Brussels is derived from the word Bruocsella meaning 'of the
marsh?, because many years ago Brussels was surrounded by
an extensive marshland.
to tradition Brussels began as a Gallo-Romeinse settlement
in the 7th century A.D. It wasn't until 977 that Brussels
really began to take shape as a city. In the 12th century
the city already had 5000 residents.
the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries Brussels was the main
centre for the manufacturing of luxurious fabrics, for exporting
and for economy and politics. New city walls were erected
around the city of Brussels to protect against enemy invasion.
These walls stood until the 19th century when they were
replaced by a ring road round the city. The only remaining
section of the wall still standing is the Porte de Hal.
Grote Markt, said by many to be the most beautiful market
square in Europe, is the historical centre of Brussels.
In the 15th century the citizens of the city obtained true
power and with it embodied the majestic townhall, with a
tower 96m high.
destroyed by the army of Louis XIV during a three siege
in 1695, the market place took the people of Brussels three
years to re-build. After that time Brussels fell into the
hands of a number of different rulers from different lands.
search for independance, Brussels was often the stage for
fighting that continued until the arrival of Charles de
Lorraine in 1744. In 1789 the people of Brussels followed
the example of revolutionary France and took part in the
Brabants uprising against Austria. In 1790 the United Belgian
States was proclaimed. There was much disunity amongst the
groupings, and after a number of attacks from the Austrian
side, the revolutionary French government took power. Brussels
was now in the hands of the French.
Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo and after the Vienna Treaty
Brussels came under the dominion of The Netherlands. In
1830 the Belgian Revolution led Brussels to independence
and Brussels was chosen as the new capital for the state
city began its modernisation during the 19th century. In
1865 the first European passnger railway was opened between
Brussel and Mechelen. New street were laid and road taxes
were abolished. The Palace of Justice was built and the
city was extended.
has survived two world wars. In the post-war years Brussels
again began expanding and modernising again. In the year
1958 the World Fair was held in Brussels and in the 60s
Brussels became the base for the EEC and NATO.
or less in the same period of time many multinationals established
their offices in Brussels. Up until the present day Brussels
with its one million residents, capital of Europe, is where
you run into people come from all the world. A new Europe
without borders and trade restrictions between member states
was formed in 1992. It is called the European Union.
small land, divided into different languages, customs and
governments is really not so divided. In the north of the
country and in the north of Brussels the Flemish people
speak Dutch and in the south one finds the Wallonian French-speaking
people. After the first world war Belgium received a small
portion of Germany as compensation. There the offical language
Dutch and French are both the official languages, as so
you find everything in the city is bi-lingual. In the European
Union there are 13 official languages there for you hear
many different languages spoken in Brussels.