12 September 2014
1. Philippine Embassy in Brussels – official name is the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Mission of the Philippines to the European Union. It was established on 1964, the same year that diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Belgium started on July 4th. Since its establishment, 12 ambassadors have served as the head of post. Ambassador Victoria S. Bataclan is the country’s envoy to the said post since 10 October 2011.
2. European Commission Headquarters – the European Union’s (EU) executive body representing the interest of Europe as a whole (as opposed to the interests of individual countries). Its main roles are to set objectives and priorities for action; propose legislation to Parliament and Council; manage and implement EU policies and the budget; enforce European law jointly with the Court of Justice; and, represent the EU outside Europe such as negotiating trade agreements between the EU and other countries, etc. (source: http://ec.europa.eu/about)
3. European Council Headquarters — a summit of heads of state of member countries. Held four times a year in Brussels and attended by two representatives from each country, the meetings receive a lot of publicity from press. They are chaired by the presiding President of the Council at the time and outcomes of this meeting steer the direction for future laws and policy drafts. (source: http://brussels.info/institutions)
4. Royal Palace – a highlight of Neo-Classical architecture and is the official home of His Majesty the King who is Belgium’s Head of State.
5. Academy Palace – one of the last examples of pure classical architecture in Belgium during the 19th century. It was built to serve as the Brussels residence of Prince William of Orange, the heir to the Dutch home. Today, it is the seat of the following: ARB — The Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium; KVAB – The Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts; ARMB – The French Language Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium; KAGB – The Dutch Language Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium; and, ARLLF – The Royal Academy of French Language and Literature.
6. Infantry Memorial – a monument dedicated to the memory of Belgian soldiers who took part in World Wars I and II. It represents a symbolic column and a number of soldiers at its foot.
7. Palace of Justice – a grand structure that stands at the top of Brussels, offering a great panoramic view of the city. The building has a distinctive golden dome and many columns decorating its façade. It still serves its original purpose as the high courts of Brussels.
8. Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula – seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Malines-Brussels. The cathedral is the national church of Belgium where royal weddings and funerals take place. Though dating back to the 12th century, the church was granted cathedral status in 1962. Its interior is not as decorative as one would expect from a Gothic architecture but Victor Hugo described it as the “purest flowering of the Gothic style.”
9. Mannekin Pis – referred to as the Peeing Boy, this tiny bronze fountain stature stands at 61 cm (24 inches). The locals have so many stories and ways of celebrating festivals with the peeing boy that it even has an outfit for every occasion.
10. Atomium Brussels – created in 1958 for the Brussels World’s Fair, it is a replica of a single unit of iron crystal blown up to 165 billion times. Standing at 102 meters, each sphere is 18 meters in diameter. There are nine spheres in total connected up by tubes.
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