Brussels  www.brussels.info

Apart from being the centre of European politics, Brussels has a fascinating and old history that dates back to the 11th century when it began as a small dukedom the size of the current downtown area. In 1830 Belgium became independent and Brussels became the capital of Belgium under a new king and parliament. Find out more about the interesting facts of Belgium through a mixture of facts, history, cul-tural traditions and political infrastructure.

Quick facts about Brussels
Brussels region is made up of 19 separate communes; the City of Brussels is one of these communes has about 150,000 inhabitants and dates back to the original city built in the 13th century. Some fun facts about Brussels include the fact that on last count there are 249 butchers, 874 hairdressers and 647 pharmacies. This can be noticed almost immediately when you walk down the streets, you will see at least 1 hairdresser and 1 or 2 pharmacies, which are marked by giant neon green cross signs. Brussels is one of the most international cities in the world. 27% of the population is made up of foreigners, not including those who have taken Belgian citizenship. In following with its status as the Capital of Europe (the seat of the European Union), Brussels is the location for 40,000 EU employees, 4,000 NATO employees and hosts about 300 permanent representations: lobby groups, embassies and press corporations.

Brussels has a temperate climate with four seasons spanning the whole year. Temperatures are rela-tively mild during the whole year with the average low at 1°C in winter and only 23°C in summer. Winds tend to be slightly stronger in winter but the most constant weather pattern would be rainfall. Snow is possible but doesn’t occur very often.

Language
It is an interesting fact about Belgium that Belgians do not share one common language. There are three official languages in Belgium: French, Dutch (Flemish) and German. Language is such an important part of the political and cultural infrastructure that the country created an official lan-guage border between the north and south and also a third region which is Brussels. In Brussels people mostly speak French but it is official bilingual so all public signage and documents are in both languages.