By Holguine Augustine
Bonjour. So far this trip has been very interesting. We had a tour of the city by Stefaan Debrabandere, a Belgian professor at Hogeschool University Brussels (HUB). I appreciate the beauty of old architecture and was thrilled that literally every building had detailed designs and historical significance. The tour started with the history of Belgium under the ruling of King Leopold, and as we walked around Brussels professor Debrabandere gave us insightful information about the Belgian culture, chocolate, and their past history with other European countries.
Here area few interesting things about Belgium and Brussels:
* French and Dutch are the two main languages spoken in Belgium. German is also spoken, but only by a small population.
* King Leopold built the gallery the first indoor shopping center, which was essentially a mall for the upper class residents.
* The architecture is heavily influenced by either Baroque, Gothic, and French styles.
* Jean Neuhaus a famous pharmacist believed that chocolate gives strength to the people and he would use it in the medications he created.
* Neuhaus wife created the box that holds chocolates so they would not crush.
* The World’s Fair was held in 1958 in Brussels.
* The Palais de Justice ( Palace of Justice) is the location of the Supreme Court,and one of the largest monuments in Europe.
* The cartoon character Tin Tin was based in Belgium.
* There is a park across the Royal Palace, and in the center of the park anyone can see the buildings that house the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. (PoliSci geek).
* We seen the Manneken Pis, the little peeing boy. The story is this little boy defused a bomb by urinating on it, which saved the city. Now I can say, oui oui I’ve seen the Manneken Pis.
This tour gave me a better insight into Belgium’s history and their influence in European history. I appreciate the rich history of Brussels and Belgium and I’m looking forward to what this city has to offer.