The Atomium, built for the 1958 Universal Exhibition, was supposed to last only 6 months but its popularity and success have made it a symbol of Brussels and the most popular tourist attraction in the capital. Its characteristics: 102 meters high, a structure of 2.400 tons of steel, 9 spheres connected to each other and originally coated with aluminum. The Atomium represents the 9 atoms of an iron crystal: a reference to the sciences and uses of the atom, important themes in full development at the time.
The Royal Palace is the seat of the Belgian monarchy and here are the offices of the king, some ministries, official meeting rooms and rooms for heads of state visiting Brussels. Since 1831 the palace is no longer the Belgian royal residence and the monarchs live in the Palace of Laeken, on the outskirts of Brussels.
The Cathedral of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula (Cathédrale Saint-Michel et Sainte-Gudule) is one of the most emblematic buildings in Brussels. Its construction, in the Gothic style, was begun in the thirteenth century, on the foundations of a Romanesque building of the eleventh century, and was finished after two centuries. The cathedral was known as the Church of San Michele until in 1047, the remains of Santa Gudula were placed inside. Only then did the Church take the name of San Michele and Santa Gudula.