: , Dutch
: ), is the capital
and the de facto capital 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.
1835 In Belgium, the first railway in continental Europe opens between Brussels and Mechelen.
1867 Work begins on the covering of the Zenne, burying Brussels's primary river and creating the modern central boulevards.
1906 Edouard de Laveleye forms the Belgian Olympic Committee in Brussels.
1914 World War I: German forces occupy Brussels.
1940 World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
1967 The ''L'Innovation'' department store in the centre of Brussels, Belgium, burns down. It is the most devastating fire in Belgian history, resulting in 323 dead and missing and 150 injured.
1970 The formerly united Free University of Brussels officially splits into two separate entities, the French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Dutch-speaking Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
1979 An IRA bomb explodes on the Grand Place in Brussels.
1985 Heysel Stadium disaster: At the European Cup final in Brussels, Belgium, 39 football fans die and hundreds are injured when a dilapidated retaining wall collapses after Liverpool F.C. fans breach a fence separating them from Juventus F.C. fans.
1998 The European Central Bank is founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the European Union's monetary policy.