The City of Brussels, with its rich history, developed between the 7th and 10th centuries around the valley of the River Senne (sub-tributary of the River Scheldt) and the two hills that are known today as the 'Coudenberg' (Cold Mountain) and the collegiate of St. Michael and St. Gudula.
Located on the major Bruges-Cologne trade route, today the Grand Place in Brussels is used as a marketplace, as it has been since the 12th century. A source of pride for Belgium, as the Grand Place in Brussels was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List almost 20 years ago.
In the 13th century, Brussels became the residence of the court, of the Dukes of Brabant during this period. This reinforced the influence of the City of Brussels and the development of the luxury artisanal sector.The City Hall of Brussels was constructed in the 15th century. It is still one of the most beautiful buildings in the city to this very day. In the 16th century, the Willebroeck Canal was dug out to the North of Brussels to provide a faster connection to the Port of Antwerp, which boosted maritime trade and enhanced Brussels' growing reputation. In 1830, Belgium proclaimed its independence and as the residence of the monarchy, Brussels was chosen as the official capital.
Brussel, Brussels, Brüssel or Bruxelles is, first and foremost, the capital of Belgium, but that's not all. Since the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958, on the occasion of which the famous 'Atomium' molecule was built, numerous European institutions have been based in Brussels. Today, Brussels is also the capital of Europe where a number of European Union institutions and international organisations (OTAN) have established their headquarters. What's more, Brussels is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The Brussels-Capital Region, comprising 19 municipalities, is home to a million inhabitants. Brussels occupies an expansive territory and is one of the greenest capitals in Europe with a total of 8,000 hectares (half the Region’s surface area) in green spaces.
Rich in architectural heritage thanks to its numerous churches and old buildings in Neoclassical and Art Nouveau style, Brussels could be defined as a historical city, as well as an artistic, cultural and gastronomic city. Who hasn’t contemplated one of Magritte's paintings at some point? Have you never been enthralled by the adventures of the reporter Tintin? Why is Manneken-Pis so famous? Who has ever been able to resist the temptation of Pierre Marcolini or Godiva’s delicious chocolates? When exploring the Belgian capital and its rich heritage, don't forget, dear gourmets, to sample one of the typical Belgian dishes such as beef stew or tomatoes with brown shrimp. Naturally, this should be accompanied by a tasty Belgian beer and a cone of chips with mayonnaise!
Has this brief description of Brussels triggered your interest in discovering this city with its countless attributes? Find out for yourself in less than 3 minutes thanks to this video.
The team of the Belgian Cancer Registry Foundation is delighted to welcome you to the GRELL 2017 Ascension Meeting from 24 May to 26 May 2017.