History

Brussels has been a place for settlement since prehistoric times, but became a remarkable agreement after Saint Gery built a chapel on the river Senne in 695, now called Place St. Gery. The city of Brussels was officially founded in 979 by Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine, who scored the first city charter of Brussels. Brussels has seen many rulers, revivals and revolutions.

Middle Ages 979 – 1500
After the beginning of charter, Brussels developed rapidly from a village into a city. It was the center of trade between the cities of Bruges, Ghent and Cologne, where the river Senne met the economic path that stretched from east to west. The first set of city walls were completed in the 11th century and with greater protection, it precipitated the growth of its population. A second wall was built shortly after protecting the citizens and industry, that spill out of the walls.

At the level of economic development, Brussels exported luxury items such as fabrics and tapestries from Paris and Venice. Tapestries can still be seen on display in European museums such as the Louvre.

Renaissance and Revolution 1500 – 1830
The next period of the 15th century was marked by rebellions and uprisings. In late 15th century, Brussels temporarily lost favor and its title of capital after an uprising against the Roman Emperor Maximilian I.

Regained its status after Charles V had reigned between 1519 and 1559. Ruled by the Calvinists in the mid 1500s and then ruled by Archduke Albert I (1698-1633), the city had grown to a population of 50,000 in the mid-16th century.

In 1695, the bombardment of Brussels by King Louis XIV of France, left the Grand Place that ruins life and thousands of buildings across the city were destroyed on the ground. Brussels reconstruction was carried out by several craftmen guilds, left their mark historical construction of the guild houses that gave the Grand Place, a rectangular shaped.

Modern history 1830 – present
Last great revolt of Belgium was in 1830 when they protested against King William of the Netherlands to gain independence. King Leopold I, who was the uncle of Queen Victoria, became the first King of the Kingdom of Belgium on 21 July 1831.

The city walls were taken during this period (1810-1840) and replaced by a set of streets as a pentagon following the original outline of the old city of Brussels, called the Inner Ring Road.

The Universal Exhibition in Brussels in 1958 and in 1970 the construction of the Berlaymont building, home of the European Governments, began. The European Union and NATO moved their headquarters to Brussels, becoming the city in an International meeting point for the XXI century.

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