The city of Brussels (Bruxelles/Brussel) in addition to being the capital of Belgium is also the seat of several institutions of the European Union (including the European Commission, the European Council, the Council of the European Union, and one of the two Houses of European Parliament), making it the most important administrative headquarters of the European Union.
The city is located in Brabant, in a flat area about 62 meters high, the city developed around a castle located on an island in the river Senne. Since its founding, according to tradition in the tenth century, the city was divided into two districts, one, the Coudenberg, was inhabited by French-speaking population and the other from the Flemish-speaking population.
Brussels began to develop in the Middle Ages, soon became an important commercial center due to its location along the connecting road between the merchant plain of the Rhine and Flanders.
The city from the thirteenth century was surrounded by a wall about 4 km long, in the fourteenth century due to the development of the city, was decided to build a new fortified wall reinforced by 72 towers that reached the considerable length of 8 km, on which opened seven main gates.
Today Brussels has a modern look, but its historical center preserves the medieval plan and is rich in Gothic style buildings, the heart of the city is the famous Grand Place, which UNESCO has included the sites of the World Heritage, are part of the world Heritage also some buildings – Hôtel Tassel, Hôtel Solvay, Hôtel van Eetvelde, and Maison & Atelier Horta – designed in Art Nouveau by architect Victor Horta.