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Brussels Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments for a month or more

The name Brussels is derived from the word Bruocsella meaning "of the marsh", because Brussels was originally surrounded by an extensive marshland. During the 12th, 13th and 14th Centuries, Brussels was the main center for the manufacturing of luxurious fabrics, for exporting, finance and politics. New city walls were erected around the city to protect against enemy invasion. These walls stood until the 19th Century when they were replaced by a ring road round the city. The only remaining section of the wall still standing is the Porte de Hal.

In 1830 the Belgian Revolution led to independence and Brussels was chosen as the new capital for the state of Belgium. The city began its modernization during the 19th Century. In 1865, the first European passenger railway was opened between Brussels and Mechelen. New streets were laid and road taxes were abolished. The Palace of Justice was built and the city was extended.  The Grote Markt, said by many to be the most beautiful market square in Europe, is Brussels' historical center.

Brussels has survived two world wars. In the post-war years Brussels again began expanding and modernizing. In 1958, the World's Fair was held in Brussels and in the 1960s the city became the base for the EEC and NATO. More or less during the same period, many multinationals established their offices in Brussels. Up to the present day Brussels, with its one million residents, is where you run into people from all over the world. A new Europe without borders and trade restrictions between member states, the European Union, was formed in 1992.

This small land, divided into different languages, customs and governments is really not so divided. In Flanders, in the north of the country and north of Brussels, the Flemings speak Flemish, a Dutch dialect. Walloon in the south is inhabited by French-speaking people. After the First World War a small area formerly under German rule was handed over to Belgium, and German can still be heard in these parts. Flemish and French are both official languages in Brussels, so you will find everything in the city is bilingual.

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