Living in Beautiful Brussels Mei 21, 2008Posted by finallywoken in Being Expat.
Tags: Europe, Living, Sightseeing
Compared to shopping areas in the Netherlands, where most of the shopping districts are all modern, or Germany with its malls, Brussels is something totally different. It has a very cool vibe, and a lot of personality. There are no malls here, only maybe three or four shopping centers (small ones, equivalent to the smaller plazas in Jakarta, not big malls) You can see what it’s like to shop in Brussels from the pictures shown here (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)
Old Buildings and Churches
Belgium, at least the French Speaking parts and Brussels, which I am writing about today, are quite old fashioned. It embraces old architecture and old buildings which is why I fell in love with it in the first place. I love old buildings, and although it doesn’t have as much as Paris, Brussels have a certain charm that has made me fall in love over and over again each time I go sight-seeing in the city.
I haven’t seen much modern architectural designs in Brussels apart from the European Commission building (which scarily resembles an upside down cross – what the Christian conspiracy theorists calls ‘the anti Christ Building’ – the headquarters of all evil, unity of a number of evil Satan worshiping nations, just as – what they claim – the bible had prophesied) – click photo to enlarge picture and captions
But, au contraire to the beliefs about being the epicenter of evil, Brussels actually has some of the most beautiful churches in Europe. Here are several well known Brussels churches, although there are so many others too (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)
We do have several landmarks in Brussels besides the European Commission “Berlaymont” Building. These are some of the most beautiful old buildings that has also become landmarks in Brussels (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)
Art Nouveau Building
Some of the most beautiful art nouveau buildings are located in Brussels, which is not surprising, considering the Father of Art Nouveau Architecture and Design, Victor Horta was a Brussels native. (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)
Besides old building landmarks, Brussels has other kinds of landmarks, unconventional ones, with interesting histories behind it. The most famous one is the Manneken Pis, a boy who people said peed on a fuse of a bomb an attack on Brussels, thus saving Brussels from the attack. The peeing boy was immortalized into a cute little statue you can see on the third picture below. The second picture is a building called the Atomium, which was initially intended to remain for six months in the World Fair of 1958, but then became a symbol for not only the World Fair, but of modern architecture and Brussels. The monument stayed the same for almost 50 years, undergone a renovation in 2004 (replacement of the metal panels on the atoms, the old panels being auctioned off) and finished last year. (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)
Café and Restaurant Culture
Brussels people, or Bruxelloises, love to sit in cafés and drink coffee or beer. Besides some of the finest and most delicious restaurants in Western Europe, Brussels is also famous for Seafood – especially Mussels. Brussels have many cozy restaurants, cafés and bars that are usually filled with people, especially during summer. (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)
Let’s not forget the cartoons in Brussels. Brussels is truly a cartoon city, with many buildings painted with cartoon murals. I think it’s a very cool thing, certainly gives a unique edge to the city, and very good for tourists who love to take pictures of themselves and the comics. (click photo to enlarge picture and captions)
*credits: Most of the photos were found on the internet (dansaertstraat and e3000 on flickr, galenfrysinger, tom galvin, brusselsdailyphoto, erasmuspc, trabel, milnerscom’s blog, brussels pictures and many more. Please contact me with your details/website if you see your photo here, so I can mention your name or site in the credits as well)
Rima Fauzi M.A.