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Quartier européen Bruxelles 2011-06 CROP.jpg

Emblem of Brussels

Brussels (French: Bruxelles [bʁysɛl] (About this soundlisten); Dutch: Brussel [ˈbrʏsəl] (About this soundlisten)), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (French: Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; Dutch: Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest), is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region (in which it forms an enclave) and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people. Read more...

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Bombardement Bruxelles 1695 01.jpg
The bombardment of Brussels by troops of Louis XIV of France on August 13, 14 and 15, 1695, and the resulting fire were together the most destructive event in the entire history of Brussels. The Grand Place was destroyed, along with a third of the buildings in the city. The reconstruction of the city centre, effected during subsequent years, profoundly changed the appearance of the city and left numerous traces still visible today.

The bombardment was part of the Nine Years' War. The French forces hoped that by bombarding, or threatening to bombard Brussels, they would be able to divert Allied troops from the Siege of Namur. The strategy was unsuccessful, and no military gain came of the bombardment, although Louis XIV's reputation suffered for such a barbarous act.

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