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BRUSSELS HISTORY - HISTORY OF BRUSSELS BELGIUM

Brussels HistoryBrussels History - All the major cities in Belgium – Antwerp, Bruges, and Brussels have developed independently from each other but their histories all link together. Belgian history is also very closely linked that of the Netherlands and neighboring Luxembourg. It is said that Brussels was born in the 6th century – officially, Brussels was formed and founded in 979. The German Emperor Otto 2nd gave Low-Lorraine to Carl of France. Back then the island was known as Island of Saint-Gorik. Around this time Carl of France made a decision to build a castrum (like a fortress) there, but close to the end of the 10th century, Lambert of Leuven took over and built a new castle and started the city walls.

Over time, Brussels became more and more important. In the 13th century the Guilds start fighting against the mighty and rich group of Citizens and there was unrest until Duchess Joan took over and Brussels becomes a thriving city until the end of the 14th century.

After a recession, Brussels started to make luxury goods (setting the basis for the upmarket feel about Brussels today). Around the end of the 15th Century, the Habsburgs gained power (when Carl the Bold's daughter married Maximilian of Austria). In the year 1555, the Emperor Charles V resigns. and is replaced by Phillip II. For some years Brussels was under the rule of the successor of Phillip II.

In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte – the leader of the new French state was defeated in the Battle of Waterloo near Brussels by the British, Dutch and Prussian forces. From this resulted the creation of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands which included Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg (Logan & Cole, p.17). Belgium would be ruled at the hand of one last foreign emperor – William I, Dutch emperor. William I made many enemies though – he did not treat the southern half of Belgium fairly or give them political representation (Logan & Cole, p.19). He is forced to leave Belgium in 1830 – and Belgium manages to finally secure their independence.

The first Belgian King, Leopold I ruled and began to rebuild the city allowing the arts and commerce to prosper. Brussels' population expanded dramatically.

In both World War I and II, Brussels was continually surrounded by fighting and war and suffered much hardship and damage. After World War 11, two regions were formed Flanders and Walloon and Belgium again had itsown government. It became the capital of the European Union

Belgium is split into two semi-independent regions – Flanders and the Walloon Provinces. Belgium creates its own government and becomes the capital of the European Union in 1957 and in 1967 NATO headquarters are based nearby. These institutions brought a huge influx of foreigners into Brussels and the population has recently been increased again with the accession of the new states to the European Union.

In 1993 King Albert II succeeded King Baudouin.