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Top 10 Brussels Attractions

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Brussels has a rich history, which is reflected in many of its sights. The city has magnificent buildings, museums with rich collections, unique objects. Here you can find interesting places for tourists of any age and preferences.

The central and historical square of the city, one of its main attractions. Once there were swamps. They were dried, and in the 12th century a market square appeared. A century later, one of its attractions appeared here - the bread house, which became known as the King’s House. In the 15th century, another important attraction of the square and the city arose - the town hall.

Already half a century every 2 years at the Grand Place, traditionally in mid-August, a magnificent flower carpet appears - a flower bed measuring 24x77 m and an area of ​​1800 square meters. m with millions of colorful begonias folding into beautiful patterns. This flower carpet is enclosed - during the day thousands of city residents and its guests gather here.

Brussels Town Hall

The construction appeared on Grand Place in 1420, and construction began 18 years before. The Town Hall is a magnificent example of Brabant Gothic architecture. In the middle of the 15th century, the right wing was added, a few years later the old bell tower was replaced with a 96-meter tower. For almost 550 years, she was crowned with a 5-meter statue of the archangel Michael, who is the patron saint of the city. At the end of the 20th century, the original was replaced.

At the beginning of the 18th century, the town hall acquired two more wings - they were built behind them in the French Baroque style. The interior of the town hall, which anyone can see, is also noteworthy. In the halls there are magnificent gilded mirrors and old tapestries.

Cathedral of Saint-Michel-e-Gudul

One of the most magnificent examples of Gothic architecture. Initially, it was the church of St. Michael. Its name changed in the 11th century with the advent of the relics of St. Gudula. The cathedral became Gothic in the beginning of the 13th century; construction and interior decoration continued for more than 2 centuries.

The building is symmetrical. This is the main facade with 3 lancet entrance portals and 4 doors, two towers with long stairs overlooking the terrace (height 64 m). Above the portals, figures of saints are installed, forged relief adorns the doors, and the main entrance is notable for a huge stained glass window.

The exterior and interior dimensions of the cathedral are impressive. They are comparable to Notre Dame and Notre Dame Cathedrals, and in some respects exceed them. The interior of the temple is notable for its beautiful stained glass windows of the 16-19th centuries, a bright hall with dark brown benches, delicately decorated columns of the nave, organ and mausoleum de Merodo (national hero of the country).

This attraction is a symbol of the city. It was built in the middle of the last century. The design is a tens of billions of times increased cubic fragment of the crystal lattice of iron - these are 9 connected spherical atoms coated with a steel shell.

Atomium has a 102-meter height, it weighs almost 2.4 thousand tons. The diameter of each atom is 18 m - they are connected by 20 23-meter pipes, inside which there are corridors and escalators, a high-speed elevator.

You can get into 6 of 9 atomic spheres. There is a viewing platform and a restaurant.

Mini europe

This is a miniature park located next to the Atomium. The exposition is represented by reproductions of the most beautiful monuments of the European Union. Originals reduced 25 times. There are almost 80 cities and 4.5 times more buildings.

All models of mini-Europe are made with high quality, and therefore are expensive - tens and hundreds of thousands of euros. The park occupies 24 thousand square meters. In addition to the miniatures, there are many animations: you can see the fall of the Berlin Wall, the eruption of Vesuvius with sound, the work of mills, various vehicles.

Noteworthy is the landscape design of the park, which is a combination of classic shrubs and flower beds with dwarf trees and lawns.

Notre Dame de Laken

Roman Catholic parish church, which is the family tomb of the royal dynasty. The construction of the church began in the mid-19th century; it took 55 years.

The temple is a magnificent example of neo-Gothic architecture. His tall and richly decorated spire is visible from afar. Noteworthy is the many smaller turrets around it.

In the tomb more than 20 members of the royal family found peace from King Leopold I with his wife and son to Queen Fabiola de Mora and Aragon. Many famous personalities are also buried in the Lakensky cemetery adjacent to the temple.

Laken cemetery

It is one of the main in the country and is still functioning. The cemetery is one of the city's attractions. Here you can see excellent examples of funerary art of the 19th century. The bronze statue of The Thinker (Rodin) is noteworthy.

The author of many tombstones is the sculptor Ernest Salou. His work is dedicated to the museum, located next to the entrance to the cemetery.

Manneken Pis

This city attraction is known to many. A statue appeared supposedly in the 14-15th century. It is located at the intersection of Dubovaya and Bannaya Streets.

The statue is made of bronze and is a fountain - a naked boy pees into the pool. The height of the object is 61 cm. This is not the original, but only a copy - the replacement was made after several thefts.

There are several urban traditions associated with the statue. According to one of them, during the holidays, water is replaced by beer or wine. Sometimes a boy is dressed - a ceremony is made from a change of costume.

Nearby is the Royal Museum, one of the expositions of which is dedicated to the outfits of the Manneken Pis - more than 800 in total.

Royal Palace

The palace is the official residence of the king, but is used only for official events - the royal family lives in the Laken Palace.

The Royal Palace appeared in 1826, but acquired a modern facade only after 80 years. The building was built on the site of the castle-residence of the Dukes of Brabant Cowdenberg - they built it at the end of the 11th century, but the fire in the 19th century brought complete destruction.

The royal palace is built in the style of neoclassicism. This is a wide three-story building in a fairly strict design.

Laken Palace

Another example of neoclassicism. It was built at the end of the 18th century. The palace became the residence of the Belgian king after the revolution, before there was one of the residences of the king of the Netherlands.

Laken is a two-story wide building. The main facade is supported by 4 columns and crowned with three sculptures. Behind it, a dome with a viewing platform, over which the country's flag flies, is visible. The park adjacent to the palace with the famous greenhouses is noteworthy.

Church of St. Nicholas

The temple is located in the old city and belongs to the four of the first churches in Brussels. It was built in the 12th century with the money of merchants - earlier their quarter was located here.

At the end of the 17th century, the church was completely destroyed, at the beginning of the 18th century it was restored, but there was a collapse. The modern building was opened in 1804. In memory of the destruction, the cannonball is stored here.

The temple is built in the Gothic style, although it looks quite simple. Its interior is noteworthy: lancet arches, a magnificent marble altar with sculptures and paintings, religious paintings on the walls.

Sacre Coeur Basilica

This Catholic church appeared at the beginning of the 20th century; its construction took almost 7 years. Initially, the basilica was built in the Neo-Gothic style, but as it was built, financial problems arose, so another architect, who changed direction, took up the project.

Among the Roman Catholic churches of the world, Sacre Coeur takes 6th place in area. The Basilica is the world's largest art deco building. Its height is almost 90 m, and its length is more than 164 m.

The central nave is crowned with a dome of 33 m in diameter. It has a platform installed, which is a magnificent panoramic platform. The church can accommodate almost 2000 people.

These city gates appeared in the middle of the 19th century, only they remained from the second city wall. The wall itself was built in the 14th century. The gate was not only a defensive structure, but was also used by customs and as a prison. Today they are a museum - they opened it after the restoration of the building, giving it a neo-Gothic appearance.

The museum hall is notable for lancet arches supported by columns. The institution is a branch of the Royal Museums of Art and History. His collection includes ancient weapons, reflects the history of not only the gates themselves, but the whole city in the medieval period.

Palace of Justice

The building is considered the largest in the world, built in the 19th century. Its height is 116 m, its width is 150 m, and its length is 160 m. The total area of ​​the building is almost 52,500 sq. M. m, and the internal premises occupy 26,000 square meters. m

The architectural appearance of the structure is represented by a mixture of several styles. They took eclecticism as a basis, complementing it with Baroque, Assyrian, Greek elements and Renaissance style.

The Palace of Justice is a state court building. There are about 30 courtrooms, 250 other rooms and 8 courtyards. The main hall with many stairs and galleries is noteworthy - only it occupies 3600 square meters. m, and its height is almost 100 m.

Brussels Conservatory

Not only the institution itself deserves attention, but also a specially constructed building for it. This is a two-story brick structure in the shape of the letter "P". The bas-reliefs and stucco decorating it are noteworthy.

The conservatory was founded almost 2 centuries ago. She has a rich music library. This is almost a quarter of a million books and accounts, a collection of records (mainly vinyl). All resources are available to the public.

Church of St. John the Baptist

This Catholic parish appeared in the middle of the 17th century. The temple reflects the Italian-Flemish Baroque. It was built during the rungine instead of the 13th century Church of Our Lady.

The temple has the shape of a Latin cross, the nave reflects the Flemish Baroque. The church is decorated with 6 canvases of Theodore Baths of Loon. The altar is notable for columns decorated with two wooden statues of the 18th century (the work of Walter Pomp). The central medallion of the main altar depicts the Holy Family. Particular attention in the church deserves an oak carved chair of the mid-18th century.

Brussels Cathedral Mosque

This mosque is the oldest in the city. She appeared in the late 19th century. The construction is an excellent example of the Arabic style. First, there was the East Pavilion of the National Exhibition. The building was heavily neglected for almost a century and became a mosque only after a long reconstruction in 1978.

A mosque and an Islamic research center were opened at the mosque. Here, children and adults are taught Arabic.

Royal Opera House, founded back in 1700. There used to be a mint on this place. La Monnet is an architectural, cultural and historical attraction of Brussels. It was from his scene in August 1830 that an appeal was made that gave rise to the Belgian revolution.

The modern theater building appeared in 1855. 1,150 people could fit in the new hall, and another 250 spectators in the lobby.

Brussels Stock Exchange

The building is located on Burs Square. It attracts with its rich decor, has a neoclassical facade and a triangular pediment, supported by 6 columns. Its magnificent bas-relief is notable for its allegorical scene.

The building appeared in the 70s of the 19th century. This is a real palace with several facades, which are richly decorated with bas-reliefs and sculptures by authorship of famous masters.

Fiftieth anniversary park

The history of the park began in the late 19th century and the organization of Leopold II World Exhibition. Previously, there was a military training ground on this territory, and during the Second World War vegetables were grown here.

Today the park occupies 370 thousand square meters. m and is a favorite vacation spot for residents and visitors. The local attraction is the Arc de Triomphe - the entrance to the park and a reflection of important events in the history of the country. The 50-meter arch is decorated with a quadriga - a symbol of the province of Brabant. At the foot of the arch are statues symbolizing other provinces of the country.

There are two exhibition halls in the park. Yuzhny is occupied by the Auto World Museum, which houses a rich collection of oldtimers.

Royal Museum of the Army and Military History of Belgium

The institution is part of the fiftieth anniversary park complex and is located in its northern pavilion. The museum was opened here in 1923, but was established a decade earlier - the exhibits were on the territory of the monastery of Cambrai.

Today the museum has a separate 100-meter pavilion with military aircraft of different periods. The military-historical collection of the institution is one of the largest in the world. There is a special yard for tanks, an exposition in honor of the development of Nikolai Florin (a Russian emigrant, one of the pioneers of helicopter engineering). A significant part of the collection is devoted to colonial conquests, the 1st and 2nd world wars.

Particularly noteworthy is the Russian collection with uniforms, weapons, banners, medals and orders. There are even uniforms of Nicholas I, Alexandrov II and III.

Botanical Garden

The garden is located among tall city houses and is a popular place for relaxing and walking. The history of the garden began with a collection of exotic plants. It appeared in the 18th century. At the request of the nerds, the king allowed the plants to be transferred to a more suitable site, which became a magnificent garden.

One of the main objects is the greenhouse. It is made of glass and has a majestic rotunda. Part of the garden after the Second World War was moved. There was a greenhouse, several recreation areas and a park with sculptures made by local craftsmen in the late 19th century. Cultural events are often held in the rotunda.

Church of St. Catherine

The temple is located on St. Catherine Square and is attractive for its eclectic architecture with Gothic and Baroque elements. The building was built in the middle of the 19th century, the work took 20 years. Part of the temple is a medieval bell tower, which used to be in the city wall.

The church holds several relics: a statue of the 14th century Black Virgin Mary and a painted wooden sculpture of St. Catherine.

Museum of Musical Instruments

In this direction, the institution is one of the largest in the world. It is part of the Royal Museums of Art and History.

The museum was established in 1877. At first it was located in the building of the Brussels Conservatory, but then it moved to the historical mansion of the late 19th century in the Art Nouveau style, where it is now.

The museum's collection is based on Indian folk instruments and instruments of Fetis (the famous Belgian musicologist). The institution also organizes temporary exhibitions and concerts of modern inventors of musical instruments.

Church of Notre Dame du Sablon

There is a temple opposite the museum of musical instruments. It is also called the Church of Our Lady of Victory. They built it at the expense of the guild of archers in the 13th century. At first it was a small chapel, which over time turned into a magnificent Gothic temple.

In the 14th century, a relic appeared in the church - a valuable statue of Our Lady of Antwerp. A century later, several guilds erected altars here in honor of their heavenly patrons.

Today in the temple there are 5 naves, crowned by a low turret. The 17th century baroque chapels are noteworthy. One of them is decorated with painted wooden details. Here is the tomb of the Thurn-i-Taxis family, with the help of which the chapels were built.

Also worthy of attention is the baroque pulpit.It is decorated with medallions and symbols of 4 evangelists. The stained-glass windows of the temple are also noteworthy - they appeared in the 19th century in exchange for their unsaved predecessors.

Red light district

The attraction is exclusively for adult tourists. The quarter is behind the Amsterdam counterpart, but still attracts many curious people.

The facility is located at the North Station, so you can catch a glimpse of it from the train. You can’t take pictures here - unlike prostitution, this is prohibited by Belgian law. Girls of easy virtue can be seen in the huge windows. The backlight can be not only red, but also blue.

There are several sex shops in the quarter - part of the assortment can be seen from the street. Walking this area at night is not recommended - security is not guaranteed.

Payrie Diza Zoo

This is a park territory of 650 thousand square meters. m occupied by a walking botanical garden and a private zoo. More than 4000 animals live here.

Initially, there was only a bird park, but then the collection was replenished with meerkats, otters, alligators and other animals. In 2001, an aquarium appeared; a few years later a Buddhist-style theme garden was opened, covering 4000 square meters. m

Toy museum

This place is interesting to visit at any age. The collection occupies 3 floors, cardboard dolls meet visitors at the entrance.

Almost all museum exhibits are available - you can touch them, play with them, take pictures. The story of the institution began with a private collection of the father of 6 children, Andre Redmonk. Gradually, it increased, so in 1984 they decided to create a museum. After 6 years he moved and has since occupied a building built in 1900.

The museum's modern collection has 35,000 copies, the oldest of which is almost 190 years old.

Museum of Old Masters

Previously, the institution was called the Royal Museum of Ancient Art. It was founded in the early 19th century. At the end of the same century, the building was built, which today houses the museum.

The collection is represented by paintings, sculptures and drawings of the 15-17th centuries. The exposition is divided into halls reserved for different eras. In total, the collection occupies 3 floors.

About how to spend one day in Brussels with benefit and pleasure, see the following video:

When visiting Brussels you can have a great time. Having made a route around the city according to your preferences, you can manage to get around the most remarkable places in just one day.

Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate

The museum symbolizes the struggle of Brussels for the title of European capital of chocolate and has been operating since the 18th century. Description of this attraction of Brussels is included in all popular guides. Having bought a ticket, you can:

  • try 6 varieties of hard chocolate
  • taste delicious cookies after dipping in a chocolate fountain
  • Take part in a master class on making sweets with nut filling, which you can take with you.

The museum has a shop with handmade chocolates.

Built at the opening of the 1958 World Exhibition of Achievements, the monument in the form of a giant molecule has become one of the main attractions of Belgium and Brussels. The total height of the structure is 100 m, the diameter of each atom is 18 m. Transitions are located inside the connecting segments. Visitors can enjoy the picturesque view from the observation deck or look at the restaurant, which is located in one of the atoms.

Miniature Europe Park

A stone's throw from the Atomium is a picturesque park with three hundred copies of the famous sights of Europe. They are executed with documentary accuracy at a scale of 1:25. The production of a single copy of the Grand Place Square cost 350 thousand euros. If you see photos and descriptions of the Eiffel Tower, Buckingham Palace or the Acropolis of Athens in a guide to Brussels sights, do not be surprised. This is a Mini-Europe park.

Art mountain

Man-made hill next to the royal palace appeared in Brussels in 1910 - the opening of the International Exhibition. A picturesque staircase decorated with fountains leads to the top. The hill is not interesting in itself, but located on it:

  • viewing platform
  • Royal Museum of Fine Arts
  • Museum of Musical Instruments
  • exhibition halls
  • numerous trays of Belgian sweets.

The world's deepest swimming pool. Its depth is reflected in the name and is a little more than 33 m, that is, as a 12-story house. Many artificial caves, elevations and ledges make it look like a flooded city block. Through portholes located at different levels, visitors can watch divers. In addition to the pool, the complex includes a restaurant and facilities for scientific experiments.

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