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The National Basilica of Koekelberg is a huge Art Deco church in Brussels | by infomatique
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The National Basilica of Koekelberg is a huge Art Deco church in Brussels

Brussels, officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region[, is the de facto capital city of the European Union (EU) and the largest urban area in Belgium. It comprises 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels proper, which is the constitutional capital of Belgium, the French Community of Belgium, as well as Flanders and the Flemish Community.

 

Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a main centre for international politics. Its hosting of principal EU institutions as well as the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has made the city a 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, although both languages have official status. Linguistic tensions remain, and the language laws of the municipalities surrounding Brussels are an issue of much controversy in Belgium.

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Taken on May 21, 2010