The history of Brussels ... in outline


Not easy to summarize the history of Brussels in a few lines ... however, it is always interesting to be aware of the major events that have marked the history of the city that we are visiting. To us then we dive deeper into the periods that excite us.

  • The Brussels region is occupied by the Romans as evidenced by numerous remains.
  • The origin of the town of Brussels is not known but a manuscript dating from 695 relates the death of Vindicien, bishop of Cambrai in Brosella.
  • At the end of the VIIth century, a chapel dedicated to the archangel Michael is built on a hill overlooking the Seine. A small fishing port develops on the edge of the Seine river.

    The Middle Ages:
    • In the XIth century chapel dedicated to St. Michael turned into Collegiate of Saints Michael and Gudula.
    • In the XIIth century, the village of Brussels is linked to the trade route Bruges-Cologne, it turns into the urban center.
    • In the XIIIth century a first rampart 4 km protects the city. In 1229, the Duke of Brabant granted its first charter in Brussels ensuring it greater autonomy. The city became the residence of the Dukes of Brabant court in 1261 and is growing strongly.
    • The Dukes of Burgundy make Brussels a stage in their itinerant court. The city is very prosperous in the Middle Ages and the buildings are grand as the town hall for example.
    • In 1488, the city was the scene of a civil war in 1489 and it is affected by the plague.

      • The reign of Philip II marked the decline of the city. Brussels is affected by the wars of religion. The city, however, continues to transform and expand in 1561 Brussels is connected to the sea by the Scheldt.
      • At the end of XVI century, the city found a little of his greatness with the coming to power of the Archduchess Isabella.
      • Brussels was bombed in 1695 by Louis XIV and the city is rebuilt on the old plan. The city then passed to the Austrian under the rule of the Habsburgs, the hands of the French and the Dutch.

        The nineteenth:
        • In 1830, Belgium became independent and Brussels became the capital. The city became industrialized and modernized, huge work is undertaken. At the turn of the century, the city experienced a major cultural influence thanks to Art Nouveau.

          The XX:
          • Universal exhibitions follow one another in 1897, 1910 and 1935.
          • Brussels suffering from the occupation and bombing of the World Wars. After the war, the city of Brussels is fully modernized and the changes are numerous.
          • The Brussels-Capital region is created and now Brussels is capital of the country, Flanders and administrative region in itself. The city hosts the European institutions, the NATO headquarters and WEU.