Atomium & Heyzel area, Brussels
You can reach the Atomium and the Heizel area very easy by car, but if you want to get rid of the hassle of driving in Brussels, then the Metro is a good solution.
It will bring you right to where you have to be in no time.
The Atomium houses some exhibitions but at the moment I wonder if it is worth visiting it inside? I hope they clean the old iron atomic element up again so it can keep it's reputation of Brussels' landmark.
Fondest memory: Picture taken at the mini meeting on occasion of Ralph_II 's visit to Belgium.
We traveled with Norali, Tompt and me.
This is a "monument" Belgians are really proud of. Though I have to say that I don't like it that much, there is still to do there!
It was built on 1958 while Belgium was hosting 1958 edition of Exposition Universelle (Universal Exhibition).
Atomium represents a molecule of iron crystal. Well, actual molecule size had been enlarged 165 milliards times.
It symbolized people's interest in science and the beginning of then new era during which Man would discover Universe.
From its 102m heigth THOUGH, a nice view of surrounding area is interesting. An elevator takes you at highest sphere in 10 seconds.
A warning though:
On Aug 2, I guided a friend through Brussels and went to the Atomium. She wanted to have this view of Brussels but you have to know that the ride would cost you 6 euros.
Fondest memory: I know now that the view from Place Poelaert elevator would be one of my fondest memories of Brussels. Plus, it's free. A view from the arches of 50aire is stunning as well: a look on EC buildings area & another view on Av de Tervueren towards South-Eastern part of Brussels. Check my Off the Beaten path tips to know more of possibilities to have these "from top" views.
Anyway, if you want to go to the Atomium, Metro M station: Heyzel
The atomium is built in 1957.
It is old architecture and a unifying symbol of its presence in the world community.
The Atomium is an iron molecule magnified 165,000,000,000 times and turned into a huge building.
The atomium is built for the exposition of 1958.
Inside there are restaurants, shops, museums and an observation deck.
Fondest memory: situated : Boulevard du Centenaire.
I had to delete the picture, we have to pay taxes now when we publish a picture of the atomium now.
The exhibition of 1958
The only major monument of 1958 that has remained at the Heysel is also the most spectacular: the Atomium (see below). This was the first world exhibition to take place after World War II. The entire economic outlook was much better than in the 1930's (the creation of the European Economic Community in 1957) and the world was vibrating with enthusiasm for the new technologies (nuclear power, the first satellite launch by the soviets, etc.). Over 35 million people visited the Expo 58 and 46 countries from six continents were represented. Most pavilions were built in a very modern futuristic architectural style which became the symbol of that era.
Nowadays the Heysel park is still visited by many. Next to the football stadium is KINEPOLIS, a major movie complex with 28 cinema rooms and a giant IMAX screen. Another main attraction is the beautiful MINI-EUROPE park, which contains miniature models (scale 1:25) of major monuments from the member states of the European Union.
Fondest memory: during our 7 days Denmark-Norway-Germany-Belgium-Netherlands tour we finally stayed the longest time in Brussels...why? because of the long way out by subway to the Atomium :-) and because of Mini Europe we didn´t plan to visit but found it worth it after having a nice view down on it from the Atomium. That is why we didn´t leave Brussels the same day to go to Brugge or Amsterdam but stayed a night more....but we had a nice evening strolling around the city and cooking at our aunts appartment.
The Autonium close up, gives you an idea how big the structure really is.
I'm not sure just how far out of the city this place is located. I went there by car with a friend who wanted me to see it. Don't remember how long it took to get there, because I saw so many interesting things along the way.
I had never heard of it before and was impressed, first by the structure itself and then by the wonderful world of science it offered. It seems that though the orginal purpose for building this unique structure has long since, past, they have found an exciting use for it. An ever present display of scientific discovery and research.
The 1958 science displays can be seen, but also there are temporary displays that reflect advances since the Expo. When I was there, we could not go into a couple of the spheres because they were being used for scientific research not open to the public. I don't know if that is still the case, but I've been told that they've opened it up a bit more. The viewing area, which is now up in the highest sphere, there is a restaurant too, aptly named The Panoramic Restaurant!
I love this type of "living" place. Never static and always growing with the innovation of man.
Fondest memory: When we first got there, we went up in an elevator. It was the frist time in over a week that I heard other people, besides my friends, speak in a language that I could understand. The couple in the elevator with us were speaking Spanish, not English, but still it felt like "home" to me!
Just a warning: After the tour of the Atonium we took the escalator down to ground level and it was so steep that I had vertigo the whole way down.
Fondest memory: This was built in 1958 and represents the atomic lattice of iron crystals. The Atomium is 102 metres high and can be visited at the inside by a fast elevator, which brings you to the top in a few minutes.
Yeah, the Atomium is big! No, it's huge! I was just staring at it. Later on when I was standing just in front of it I saw a table woth comment:
'Symbol of the 1958 Universal Exhibition, halfway between architecture and sculpture, the Atomium's shape was inspired by an iron crystl molecule, enlarged 150 billion times. Designed in an era of huge enthuism for scientific and technological progress by engineer A. Waterkeyn, assisted by architects A. and P. Polak, this aluminium-covered steel construction boasts impressive statistics: 18 meter-diameter spheres, 2400 tons and almost 3 years of study and ececution for this monument whose life span and impact largely execeeded the context of an ephemeral event.'
Favorite thing: Atomium je prvou zastavkou na objavitelskej ceste hlavneho mesta Belgicka a hned v jeho blizkosti sa nachadza Minieuropa s miniaturnymi stavbami statov EU.Okrem Eiffelky tam najdete napriklad Sacre Coeur, Big Ben, ...
The space-age leftover from the 1958 World Fair, Atomium, has virtually become a symbol of the city. The Mimi Europe theme park, next door to the Atomuum, shows Europe in miniature.
Discover the symbol of the 1958 Brussels world fair from the inside.
Admission: adults 200 Bfr, children 160 Bfr. You can also be a ticket from a combination visit of the Atomium and Mini-Europe.
Metro : Heysel Admission: adults 200 Bfr, children 160 Bfr. You can also be a ticket from a combination visit of the Atomium and Mini-Europe.
visit the Atomium.
The Atomium is the most original monument in Belgium.
A symbol of the spirit of science commemorated during the Universal Exhibition of 1958, it depicts an iron molecule that has been magnified 165 billion times.
Its perfect form has made it a collector’s item that is reproduced all over the world in everything up to and including Venetian glass.
For those with a head for heights, a lift climbs 100 meter and provides direct access to the structure’s uppermost sphere. From here, you can enjoy a view across the entire Centenaire complex and beyond.
You might want to consider getting a un jour travel card to visit the many more attractions in Laeken and the Heysel Plateau regions, located north-west of the city center. Particularly the Atomium, a 102m high outsized model of an iron molecule, which was intended to symbolize the potential of the country's industry. And the next door Mini-Europe theme park which displays the important landmarks of the 15 EU countries in miniature. (The EU is currently made up of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Ireland, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Austria and Greece.) There are some other interesting places in the vicinity which I had not got the time to visit. The Royal Greenhouses, Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower to name a few.
Still at the site of the famous Atomium.
The Atomium is indeed an impressive monument and it stands at 332 feet (102 meters) high.... with 9 spheres (59 feet [18m] in diameter) connected by tubes measuring 94 feet (29m) in length and 10 feet (3m) thick. Amazing, right? There are also many escalators connecting the spheres (to one other) and most of these are science exhibits. Another elevator (said to be Europe's FASTEST!) leads visitors straight up to an Observation Gallery and restaurant in the topmost atom.
What are the opening hours of the Atomium? Well, it's opened from:-
- 9AM to 8PM daily from April to August.
- And, 10AM to 6PM from September to March.
A ticket costs 200 Belgian Francs (for adults).
photograph the lovely Atomium, a symbol and reminder of the 1958 Brussels World Fair and... and... this monument is Belgium's answer to the Eiffel Tower (in Paris, France) or the Statue of Liberty (in New York, U.S.A.).
The Atomium literally dazzles at night when lights are switched on-and-off in a unique pattern that resembles revolving atoms! Very beautiful! :-)