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Living in Beautiful Brussels Mei 21, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Being Expat.
Tags: , ,
The article is written by
Rima Fauzi, the blog owner of A Chocoholic’s Piece of Mind

Brussels is the city I used to hate but now have come to really love. When I first got here I hated it because of its tranquility and ‘old fashion-ness’. It wasn’t really fair because I constantly compared it to New York City and Jakarta, two cities where I lived before, cities of which are abundant with night life and modern fun. Plus at the time, I was still in my mid-20s and wanted metropolitan fun all the time. After a few years, having grown more mature and calmed down a bit, I have come to really appreciate this lovely city. I have been to most corners of the city, many times, but I never get tired of it.


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

Well, I can’t say much for the Satan worshiping nations (because it’s top secret and I’d have to kill you if I tell you), but the building does kinda look like an upside down cross, doesn’t it?

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)

That is about it for this edition of Beautiful Brussels, there are other interesting stuff about Brussel I will share with you again next time. A bientot! Tot ziens!

*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.



1. dinysays - Mei 21, 2008

Hi Rima, thanks for writing up Brussels. Should’ve stopped there when we were in Belgium about 3 years ago. Sure does look like a cool city. And the cartoon of Tin Tin!! How could you not know Tin Tin and Captain Haddock?

Thank again!

2. finallywoken - Mei 21, 2008

Yeah I grew up with Tin Tin too. I think that’s why I never want to settle in one place and would like to visit so many places including Tibet: it’s Tin Tin in my head talking :). Rima, I’ll be visiting Brussels this year for sure – as long as you’re making delicious food hehehe…

3. Chocoholic - Mei 22, 2008

hey guys..
diny, you should have stopped here.. maybe next time?

anita, well I haven’t cooked in 2 months, husband and i are both on diets.. but if you come here, we should definitely check out the restaurants at least. 🙂

4. kyh - Mei 24, 2008

Those are splendid photos! Love the old city feel of Brussels, and I’m a big fan of old-world architecture too! 😉

5. A Chocoholic’s Piece of Mind » Blog Archive » Radio interview? MOI? - Agustus 15, 2008

[…] in Brussels” and found my writing that was published in Anita Carmencita’s Indonesian Expat Forum. They found the link to my blog, which had my facebook badge on it and the rest is […]

6. bonnie2405 - Agustus 27, 2008

@ Rima:
Never thought that Satan Worship-Church exist in Brussels hehehe
anyway..very good writing. And I can claim as the neighbouring country…Brusselians (I meant the native Brussels) do cooks better than the Dutchies. And their beer…amboiii bener2 tooop.
Time to make a story on Ghent?? Was there in April and it was a fab-old city.
Bener2 dikasih hati minta jantung yak hehehe

7. gacantiswastika - September 26, 2008

hello! this post is worth reading. i actually loved the way Rima told us about Brussels.. and the pictures! huhu, even thou it does look a bit old, but i could sense that Brussels is very nice place to visit. ah, hope will go there some day! thanks Rima & Anita!

8. Sha - April 9, 2009


I am Indonesian living in New York. I am moving to Brussels next week for work. Just found this website and it is really interesting!! Thanks 🙂
Would love to get connected with other Indonesian in Belgium 🙂

9. Proud Mary Entertainment - September 7, 2009

New here. Thanks

Mary Aloe
Proud Mary Entertainment

10. sandrar - September 10, 2009

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

11. imie - Februari 2, 2010

Hi Rima, nice to see u here, tulisanya menginspirasi sekali utk pergi kesana, jika tdk keberatan sy ingin sharing with u about brussel. This is my email : imie_imita@yahoo.com

Thx, imie

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