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Brussels

Brussels
Administration
Full nameBrussels
Official nameBrussels-Capital Region
Région de Bruxelles-Capitale  
Brussel Hoofdstedelijk Gewest  
Native name   
   
Settlement typeRegion of Belgium
Sovereign stateBelgium
Settledc. 580
Founded979
Region18 June 1989
Government
Minister-PresidentCharles Picqué (2004 )
GovernorJean Clément (acting) (2010 )
Parl. PresidentEric Tomas
Geography
Total Area62.2 sq mi (161.1 km2)
Elevation43 ft (13.1 m)
Demography
Total Population1133768 (1 July 2011)
Density (pop.)6506.8/km2 (16857/sq mi)
Metro (pop.)1830000
Other information
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
- Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166BE-BRU

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Brussels ( , pronounced -nlˈbrʏsəlNl-Brussel.ogg, , pronounced -frbʁysɛlFr-Bruxelles, officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region (French: , Dutch: ), is the capital of Belgium and hosts the headquarters of the European Union (EU). It is also the largest urban area in Belgium, comprising 19 municipalities, including the municipality of the City of Brussels, which is the de jure capital of Belgium, in addition to the seat of the French Community of Belgium and of the Flemish Community.

Brussels has grown from a 10th-century fortress town founded by a descendant of Charlemagne into a metropolis of more than one million inhabitants. The metropolitan area has a population of over 1.8 million, making it the largest in Belgium.

Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a main center for international politics. Hosting principal EU institutions as well as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the city has become the polyglot home of numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants.

Although historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels became increasingly French-speaking over the 19th and 20th centuries. Today a majority of inhabitants are native French-speakers, and both languages have official status. Linguistic tensions remain, and the language laws of the municipalities surrounding Brussels are an issue of considerable controversy in Belgium.


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