Brussels is the administrative capital of the European Union, Don’t visit Brussels if you are on a diet as the fries, mussels, beer, and Belgian waffles will soon have you breaking all your promises! The Grand Place (The Great Square) in the downtown center is so beautiful and breathtaking it is worth visiting more than once during the day!
The Old England Building in Brussels was formerly a department store and was built in the very last year of the 19th Century. The building attracts visitors because of its stunning facade but also the fascinating Museum of Musical Instruments it houses. The museum is home to more than 2000 musical instruments with historic value and gives guests a chance to listen to many of them. The cafe on the roof of the building provides memorable panoramic views of the city.
Lace is one of Brussels’ oldest crafts and the art of needlepoint, first developed in Italy, was one of the main industries in Brussels. The museum exhibits details of lace outfits as well as displaying many historical creations.
There is some top-notch art at the Musee Royaux Beaux-Arts. The museum incorporates collections of modern and ancient art across a range of styles. Famous works at the museum include the „Fall of Icarus“ and various paintings by Peter Rubens.
The Belgian Comic Strip Center is a fascinating place to visit, but you will also get a feel of how important comics are to the city when you gaze up at huge comic book murals on building facades in the downtown area.
There are an estimated 550,000–600,000 Black Belgians, with most oft them located around Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.
We will visit a well known ethnic community, named Matonge, (the actual name of a vibrant neiborhood in Kinshasa, the capital of Congo) their places of business, including restaurants, beauty salons and fashion and convenience shops. We’ll have a lecture on the Belgian relationship to the Congo and Central Africa and meet with a Black Belgian organization who will welcome us and get us acquainted with their history in Africa and in Belgium. We will also discover the Tevuren Museum of Central Africa and uncover the horrors of the human zoo, in which some 200 Congolese subjects were displayed to visitors like animals in a zoo, by King Leoplold II, who personally owned the Congo. Not Belgium, but tke king himself! It is said that 10 to 15 million Black people were killed, starved, worked to death or died of disease, during his reign. A number that far surpasses what Hitler did in Europe with the Jews.
On a brighter note, Brussels has recently elected its first Black mayor, actually winning the vote in a predominantly white borough. Pierre Kompany was born in 1947 in The Congo. His son Pierre is a star Belgian soccer player who plays for the Belgian national team.