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The city of Brussels is the largest municipality and historical centre of the Brussels-Capital Region, and is the capital of Belgium. Besides the strict centre, it also covers the immediate northern outskirts where it borders municipalities in Flanders.
See the fact file below for more information on the Brussels or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Brussels worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Brussels (Flemish: Brussel; French: Bruxelles) is the capital of Belgium.
- It is located in the valley of the Senne (Flemish: Zenne) River, a small tributary of the Schelde (French: Escaut).
- Greater Brussels is the country’s largest urban agglomeration. It consists of 19 communes or municipalities, each with a large measure of administrative autonomy.
- The largest commune—which, like the greater metropolitan area, is named Brussels—contains the historic core of the city and the so-called European Quarter where the institutions of the European Union (EU) are located.
- Greater Brussels officially became the Brussels-Capital Region in 1989, during the federalization of Belgium.
- The founding of Brussels dates back to around 979 when Duke Charles passed on the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel in Brussels.
- Today, the chapel is located on the holy island of Saint Gaugericus. On this same island, Charles of France, the expelled son of King Louis IV, built the first permanent fortification when the Holy Roman Emperor Otto II gave him the duchy of Lower Lotharingia.
- In those days, Saint Gaugericus island was recognised as the Island of Saint-Gorik. Carl of France decided to build a castrum on the island which laid the foundation of Brussels city.
- By the start of the 10th century, after the death of Charles, Low-Lorraine was taken in possession by Lambert of Leuven, Charles’ son.
- In 1047, his son Lambert II of Leuven established the Saint Gudula chapter. He also started expanding the city by building a new castrum and fortification walls.
- In the 12th century, the small town became an important stopover on the commercial road from Bruges to Cologne. The village benefited from this favourable position, and as the population started multiplying to 30,000, the nearby marshes were wiped out to allow for further expansion. Around 1183-1184 the Counts of Leuven were elevated to the position of Dukes of Brabant.
- From 1357 to 1379, a new city wall was constructed as the former one was already proving to be too small: the inner ring or ‘pentagon’ now followed its course.
- The population of the Brussels agglomeration grew steadily from 57,000 in 1755, when the first census was held, to 104,000 in 1830, 626,000 in 1900, 892,000 in 1930, and approximately 1,000,000 in 1970.
- The population of the Brussels-Capital Region remained just above 1,000,000 into the early 21st century, when it represented about one-tenth of the population of Belgium.
- Meanwhile, the population of the inner city increased in line with that of the total agglomeration until about 1890, when it stood at 160,000. It then decreased sharply during the first half of the 20th century, falling to about 60,000 by the 1960s.
- By the early 21st century, however, the population of the Brussels commune had reached nearly three times that number.
- The capital has been the financial heart of Belgium and a major commercial center ever since the private and powerful holding company the Société Générale de Belgique was established there in 1822.
- Today, Brussels is the most populous region in the country. Its status as the federal capital and the seat of the EU, and its great concentration of service industries, make it the most important growth engine of Belgium.
- Its economic footprint extends beyond the boundaries of the Brussels-Capital Region into the regions of Flanders and Wallonia. Over one-tenth of the jobs in Belgium are tied to Brussels’ economy.
- In the region, the standard and cost of living are relatively high; the average income per person is higher than in Flanders and Wallonia, although the gap has narrowed.
- Right in the heart of Brussels Old Town, the city’s main plaza (known as Grand Place) is one of the best preserved in Europe. Much of the square’s elegant character is due to the unique architecture of its elegant Gildehuizen (guild houses) with their magnificent gables, pilasters, and balustrades, ornately carved stonework, and rich gold decoration.
- A favorite attraction for photo opportunities, the most important building on this square is the Royal Palace (Palais Royal), which is used by the Belgian royal family as an official residence.
- The Belgian flag, flown from the roof, signals the sovereign’s presence, and a ceremonial Changing of the Guard takes place every day at about 2:30pm.
- Along with Manneken Pis, the Atomium is Brussels’ best-known attraction, and although it is a bit of a journey by tram to get there, the bizarre 102-meter-high steel and aluminum structure, designed by architect André Waterkeyn for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition, is the city’s most surreal sight.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Brussels across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Brussels worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the city of Brussels which is the largest municipality and historical centre of the Brussels-Capital Region, and is the capital of Belgium. Besides the strict centre, it also covers the immediate northern outskirts where it borders municipalities in Flanders.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Brussels Facts
- Brussels Timeline
- Describing Brussels
- Brussels Attractions
- Jumbled Brussels
- Same and Different
- World’s Capital Cities
- Vacation in Brussels
- Brussels Essay
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Link will appear as Brussels Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 4, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.