Brussels, Belgium

brussels

MARCH 04, 2009 – MARCH 09, 2009

Brussels is the capital and largest city in Belgium. The etymology of the city’s name is derived from the Old Dutch settlement of “Bruocsella”, meaning “marsh” (bruoc) and “home” (sella): “Home in the Marsh”. In addition, the Brussels Capital Region (not to be confused with the city) holds the distinction as capital of the European Union (EU). Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been an important center for international politics and is home today to the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Although historically Dutch-speaking given its history, the city tends to be more French-speaking today although both hold official status. Flemish is also spoken here … [ for more purchase CIVIC INTIMACY ]

Grand Place

Brussels, Belgium

grand place

The Grand Place is nothing less than a masterpiece of Gothic civic architecture, considered by many to be among the most beautiful squares in all of Europe. In fact this sentiment has been shared by many throughout its history, from modern tourists to as far back as the Archduchess Isabella, who in 1599 proclaimed, “Never have I seen something so beautiful and exquisite as the town square of the city where the town hall rises up into the sky. The decoration of the houses is most remarkable.” Today, as it has always been, the Grand Place is the place to see and be seen and is the very heart and soul of Brussels. Visitors often enter the space from one of the many narrow side streets and stop in their tracks, gazing in wonderment at the highly ornamented buildings that surround them … [ for more purchase CIVIC INTIMACY ]