Haute and rue Blaes, the second-hand shops and popular shops have for years given way to antique shops, a profound change in the neighbourhood. The Hellemans City, a remarkable example of the first collective housing complexes of the early 20th century, was built on the site of the many squalid cul-de-sacs in the neighbourhood. Rue Haute, one of the longest and oldest roads in the city, follows the course of an old Gallo-Roman road, runs along the Saint Peter Hospital, built in 1935 on the site of a leper hospital, to end at the Halle Gate, the only survivor of the series of gates which allowed passage inside the second walls of Brussels.

Place du Jeu de Balle, end of a market

Hellemans City, rue Blaes

Brigittines Chapel

Palace of Justice

Halle Gate

The Midi-Lemonnier District[edit] It is in the heart of this district, where Rouppe Square is today, that the first Brussels
Brussels
South Station was located in 1839, the terminus of the South Line, called the Bogards Station, in memory of the convent of the same name on the site of which it was built, and to which rue des Bogards is nowadays the only reference. The presence of a station at this location explains the unusual width of the current Avenue of Stalingrad, which goes from the square to the small ring road, cleared of its railways since the inauguration of the Brussels South Station, built outside the Pentagon in 1869. At the same time, following the covering of the Senne, the neighbourhood saw the construction, in the haussmannien style, of the grand central boulevards, including Maurice Lemonnier Boulevard, bordered by Fontainas and Anneessens squares (location of the former Old Market) and by the Palais du Midi.

Rouppe Square and Avenue of Stalingrad

Anneessens Square and Lucien Cooremans Institute

Lemonnier Boulevard and Palais du Midi

The Senne District[edit] The damp and swampy grounds around the present-day rue de la Senne et rue des Fabriques were occupied by craftsmen since the Middle Ages. An arm of the river crossed the defences of the second walls at the level of the Ninove Gate, by the small lock (Petite Écluse), which served as a port. An end of the lock remained there until the 1960s. Later, small industries and many artisan breweries, now disappeared, established themselves there, which is still evident by the names of rue du Houblon ('Hops Street') and rue des Marchés aux Grains ('Grain Market Street'). The Tour à Plomb ('Lead Tower'), which was used for the manufacture of lead shot for hunting, and rue de la Poudrière ('Gunpowder Street'), also testify to the former activities of the neighbourhood. Long neglected as a result of the relocation of businesses outside the centre, the area has for a few years been the object of a new interest and is undergoing gentrification, due to the many disused industrial premises being converted into lofts. The area around rue Antoine Dansaert has become a trendy district and is attracting a younger, more well-off and mostly Dutch-speaking population. This new situation, which has the consequence of rising rents, is not without problems for the less fortunate inhabitants of the neighbourhood.

Rue Antoine Dansaert

Flower Garden Square

Industrial building transformed into housing (loft)

Tour à Plomb

The Quays District or Maritime District[edit] This district is that of the old port of Brussels, which played for a long time the role of belly of the city. The boats coming from the Scheldt
Scheldt
penetrated through Rivage Gate, at the site of the present Yser Square, to join one of the canals, of which each dock was reserved for one type of goods. Filled in the 19th century, at the opening of the new port of Brussels, the canals were replaced by wide boulevards, the two sides of which retain in their names the memory of their former function: quai aux Briques ('Brick Wharf'), quai au Bois à Brûler ('Firewood Wharf'), quai aux Pierres de Taille ('Quarry Stone Wharf'), quai au Foin ('Hay Wharf'), etc. or references to the neighbourhood's commercial activities: rue du Magasin ('Shop Street'), rue des Commerçants ('Traders Street'), rue du Marché aux Porcs ('Pig Market Street') and quai du Commerce ('Trade Wharf'). Along the quaysides, numerous bourgeois houses, once belonging to wealthy merchants, have preserved the entrances to the warehouses. On Ypres Boulevard, one can still cross food wholesalers, supplied nowadays by trucks, which have replaced the boats. The neighbourhood also includes the Béguinage of Brussels, with the church of Saint John the Baptist and the remarkable Grand Hospice Pachéco.

Saint John the Baptist at the Béguinage

Anspach fountain

Royal Flemish Theatre of Brussels

On the quays, Potale Saint Roch, invoked against the plague

La Bellone

The Marais-Jacqmain District[edit] Few are the buildings in the former Marais district which have escaped the 20th century demolition, from Pachéco Boulevard to Rue Neuve. They have been replaced by the State Administrative City, press printers, banking facilities and commercial galleries. The current trend is to restore the neighbourhood's social mix by redeveloping housing in former office buildings. Despite the longtime grim aspect of the district, the Meyboom tradition has been maintained for centuries, and the former Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Waucquez stores by Victor Horta have been preserved and house, since 1993, the Belgian Comic Strip Center. Another preserved islet is the 18th century Martyrs' Square, in the neo-classical style, which has gradually been renovated. The victims of the Belgian Revolution
Belgian Revolution
of 1830 are buried in an open crypt with a memorial. Nearby is Rue Neuve, one of the main commercial streets in Belgium, with on its two sides more than one kilometer long entirely occupied by shops; Adolphe Max Boulevard, a traditional artery with 19th century facades; and Émile Jacqmain Boulevard (where was installed in 2004, in a new building, the National Theatre of Belgium) close to De Brouckère Square. The latter, a very busy central point of the city centre, is dominated at its southern end by two block-style building towers, but for the rest, it has totally (Hotel Metropole and its neighbour the Hotel Atlanta) or partially (UGC cinema) preserved its old facades.

De Brouckère Square

La Monnaie
La Monnaie
theatre

Martyrs' Square

Church of Our Lady of Finistère

The Libertés District[edit] The Libertés district is situated between the Belgian Parliament and Royal Street, not far from the crossroads with the small ring road, and has as its focal point the Congress Column, built in memory of the National Congress of 1830-31, the founder of democratic liberties in Belgium, and under which also lies the tomb of the Unknown Soldier with the Sacred Flame. Not far from here is the Hotel Astoria, a 1911 palace, which is currently being renovated and enlarged, and will be reopened in the coming years. In the 19th century, the district was known as Notre-Dame-aux-Neiges and was inhabited in majority by working-class people. The authorities' desire to clean up the squalid parts of the city led to the expulsion of the population and the complete destruction of the neighbourhood. A new bourgeois district was completely redeveloped during the last quarter of the century. The choice was made to commemorate the memory of the Belgian Independence: Liberty Square, Barricades' Square, Revolution Street, Congress Street, etc. The four streets overlooking Liberty Square bear the names of the four constitutional freedoms, symbolized by the four female figures surrounding the Congress Column: Freedom of the Press, Religion, Association and Education. This eclectic urban complex is today one of the best preserved of the Pentagon.

The Congress Column
Congress Column
(Leopold I)

Liberty Square (Charles Rogier)

Surlet de Chokier Square (The Brabançonne)

Barricades' Square (Andreas Vesalius)

Northern districts[edit] Laeken[edit] Laeken
Laeken
is a former municipality in the north of the Brussels-Capital Region, annexed by the City of Brussels
Brussels
in 1921. Laeken
Laeken
is home to, among others, the Royal Domain of Laeken, the Castle of Laeken, the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken
Laeken
(1873), the Church of Our Lady of Laeken (whose crypt contains the tombs of the Belgian Royal Family) and the Laeken
Laeken
Cemetery, known for its wealth of monuments and sculptures. On the territory of Laeken, there is also the Heysel/Heizel Plateau, where were held the World's Fairs of 1935 and 1958 and which includes the King Baudouin Stadium, Bruparck (with the Atomium, Mini-Europe miniature park, Kinepolis
Kinepolis
cinema and Océade water park), the Brussels Exhibition Centre and the Port of Brussels, next to which was built the Monument to Work by Constantin Meunier.

Map of Laeken

Castle of Laeken

Church of Our Lady of Laeken

Atomium

Mutsaard[edit] Sometimes also known as the Pagoda district, the Japanese tower district or De Wand district, Mutsaard (also spelled Mutsaert), is an old hamlet and a historic district located between Laeken
Laeken
and Neder-over-Heembeek and centered around Mutsaard Square. The district was part of the former municipality of Laeken
Laeken
(postcode 1020) but also a piece of Neder-over-Heembeek, annexed by Laeken
Laeken
in 1897. It is separated from the rest of Laeken
Laeken
by the Royal Domain and is the site of the Museums of the Far East. The district also extends a little on the neighbouring Flemish municipalities of Vilvoorde
Vilvoorde
and Grimbergen.

Map of Mutsaard

Japanese tower

Chinese pavilion

Neder-Over-Heembeek[edit] Neder-Over-Heembeek
Neder-Over-Heembeek
is a former municipality incorporated in the city of Brussels
Brussels
in 1921, at the same time as Laeken
Laeken
and Haren. It has the distinction of having the oldest place name in the Brussels-Capital Region, as it was mentioned in an ordinance as early as the 7th century.[citation needed] This is where the Queen Astrid Military Hospital is located, which is the National Burns and Poisons centre, as well as recruitment services of the Belgian Armed Forces.

Map of Neder-Over-Hembeek

Old Romanesque tower in Lower Heembeek

Church of St Nicholas in Upper Heembeek

Haren[edit] Like Laeken
Laeken
and Neder-Over-Heembeek, the former municipality of Haren was annexed by the municipality (City) of Brussels
Brussels
in 1921, which allowed the extension of the Schaerbeek
Schaerbeek
railway station north of its territory. But it is the presence, southwest of the town, of an airfield, created by the Germans during the First World War, where was born the Belgian national airline Sabena, which precipitated the annexation of Haren. For almost fifty years, Haren has been home to the NATO
NATO
headquarters. It is also the location of many other administrations and companies, such as the headquarters of Eurocontrol. Mayors[edit] Main article: List of mayors of the City of Brussels As in every other Belgian municipality, the City of Brussels
Brussels
is headed by a mayor, who should not be confused with the Minister-President of the Brussels-Capital Region or the Governor of Brussels-Capital. See also[edit]

Transport in Brussels Timeline of Brussels

References[edit]

^ Population per municipality as of 1 January 2017 (XLS; 397 KB) ^ Stad in isolation: [stɑt]. ^ The Belgian Constitution (PDF). Brussels, Belgium: Belgian House of Representatives. May 2014. p. 63. Retrieved 10 September 2015.  ^ Statistics foreign population in Belgium
Belgium
by municipality (in French and Dutch only) ^ Picavet, Georges (29 April 2003). "Municipalities (1795-now)". Georges Picavet. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  ^ " Brussels
Brussels
Capital-Region". Georges Picavet. 4 June 2005. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to City of Brussels.

Official website of The City of Brussels Page related to The City of Brussels
Brussels
in the Brussels-Capital Region official web site Webcam Grand-Place Brussels Interactive map of Brussels
Brussels
historical city centre

Places adjacent to City of Brussels

Wemmel
Wemmel
(VBR) Grimbergen
Grimbergen
(VBR), Vilvoorde
Vilvoorde
(VBR) Machelen
Machelen
(VBR)

Jette Sint-Jans-Molenbeek Anderlecht

Brussels

Zaventem
Zaventem
(VBR) Evere Schaerbeek Saint-Josse-ten-Noode Etterbeek

Saint-Gilles, Uccle, Ixelles Watermael-Boitsfort

v t e

Brussels
Brussels
topics

Historical events

Timeline Fortifications 1656 treaty 1695 bombardment 1746 siege Duchess of Richmond's ball Covering of the Senne Francisation Expo 1897 Expo 1910 Expo 1958 L'Innovation Department Store fire Heysel Stadium disaster 2016 bombings (reactions)

Administration

Government (Minister-President) Parliament Governor

Transport

Metro Brussels
Brussels
Airport Charleroi Airport North-South connection Trams Brussels
Brussels
Ring Small Ring

Other topics

Symbols (flag) Brussels
Brussels
and the European Union Science and technology

Lists

Buildings Notable persons Museums Railway stations Metro stations Schools

Municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium

Anderlecht Auderghem
Auderghem
/ Oudergem Berchem-Sainte-Agathe / Sint-Agatha-Berchem Bruxelles-Ville / Stad Brussel Etterbeek Evere Forest / Vorst Ganshoren Ixelles
Ixelles
/ Elsene Jette Koekelberg Molenbeek-Saint-Jean / Sint-Jans-Molenbeek Saint-Gilles / Sint-Gillis Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
Saint-Josse-ten-Noode
/ Sint-Joost-ten-Node Schaerbeek
Schaerbeek
/ Schaarbeek Uccle
Uccle
/ Ukkel Watermael-Boitsfort
Watermael-Boitsfort
/ Watermaal-Bosvoorde Woluwe-Saint-Lambert
Woluwe-Saint-Lambert
/ Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe Woluwe-Saint-Pierre
Woluwe-Saint-Pierre
/ Sint-Pieters-W

.