Place:Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium

Watchers
NameBrussels-Capital Region
Alt namesBrusselsource: NIMA, GEOnet Names Server (1996-1998); Times Atlas of the World (1988)
Brusselssource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 128; Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) II, 583-584; Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1984); Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 183-184; Britannica Book of the Year (1994) p 563; Family History Library Catalog
Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewestsource: Wikipedia
Bruxellessource: Getty Vocabulary Program; Family History Library Catalog
Bruxelles regionsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Région de Bruxelles-Capitalesource: Wikipedia
Bruselassource: Rand McNally Atlas (1994) I-25
Brussellesource: Cassell's Italian Dictionary (1983) p 75
Bruxellaesource: Concise Description of Flanders [web site] (2002) accessed 22 Jan 2003
Brüsselsource: Cassell's German Dictionary (1982) p 878
TypeRegion
Coordinates50.833°N 4.333°E
Located inBelgium     (1993 - )
See alsoBrabant, BelgiumParent
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Brussels (Template:Lang-fr Template:IPA-fr; Template:Lang-nl Template:IPA-nl), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (Template:Lang-fr; Template:Lang-nl),Template:Efn is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region (in which it forms an enclave) and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita.[1] It covers Template:Cvt, a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.

Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and the home of numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants. Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, and legislative branches (though the judicial branch is located in Luxembourg, and the European Parliament meets for a minority of the year in Strasbourg)[2]Template:Efn and its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and headquarters of NATO are also located in Brussels. As the economic capital of Belgium and one of the top financial centres of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city. Brussels is a hub for rail, road and air traffic, sometimes earning the moniker "Crossroads of Europe". The Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the largest and busiest in the country.

Historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels saw a language shift to French from the late 19th century. The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual in French and Dutch, even though French is now the de facto main language with over 90% of the population speaking it. Brussels is also increasingly becoming multilingual. English is spoken as a second language by nearly a third of the population and a large number of migrants and expatriates speak other languages.[3]

Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, as well as its historical and architectural landmarks; some of them are registered as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Main attractions include its historic Grand Place, Manneken Pis, Atomium, and cultural institutions such as La Monnaie and the Museums of Art and History. It is also a capital of the comic strip.[4]

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Template:Further

See also: History of Brussels (in French)

[[Wikipedia:File:Charles de France fondateur de Bruxelles 976 MOD.jpg|thumb|left|upright|Charles of Lorraine founded what would become Brussels Template:Circa 979]]

Early history

Template:Quote box

The history of Brussels is closely linked to that of Western Europe. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age, with vestiges and place-names related to the civilisation of megaliths, dolmens and standing stones (Plattesteen, Tomberg). During late antiquity, the region was home to Roman occupation, as attested by archaeological evidence discovered near the centre. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Frankish Empire.

The origin of the settlement which was to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus' construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580. The official founding of Brussels is usually situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island.

Middle Ages

Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven, gained the County of Brussels around 1000, by marrying Charles' daughter. Because of its location on the shores of the Senne, on an important trade route between Bruges and Ghent, and Cologne, Brussels became a commercial centre specialised in the textile trade. The town grew quite rapidly and extended towards the upper town (Treurenberg, Coudenberg and Sablon/Zavel areas), where there was a smaller risk of floods. As it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. Around this time, work began on the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula (1225), replacing an older Romanesque church. In 1183, the Counts of Leuven became Dukes of Brabant. Brabant, unlike the county of Flanders, was not fief of the king of France but was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire. In the early 13th century, Brussels got its first walls, and after this, the city grew significantly. To let the city expand, a second set of walls was erected, between 1356 and 1383. Traces of it can still be seen today, mostly because the small ring, a series of roadways bounding the historic city centre, follows its former course.

Early modern

[[Wikipedia:File:Brussel.1610.a.jpg|thumb|left|A view of Brussels Template:Circa 1610|alt=]] 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). In 1477, the Burgundian duke Charles the Bold perished in the Battle of Nancy. Through the marriage of his daughter Mary of Burgundy (who was born in Brussels) to Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, the Low Countries fell under Habsburg sovereignty. Brabant had lost its independence, but Brussels became the Princely Capital of the prosperous Burgundian Netherlands, also known as the Seventeen Provinces, and flourished. After the death of Mary in 1482, her son Philip the Handsome succeeded as Duke of Brabant. In 1506, he became King of Castile, and hence the period of the Spanish Netherlands began.

In 1516, Charles V, who had been heir of the Low Countries since 1506, was declared King of Spain in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. Upon the death of his grandfather Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, Charles became the new ruler of the Habsburg Empire and was subsequently elected Holy Roman Emperor. It was in the Palace complex at Coudenberg that Charles V abdicated in 1555. This impressive palace, famous all over Europe, had greatly expanded since it had first become the seat of the Dukes of Brabant, but it was destroyed by fire in 1731. In the 17th century, the city was a capital of the lace industry. [[Wikipedia:File:Grand- Place BXL1695 -01.jpg|thumb|The Grand Place after the 1695 bombardment by the French army]] In 1695, during the Nine Years' War, King Louis XIV of France sent troops to bombard Brussels with artillery. Together with the resulting fire, it was the most destructive event in the entire history of Brussels. The Grand Place was destroyed, along with 4,000 buildings – a third of all the buildings in the city. The reconstruction of the city centre, effected during subsequent years, profoundly changed its appearance and left numerous traces still visible today.

Following the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713, Spanish sovereignty over the Southern Netherlands was transferred to the Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg. This event started the era of the Austrian Netherlands. Brussels was captured by France in 1746, during the War of the Austrian Succession, but was handed back to Austria three years later. It remained with Austria until 1795, when the Southern Netherlands were captured and annexed by France, and became the capital of the department of the Dyle. The French rule ended in 1815, with the defeat of Napoleon on the battlefield of Waterloo, located south of today's Brussels-Capital Region. With the Congress of Vienna, the Southern Netherlands joined the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, under William I of Orange. The former Dyle department became the province of South Brabant, with Brussels as its capital.

Late modern

[[Wikipedia:File:Wappers - Episodes from September Days 1830 on the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville in Brussels.JPG|thumb|left|Episode of the Belgian Revolution of 1830, Wappers (1834)]] In 1830, the Belgian revolution took place in Brussels, after a performance of Auber's opera La Muette de Portici at La Monnaie theatre. The city became the capital and seat of government of the new nation. South Brabant was renamed simply Brabant, with Brussels as its administrative centre. On 21 July 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.

Following independence, Brussels underwent many more changes. It became a financial centre, thanks to the dozens of companies put into orbit by the Société Générale de Belgique. The Industrial Revolution and the building of the Brussels-Charleroi Canal brought prosperity to the city through commerce and manufacturing. The Free University of Brussels was established in 1834 and Saint-Louis University, Brussels in 1858. In 1835, the first passenger railway built outside England linked the municipality of Molenbeek with Mechelen. [[Wikipedia:File:Bruxelles, Place Royale, -Brussels, Belgium--LCCN2001697909.jpg|thumb|Royal Square, late 19th century]] During the 19th century, the population of Brussels grew considerably; from about 80,000 to more than 625,000 people for the city and its surroundings. The Senne had become a serious health hazard, and from 1867 to 1871, under the tenure of mayor Jules Anspach, its entire course through the urban area was completely covered over. This allowed urban renewal and the construction of modern buildings of hausmannien style along central boulevards, characteristic of downtown Brussels today. Buildings such as the Brussels Stock Exchange (1873), the Palace of Justice (1883) and Saint Mary's Royal Church (1885) date from this period. This development continued throughout the reign of King Leopold II. The International Exposition of 1897 contributed to the promotion of the infrastructure. Among other things, the Colonial Palace (today's Royal Museum for Central Africa), in the suburb of Tervuren, was connected to the capital by the construction of an 11-km long grand alley.

20th century

[[Wikipedia:File:Solvay conference 1927.jpg|thumb|left|The 1927 Solvay Conference in Brussels was the fifth world physics conference]] During the 20th century, the city hosted various fairs and conferences, including the Solvay Conference on Physics and on Chemistry, and three world fairs: the Brussels International Exposition of 1910, the Brussels International Exposition of 1935 and the Expo '58. During World War I, Brussels was an occupied city, but German troops did not cause much damage. During World War II, it was again occupied by German forces, and spared major damage, before it was liberated by the British Guards Armoured Division on 3 September 1944. The Brussels Airport, in the suburb of Zaventem, dates from the occupation.

After the war, Brussels underwent extensive modernisation. The construction of the North–South connection, linking the main railway stations in the city, was completed in 1952, while the first premetro was finished in 1969, and the first line of the metro was opened in 1976. Starting from the early 1960s, Brussels became the de facto capital of what would become the European Union, and many modern buildings were built. Development was allowed to proceed with little regard to the aesthetics of newer buildings, and many architectural landmarks were demolished to make way for newer buildings that often clashed with their surroundings, giving name to the process of Brusselisation.

Contemporary

The Brussels-Capital Region was formed on 18 June 1989, after a constitutional reform in 1988. It is one of the three federal regions of Belgium, along with Flanders and Wallonia, and has bilingual status.[5][6] The yellow iris is the emblem of the region (referring to the presence of these flowers on the original site of the city) and a stylised version in shown on its official flag.

In recent years, Brussels has become an important venue for international events. In 2000, it and eight other European cities were named European Capital of Culture. In 2014, the city hosted the 40th G7 summit.

On 22 March 2016, three coordinated nail bombings were detonated by ISIL in Brussels – two at Brussels Airport in Zaventem and one at Maalbeek/Maelbeek metro station – resulting in 32 victims and three suicide bombers killed, and 330 people were injured. It was the deadliest act of terrorism in Belgium.

Research Tips


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Brussels-Capital Region. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.