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Brussels, the city I love! 

Brussels, European capital of Art Nouveau


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Brussels in a nutshell

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Brussels in a nutshell

To stroll around Brussels is to discover all of Europe in one charming and vibrant city. In more than one sense it is the capital of the continent: all languages and peoples, commerce and culture, meet here in a cosmopolitan atmosphere of business and relaxation. It is   city which takes  everyone from the international businessman to the unobtrusive tourist to its heart. And the heart of this heart is the Grote Markt.
Dominated by the 96m tower of the Town Hall and the exquisite architecture of the 17th Century Guild Houses it is one of the most magnificent city squares in the world. Its gold-leaf decorations spring into nightly life under floodlight, while during the day the flower market covers the cobbles in a rainbow of living colors. From the terraced cafes and lace shops the whole history and splendor of Brussels can be  observed in one glance. Branching off from the square, a maze of quaint and twisting streets - the "Ilot Sacré" - takes you past restaurants and cafes to suit every purse, offering the best and most representative of Flemish food - particularly on the Rue Des Bouchers. Nevertheless beware, they look very pretty, but are mostly tourist traps. So stick to the addresses i give you in the restaurants section Manneken Pis is not far. For those who like nothing better than to browse through markets, the Flea Market, in the district of the "Marollen" provides a festival atmosphere - so typically Belgian - where anything can be bought. Then there is the famous antique market held at the weekends in the Grand Sablon in the very center of Brussels' antiques area. From the Justitiepaleis - the Law Courts - there is an unparalleled view of the whole city whose principal sight can be examined through telescopes. Two such buildings are the newly restored Saint Michael's Cathedral and the Church of the Sablon. Built on a dramatic incline, Saint Michael's Cathedral boasts some of the best stained-glass windows in Europe while the Church of the Sablon contains the tomb of artist Peter Brueghel.

Without having to travel too far a walk or a tram ride will take you to all of Brussels' museums and galleries, displaying the country's rich artistic past and present. Famous names like Brueghel, Rubens, Van Eyck and Bosch are fully represented in the  Museum of Fine Arts, while the unusual underground museum of Modern Art presents startling works by modern masters. You will discover too that Brussels is itself a work of art with its many characteristic buildings ranging from the Royal Palace to the house of the famous architect Victor Horta in the Saint-Gilles district. Visit that " Horta House", it's a unique experience of exterior and interior architecture you'll ever encounter!! Not to be  forgotten either is Manneken Pis, Brussels oldest citizen. What he is and does will leave you to discover, suffice it to say if ever there was a libertine spirit, he can claim to posses it! But Brussels is more then just another historic capital, it is not only the capital of Flanders & Belgium, it is also the home town of the European Community and of innumerable multi-national companies. And that may well be its greatest asset of all: being a town where literally everyone can feel at home!