The New Student's Reference Work/Brussels

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Brussels (brŭs'sĕlz), the capital of Belgium and one of the finest cities in Europe, lies on the River Senne. Railroads connect it with the principal towns of Belgium and with France, Germany, and Holland. The lower town, although it contains some fine old churches and some specimens of Gothic architecture, is mostly given up to trade. The upper town is the newest part of the city, and has the finest residences and public buildings, including the king's palace, the chief hotels, residences of foreign ministers, etc. The new palace of justice is a magnificent structure. The old city-walls have been turned into boulevards, and there are a number of noteworthy squares or places, as they are called, such as the Place Royale, with a colossal monument of Godfrey of Bouillon; the Grand Place, where in the 16th century the patriot counts, Egmont and Horn, were beheaded by order of the Spanish Duke of Alva; and the Place of Martyrs, where a memorial has been built to those who fell in the revolution of 1830, by which Belgium became independent. A picture gallery, museum and public library are contained in the Palace of the Fine Arts, and there are a large university and several academies. Besides being the seat of government, Brussels is one of the chief centers of the industry of the country. Its lace is particularly famous; but of the so-called Brussels carpets, only a few are made here, the larger part being manufactured at Tournai. A great world-exhibition was held here in 1888. The population, with the suburbs, in 1910 was 665,806.