06 March 2008

Brussels - Fortress City of Lambic Beer

Back in the 10th Century, Charlemagne's grandson founded the small city of Brussels by river Senne (or Zenne). Due to its excellent geography, enabling trading between France and Cologne, Brussels grew rapidly in size.

Nowadays is a vibrant, fun little city of around 1 million habitats. It has emerged as a developing, cosmopolitan mix of Euro-modernism and Belgian tradition, quite contrary to the grey bureaucratic city, many think of it as.

High-speed trains link Brussels with many European cities and the network expands continuously. Most importantly you can be there in 2 hours from Kings Cross station, London on the Eurostar.

Although cranes do dominate the skyline, Saint Michael remains Brussels' patron and the old city centre remains rebelliously romantic. You will be astonished by the Grand Place - Grote Markt - and the Royal Palace. Spectacular neo-Gothic buildings like the Townhall and the Breadhouse encircle the square, though it isn't the only attraction of the city. The Atomium in Heysel Park and Saint Michael and Gudula's Cathedral will take your breath away while devoted shoppers will love Louise Avenue of lovely traditional buildings, great offers and excellent little bistros.

Brussels is a city with an intense artistic heritage as well, reflected on the museum and exhibition choices. Highly recommended, The Royal Museums of fine arts and the Musical Instrument Museum with some spectacular and most obscure musical exhibits. If you are into nature you should invest a few hours in the Zoology museum and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, finishing your tour in the Botanical Gardens.

Now if you are thirsty from the whole tour and you need to chill out, you are in the right place. The unique wild yeasts of the Senne river valley produce the regional lambic beer. Try the Kriek - infused with morello cherries - and the Belle Vue for a more "masculine aftertaste". à votre santé !

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