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Ronald

Cities of Belgium - Pt. 1

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I went on an excursion with Planning students and staff from my Uni last week, for 8 days we explored all of Belgium.

I'll post 4 threads, two of Brussels, one of cities in the Flemmish part of the country (where Dutch is spoken) and one of cities in the Walloon region of the country (where French is spoken).

Part 1: Brussels

This is a world city, being the capital of the EU, the NATO, the Brussels city region government, the Flemmish region government, The Flemmish community government, The Walloon community government and the Federal government. It used to be a Dutch speaking city in the beginning of the 20th century, noways 90% of the pop. is french-speaking. Out of 1,5 million inhabitants, 250,000 are from countries in the EU, 500,000 are from mediterranean countries (mostly Morocco, Turkey, Italy and Spain), hundreds of thousands are from the former colony of Congo and from all over the world.

Everyone is from somewhere else, you can say.

The city is also the centre-stage in the language battle going on between the dutch speaking and the french speaking groups.

Entering the city, we ran into this little square with art, that was situated in the middle of a busy avenue.

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Brussels in rush hour

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Graffiti posted onto a wall

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Skyscrapers sticking out above older buildings are typically Brussels.

This skyscraper wasn't even finished, but it was already in use. Lights were already burning in some offices at night.

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View from the hotel room

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Trams, old and new

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This park was once a wildlife domain where the king of Belgium used to hunt. It was cultivated, and opened to the public in the 19th century.

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Royal Palace

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Brussels was built in a valley. That makes for nice vistas.

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Central Station.

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The very oldest part of Brussels

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Not the best pic, still a very pretty place: the St. Hubertusgallerijen.

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Random street.

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Urban renovation. New interior, old facade.

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But why on earth would you perserve such an ugly facade?

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Near the oldest city wall (not in place anymore)

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By law, both language groups are equal in Brussels. Things such as streetnames, city announcements, commercials etc. are in both dutch and french. However, I entered plenty of shops and when I spoke in dutch, not many could reply or even understand me.

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Quiet street in the historical centre

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One of the city's worse neighbourhoods

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In the same neighbourhood, urban renewal is already improving the situation.

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Canal from Brussels to Charleroi

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Stock exchange

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"The best public space in the world": Grand Place/ Groote Markt in Brussels.

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Manneke Pis, symbol of Brussels :S

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Random street in an art district

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Quite the better part of town, and prices are quite high too.

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Court of Justice

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More in part two.

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This is a great picture thead of Brussels! I have to say this is a very strong set of pictures from a city with a very diverse assortment of architecture and places to take pictures of.

I think when I was in Brussels several years ago that I recall someone saying that St. Hubertusgallerijen laid claim to being the Europe's (possibly the world's) first enclosed shopping mall. Any idea if that is correct?

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Wonderful tour, thanks so much for the pics. Looking foward to the other parts :)

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Thanks for your replies everyone!

This is a great picture thead of Brussels! I have to say this is a very strong set of pictures from a city with a very diverse assortment of architecture and places to take pictures of.

I think when I was in Brussels several years ago that I recall someone saying that St. Hubertusgallerijen laid claim to being the Europe's (possibly the world's) first enclosed shopping mall. Any idea if that is correct?

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