Brussels is the capital of Belgium and, although never declared it is also considered as the capital of the European Union, since some of its most important institutions have their headquarters there, while others are based in Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Thus, the Council of the European Union, the European Commission and European Parliament meet in Brussels. NATO also has its headquarters in the Belgian capital.
With an area of 161 km2 and almost one million inhabitants, Brussels was born on the banks of the River Seine, at a crossroads between London, Paris and Amsterdam. In 1979, Brussels celebrated its millennium and is considered one of the cities that belong to the world heritage. The main market square in Brussels, the Grand Place (The Grote Markt), is one of the most beautiful in Europe.
For historical reasons, two official languages are spoken in Belgium: Dutch, to the north in the Flemish Region, and the French, to the south, the Walloon Region. Brussels is officially a bilingual city, though most of its inhabitants are French speakers. In some districts the German is also spoken.
The city is surrounded by 3 large peripheral concentric lines: a large ring that surrounds all the periphery, commonly called "Ring", the "Green Belt", boulevards that are divided in the Bois de la Cambre, and the "Little Belt" a series of tunnels and roads that surround the historic center along the route of an ancient medieval walls of the XIV and XV centuries, which has a particular way and that has a pentagonal form crossed by the eight historically famous doors: Namur, Anderlecht, Hal, Flandre, Laeken, Rivage, Schaerbeek and Louvain.
Urban transport are provided by an ample network of street cars on the surface and underground, buses and two subway lines with 68 stations. Trains depart from numerous stations, being the most important the Gare Central, Gare du Nord and Gare du Midi, the main international terminal.
Brussels is a modern and cosmopolitan city that has adapted to the present times without losing the charm and romanticism, which is reflected in its varied architecture, the fruit of their thousand-year history. Thus, "Ilot Sacré" and "Grand Place" transport us very far in time and that allow us to find the best of Belgian cuisine and 300 varieties of beer, while in contrast, the famous "Atomium, built in 1958, has become a characteristic image of Brussels.