The architecture in Brussels is diverse, and spans from the mediaeval constructions on the Grand Place to the postmodern buildings of the EU institutions.
Main attractions include the Grand Place, since 1988 a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the Gothic town hall in the old centre, the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral and the Laken Castle with its large greenhouses. Another famous landmark is the Royal Palace.
The Atomium is a symbolic 103-metre (338 ft) metre tall structure that was built for the 1958 World’s Fair. It consists of nine steel spheres connected by tubes, and forms a model of an iron crystal. The architect A. Waterkeyn devoted the building to science. Next to the Atomium is the Mini-Europe park with 1:25 scale maquettes of famous buildings from across Europe.
The Manneken Pis, a 60 centimeters high bronze figure in the city, is a famous tourist attraction.
Other landmarks include the Cinquantenaire park with its triumphal arch and nearby museums, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Brussels Stock Exchange, the Palace of Justice and the buildings of EU institutions in the European Quarter.
Cultural facilities include the Brussels Theatre and the opera house Monnaie Theatre. There is a wide choice of museums, from the Royal Museum of Fine Art to the Firearms Museum and the Comic Museum. Brussels also has a lively music scene, with everything from opera houses and concert halls to music bars and techno clubs.
The city centre is notable for its Flemish town houses. Especially striking are the buildings in the Art Nouveau style by the Brussels architect Victor Horta. In the heyday of Art Nouveau new Brussels suburbs shot from the ground. The architecture of the quarter Schaerbeek, Etterbeek Ixelles, and Saint-Gilles is particularly worth seeing. Another example of the Brussels Art Nouveau is the Avenue de Tervueren 281, the Stoclet by the Viennese architect Josef Hoffmann. The modern buildings in the Quartier Leopold or Espace North complete the picture.
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