Brussels,

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Carte de Metro de Bruxelles

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JohoMaps! 2006

 

Brussels Metro Map (in French)
  Date:   Nov, 2006
Map format:   jpeg
Dimension:   846 x 551 pixels (389 kb)
Copyright holder:   Johomaps!
Conditions of using this map:   All rights reserved.  Contact for permission
Computer Specifics:   Prepared using Adobe Illustrator
   
   

Kaart van Brusselse Metro

Click to see full sized-map

JohoMaps! 2006

 

Brussels Metro Map (in Dutch)
  Date:   Nov, 2006
Map format:   jpeg
Dimension:   846 x 551 pixels (389 kb)
Copyright holder:   Johomaps!
Conditions of using this map:   All rights reserved.  Contact for permission
Computer Specifics:   Prepared using Adobe Illustrator
   
   
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Brussels (From Wikipedia)
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Brussels (French: Bruxelles; Dutch: Brussel; German: Brüssel) is the capital of Belgium, the French Community of Belgium, the Flemish Community and the main seat of the European Union's institutions (and thus often considered 'The Capital of Europe').

Brussels is, first of all, a city located in the centre of Belgium and is its capital, but it sometimes also refers to the largest municipality of the Brussels-Capital Region. This municipality inside Brussels is correctly named The City of Brussels (French: Bruxelles-Ville or Ville de Bruxelles, Dutch: Stad Brussel), which is one of 19 municipalities that make up the Brussels-Capital Region (see also: Municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region). The municipality has a population of about 140,000 while the Brussels-Capital Region has 1,018,804 inhabitants (1 January 2006). The Metropolitan area has about 2,090,000 inhabitants.

The Brussels-Capital Region is one of the three federated regions of Belgium, alongside Wallonia and the Flemish Region. Geographically and linguistically, it is a (bilingual) enclave in the (unilingual) Flemish Region. Regions are one component of Belgium's complex institutions, the three communities being the other component: the Brussels inhabitants must deal with either the French (speaking) community or the Flemish Community for matters such as culture and education.

Brussels is also the capital of both the French Community of Belgium (Communauté française Wallonie-Bruxelles in French) and of Flanders (Vlaanderen); all Flemish capital institutions are established here: Flemish Parliament, Flemish government and its administration (though Antwerp is considered the cultural capital of Flanders).

Two of the main institutions of the European Union - the European Commission and the Council of the European Union - have their headquarters in Brussels: the Commission in the Berlaymont building and the Council in the Justus Lipsius building facing it. The third institution, the European Parliament, also has a parliamentary chamber in Brussels in which its committee meet and some of its plenary sessions are held (the other plenary sessions are held in Strasbourg, and its administrative headquarters are in Luxembourg).

Brussels is also the political seat of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the Western European Union (WEU) and EUROCONTROL, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation

Due to this, some countries have three ambassadors present in Brussels: the normal bi-lateral ambassador, the EU-ambassador, and finally the NATO-ambassador.

The "language border" divides Belgium into a northern, Dutch-speaking region, and a southern, French-speaking region. Although the real language border and the official one are largely identical, there are bilingual pockets on both sides with, in certain cases, no specific linguistic rights for the population speaking the other language. The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual, while the majority of its residents speak French (see the linguistic history of Brussels in this article: linguistic situation section).

The highest building in Brussels is the South Tower (150 m); the most famous probably the Atomium, which is a remnant from the 1958 World Exposition.

Etymology

The name Brussels comes from the old Dutch Bruocsella, Brucsella or Broekzele, which means "marsh (bruoc, bruc or broek) home (sella or zele)" or "home consisting of one room, in the marsh". "Broekzele" was spelt "Bruxelles" in French. In Belgian French pronunciation as well as in Dutch, the "k" eventually disappeared and "z" became "s", as reflected in the current Dutch spelling ((French) /bʀy.ˌsel/ ; Dutch /ˈbry.s(ɘ)l/ or /ˈbrɘ.s(ɘ)l/). The names of all other municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region are also of Dutch origin, except for Evere, which is of Celtic origin.

History

In 977 AD, the German emperor Otto II gave the duchy of Lower Lotharingia on the empire's western frontier to Charles, the banished son of King Louis IV of France. Mention was already made of Brussels at the time: Bishop Saint-Gery of Cambrai-Arras settled a chapel on a small island (695). A century later Saint Vindicianus, also a monk of Cambrai-Arras, lived on that island. However, the founding of Brussels is usually said to be when a small castle was built by Charles around 979 on Saint-Géry island in the Zenne or Senne river. The donation by Emperor Otto II the Great is recorded. Duke Charles had a shrine built for the relics of Saint Gudula in the Saint Gery chapel.

In 1041 the county of Brussels was taken over by Lambert I of Leuven, one of the Counts of Leuven who ruled the surrounding county, later the Duchy of Brabant. Under Lambert II of Leuven, a new castrum and the first city walls were built. In the 12th century the small town became an important stop on the trade route from Brugge and Ghent to Cologne. The village benefited from this favourable position and, as it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. The Counts of Leuven became Dukes of Brabant at about this time (1183/1184).

From 1357 to 1379, a new city wall was constructed as the former one was already proving to be too small: the inner ring or 'pentagon' now follows its course.

In the 15th century, by means of the wedding of heiress Margaret III of Flanders with Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, a new Duke of Brabant emerged from the House of Valois (namely Antoine, their son), with another line of descent from the Habsburgs (Maximilian of Austria, later Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, married Mary of Burgundy, who was born in Brussels).

Brabant had lost its independence, but Brussels became the Princely Capital of the prosperous Low Countries, and flourished.

Charles V, heir of the Low Countries since 1506, though (as he was only 6 years old) governed by his aunt Margaret of Austria until 1515, was declared King of the unified Spain, in 1516, in the Cathedral of Saint Gudule in Brussels. Upon the death of his grandfather, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1519, Charles became also the new archduke of the Austrian Empire and thus the Holy Roman Emperor of the Empire "in which the sun does not set". It was in the Palace complex at the Brussels' Coudenberg, that Charles V abdicated in 1555. This impressive palace, famous all over Europe, had expanded a lot since it was first the seat of the dukes of Brabant, but was sadly destroyed in 1731 in a huge fire (all that now remains is an archaeological site).

In 1695 Brussels was attacked by general Villeroy of King Louis XIV of France. A bombardment destroyed the city's heart: more than 4,000 houses were set on fire, including the medieval buildings on the Grote Markt or Grand Place.

In 1830, the Belgian revolution took place in Brussels after a performance of Auber's opera La Muette de Portici at De Munt or La Monnaie theatre. On July 21, 1831, Leopold I, the first King of the Belgians, ascended the throne, undertaking the destruction of the city walls and the construction of many buildings. Under Léopold II, the city underwent many more changes: the Zenne was culverted (as it brought diseases), the North-South Junction was built, and the Tervuren Avenue was laid out.

From May 10, 1940, Brussels was bombed by the German army however most of the damage was done in 1944-1945. The Heysel Stadium disaster took place in Brussels on May 29, 1985. The Brussels Capital Region was founded on June 18, 1989.

Brussels is famous for celebrating its history, as well as history in general. This is most evident in the fact that Brussels has well over 100 museums.


Brussels as the Capital of Belgium

Although some misbelieve that the capital of Belgium is Brussels at large, according to the Belgian Constitution (Art. 194) the capital of Belgium is the City of Brussels municipality. Arguments that the use of lower case in "ville" and "stad" in Article 194 for "ville de Bruxelles" (French), "stad Brussel" (Dutch) makes a subtle difference and means that Brussels at large is the capital cannot be defended on a legal basis. However, although the City of Brussels is the official capital, the by the federation and region delegated funds for the representative role of the capital are divided among the 19 municipalities and in practice, national Belgian institutions are indeed not only located in the City of Brussels, although many are, but also in most of the other 18 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital region. Meaning that de facto the entire Region serves as capital, but de jure only the City of Brussels is entitled to the title of capital city of Belgium

Although some misbelieve that the capital of Belgium is Brussels at large, according to the Belgian Constitution (Art. 194) the capital of Belgium is the City of Brussels municipality. Arguments that the use of lower case in "ville" and "stad" in Article 194 for "ville de Bruxelles" (French), "stad Brussel" (Dutch) makes a subtle difference and means that Brussels at large is the capital cannot be defended on a legal basis. However, although the City of Brussels is the official capital, the by the federation and region delegated funds for the representative role of the capital are divided among the 19 municipalities and in practice, national Belgian institutions are indeed not only located in the City of Brussels, although many are, but also in most of the other 18 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital region. Meaning that de facto the entire Region serves as capital, but de jure only the City of Brussels is entitled to the title of capital city of Belgium.

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