A visitor can have an agreeable time in Brussels. As far as sightseeing is concerned, Brussels has a lot to offer. It is known as a cultural centre of Europe. There are some famous attractions in Brussels.
Some of the most famous are:
The Manneken Pis
The Manneken Pis is a statue of a little boy ‘pissing’. People all over the world know about Manneken Pis. It is not a very sizeable statue. Some tourist shops nearby sell same size replicas of the Manneken Pis. This little statue has got a big reputation and can be seen with many different costumes throughout the year. There are many stories behind the Manneken Pis and some people call it Brussels oldest citizen.
This is a triumphal arch built in the XIX century to mark the golden jubilee of the Belgian State.The Cinquantenaire is similar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Although it is not as big as the one in Paris but it can be seen from a distance in neighbouring areas. The Cinquantenaire also has two museums on its sides. The Automobile Museum and the War Museum.
White and elegantly proportioned, Place Royale is the centerpiece of the Upper Town, which became the centre of power during the 18th century. The equestrian statue in its centre, representing Godefroid de Bouillon, crusader and King of Jerusalem, is a romantic afterthought. Place Royale was built on the ruins of the Palace of the Dukes of Brabant. The site has been excavated, and it is possible to see the underground digs and the main hall, Aula Magna, where Charles V was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1519.
Place du Grand Sablon
The name of this area refers to the time when it was still situated outside of the city walls of the 12th century. It was originally a sandy road along which people had access to the city gates. The Large Sand Place is where the people of Brussels come to see and be seen. The elegant square is surrounded by numerous restaurants, cafés, and antiques shops, some in intriguing alleys and arcades. Every Saturday and Sunday morning there’s a lively (and pricey) antiques market at the upper end of the square. The Place du Petit Sablon, opposite the Grand Sablon, is surrounded by a magnificent wrought-iron fence, topped by 48 small bronze statues representing the city’s guilds. Inside the peaceful garden stands a double statue of the Flemish patriots Counts Egmont and Hoorn on their way to the Spaniards’ scaffold in 1568.
This monument from 1958 has become one of the most famous sights of Brussels. The Atomium is the visual representation of the concept of an atom. It symbolizes an elementary iron crystal with its 9 atoms and magnified 150 billion times. It honoured the metal and iron industry and the belief in the atomic power. The architect was André Waterkeyn. It took 18 months to conceive and another 18 months to construct. The monument is 102 meters high. Each sphere has a diameter of 18 meters. An elevator takes visitors to the upper sphere where one can enjoy a panoramic view of the Heysel area and (if the weather is good) the city of Brussels. There is also a good buffet-restaurant (Chez Adrienne) in the upper sphere. In the other spheres expositions are organized. They can be visited by means of escalators.
Located at the foot of the Atomium, Mini-Europe is a park where you can have a tour around Europe in a few short hours. It is a unique journey. Stroll amidst the typical ambiance of the most beautiful towns of the old continent. The incomparable chimes of Big Ben welcome you to the heart of London. The gondolas and the mandolins will invite you to discover the charms of Venice. Follow the T.G.V. from Paris to the other end of France. You can make the models work yourself : the eruption of Vesuvius, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the bullfight in Seville and many more. In total 300 models and sites in a quite unequalled craftsmanship.
Centre Belge de la bande déssinée (Belgian Comic Strip Centre)
This unique museum celebrates the comic strip, focusing on such famous Belgian graphic artists as Hergé Tintin’s creator; Morris, the progenitor of Lucky Luke; and many others. There are a library and a bookshop. The collection includes more than 400 original plates by Hergé and his successors and 25,000 cartoon works; those not exhibited can be viewed in the archive. The display is housed in what used to be a draper’s warehouse, designed in 1906 and restored to its former glory in 1989.
Photo by Wikimedia Commons.