Modest and unobtrusive, but charming and unforgettable, Brussels leaves no place for worries, it is never in a hurry, and its beautiful old streets, as if descended from the illustrations for fairy tales, are always quiet and calm. Locals are sincerely proud with a waggish sculpture called «Manneken Pis». The boy is regularly dressed, sometimes like a chef, sometimes like a bullfighter.
Every two years the Grand-Place (city’s central square) is littered with thousands begonias - and it is absolutely important for the whole country! Add happy people eating chocolate waffles topped with fruit and drink beer from funny little bottles and you will see the image of a modern Brussels.
Looking like a toy town in contemporary Lilliput state, Brussels is one of the most important cities of modern Europe. Yes, it lacks the glamour of Paris, monumentality of Rome, the mystery of London, but this city has a feature that even the proudest capitals do not have. Throughout its existence it has lived and still lives in the struggle. Brussels struggled with its region Vlaanderen, where people speak French. For centuries it was torn apart by the religious war, ethnic conflicts, the cultural debates, leading more often not to the negotiating table, but to the battlefield. It is struggling with others, more recognized European cities. In comparison with them, Brussels looks undemanding and worth no more than two or three days of examination in the framework of tour round Europe.
But if you pay enough time to Brussels, it opens from a completely different side! The world’s greatest people discuss here the urgent problems of the EU. Its HQ is situated in the European Quarter (Quartier européen). Since the Middle Ages times the city is known as the European economic center. Nowadays the Brussels Stock Exchange building hosts multi-million deals. But the entire soul of Brussels can be found not inside the walls, but outside of them.
Walking around Brussels’ streets, it is so easy and interesting to see the greatest and the most important steps of Belgium history. You will see how the state appeared, its medieval prosperity, the struggle for independence, civil wars and bloody revolutions... Acquaintance with the city can be unexpected, but even the first cautious glance is enough to understand: Brussels is not limited with tasty waffles, good beer and a pissing boy.