Saturday, 21 May 2011

Brussels, Belgium

A very nice official I received earlier this year, showing Brussels from a slightly different angle.


Brussels is the de facto capital of Belgium and of the European Union. It is also the largest urban area in Belgium, comprising 19 municipalities.

Brussels has grown from a 10th-century fortress town founded by a descendant of Charlemagne into a metropolis of more than one million inhabitants. The metropolitan area has a population of over 1.8 million, making it the largest in Belgium.

Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a main center for international politics. Hosting principal EU institutions as well as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the city has become the polyglot home of numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants.

Although historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels became increasingly French-speaking over the 19th and 20th centuries. Today a majority of inhabitants are native French-speakers, and both languages have official status. Linguistic tensions remain, and the language laws of the municipalities surrounding Brussels are an issue of considerable controversy in Belgium. ...this reminds me, my sister visited Brussels some years ago but had to leave pretty soon because most people only spoke French and she doesn't speak/understand it, and she preferred Amsterdam anyway :p On the other hand, I used to have a penpal who lived in Brussels, and the image she gave me of the city was completely different. I guess it depends on who you are and where you go...

The stamp is the very common flower definitive issued in 2009.

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