Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

July 2015: Brussels

This visit to Belgium took place in the second half of July 2015. In common with the UK, the country was enduring desperately disappointing weather conditions at the time, with lots of heavy rain and typical daytime highs of just 12C. Nevertheless, it proved to be an enjoyable weekend which allowed Bruce to chalk up another European capital.

European Parliament and Place du Luxembourg

Our location at the Renaissance put us virtually on the doorstep of both. The European Parliament has been directly elected since 1979, but voter turnout is low and falling further. Brussels is one of two locations used, the other being Strasbourg, France.

BELOW: 'Parlamentarium' visitor centre

Quartier Royale

Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy and has had its own royal lineage since the country seceded from the Netherlands in 1830. The royal palace enjoys an elevated position (relative to the city centre) on one side of Brussels Park, directly facing the Palace of the Nation - the federal parliament - on the other side.

City Centre and Grand-Place

The architecturally spectacular Grand-Place (photos on grey background) is the focal point of Brussels city centre. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

Parc du Cinquantenaire and European Commission

Parc du Cinquantenaire (also known as Jubilee Park) and its buildings were commissioned for the National Exhibition in 1880, marking the 50th anniversary of independence. Nearby is the huge Berlaymont building housing the European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union.


Brussels Cathedral (strictly the Co-cathedral of Sts Michael and Gudula) was completed in 1519 after several hundred years' work, but it only achieved cathedral status in 1962, reflecting the growing importance of Brussels.

Manneken Pis

He's still at it ...

Based at Renaissance

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