Notwithstanding the art scene in Brussels, the city is known to be the de facto capital city of Europe. And this is partly due to the fact that the headquarters of the European Union is there. So take a visit to these political monuments before breaking away from the crowds to enjoy some respite in the parks.
The European Commission (Berlaymont)
Nicknamed “Berlaymonster”, this cross-shaped building has an undeniable presence in the city, residing in the European quarter. There is a visitor center open for tours for those interested in learning more about the European Commission. Tours must be booked ten weeks in advance and groups must have a minimum number of 15.
Palais de Justice
Another controversial political building that hits closer to home, is the Law Courts of Brussels. For its construction, 3000 homes of the middle class had to be destroyed causing a lot of anger. When the lead architect went insane and died four years before it was completed, many believed that he had been cursed by witchcraft. It was the biggest building in Europe at that time, and today remains a formidable structure overlooking the city with spectacular views.
To commemorate the victory of allied troops against the french monarchy, this mound was built over the site of the Battle of Waterloo. Visitors who choose to pay for admission can climb up the steps to reach the lion statue which has descriptions of the battles and maps.
Bois de la Cambre
After a refreshing climb up the hill, why not continue to enjoy nature at one of the city’s main parks. Take a ferry ride in its artificial lake to Chalet Robinson which features a restaurant to have some ice cream.
Foret de Soignes
The park also happens to be located on the edge of Sonian Forest. It has been designated a protected ground by the royalty of Belgium and was put on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2017.