Brussels & the European Union


Brussels in Belgium is considered the de facto capital of the European Unionhaving a long history of hosting the institutions of the European Union within its European Quarter. The EU has no official capital, and no plans to declare one, but Brussels hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and the European Council, as well as a seat (officially the second seat but de facto the most important one) of the European Parliament.

The EU has 24 official languages, of which three (English, French, and German) have the higher status of “procedural” languages of the European Commission (whereas the European Parliament accepts all official languages as working languages).

The Atomium is a towering & iconic steel atom sculpture of a giant stainless steel atom, particles connected by escalators, with exhibitions & views from 92m. The Atomium is a landmark building in Brussels, originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. It is located on the Heysel Plateau, where the exhibition took place. It is now a museum.

Manneken Pis is an iconic 17th-century fountain with a bronze statue of a small boy, dressed in costume during festivals.

This monument is right in front of the house where Cortàzar was born in 1914 (right on the site-picture), commemorated by a plaque. Place: 1050, Av. Louis Lepoutre, junction pl. G. Brugmann.

Julio Cortázar (1914-1984) was an Argentine writer who was born in Belgium, grew up in Argentina and later spent most of his life in France. His literary work focuses on poetry and short stories that often treat elements of fantasy. Cortázar was also very vocal about his political opinions. He fiercely opposed the government of Juan Peron, for which he served a short time in prison. His anti-peronist views prompted him to move to Paris in 1951. He later acquired French citizenship in 1981. The writer also worked extensively as a translator, working for UNESCO and also translating into Spanish classic works of fiction such as Robinson Crusoe and many of the tales of Edgar Allan Poe


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