Atomium & Heyzel area, Brussels

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Blvd. du Centenaire, BruPark

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  • Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
    Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
    by von.otter
  • Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
    Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
    by von.otter
  • Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
    Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
    by von.otter
  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Atomium, The Models

    by von.otter Updated May 16, 2012
    Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
    4 more images

    “The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun.”
    — George Orwell (1903-1950)

    As part of the permanent exhibition at the Atomium, models of the pavilions of nations that exhibited at Expo ’58 are on display. They include Canada (see photo #3), Yugoslavia (see photo #4), and the Netherlands (see photo #5). A model of the Atomium (see photo #1) is also a part of this icon’s exhibition. Judging from the scale model, one of the most striking pavilions at the fair was the Arrow of Civil Engineering (see photo #2); it stood directly next to the Atomium. It rose from the ground to a height of 118 feet and was 262 feet long.

    At first glance it is not immediately noticeable, but if you tilt your head sideways, you will see that the Atomium resembles a cube with an extra sphere in the center.

    The Atomium is north of the city center in an area called Heysel. It is the last stop on line 6 of the metro. From the metro, the Atomium is a short walk away. You can’t miss it; it’s gigantic!

    For children under 6 years of age admission is free; for ages 6 to 11 the tariff is €2; and for adults it is €9.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Atomium, The View

    by von.otter Updated May 16, 2012
    Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “One atom of the plane where He functions would shatter the world.”
    — Confucius (551-479 BC)

    The Atomium is a modern monument in the Heysel section of Brussels. Designed by the engineer André Waterkeyn and the architects André and Jean Polak for the 1958 International Exhibition of Brussels, the Atomium is a steel structure that is part sculpture and part architecture. It consists of nine large spheres, each with a diameter of 59 feet. They are arranged in the form of an iron atom, magnified 165 billion times. Made entirely of steel clad in aluminum, the structure, at a height of 335 feet and standing on three enormous bipods, dominates the Heysel plateau. The Atomium was not intended to remain after the end Expo ’58. Its popularity and success ensured its place as a major landmark on the skyline of Brussels.

    André Waterkeyn (1917-2005) was a Belgian engineer, born in Wimbledon, England; he is best known for creating the Atomium. Waterkeyn was the economic director of Fabrimetal, a federation of metallurgical companies; in 1954 he was asked to design a building for the 1958 World Expo that would showcase Belgian engineering skills.

    Waterkeyn owned the copyrights of all reproductions of the Atomium until he passed it over to the organization owning the building in 2000. He was chairman of the board of the Atomium until 2002, when his son assumed the role. He died in Brussels in 2005. After his death, the top sphere and the plaza where the Atomium stands were named in his honor.

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    • Museum Visits
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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Atomium, Interior

    by von.otter Written May 16, 2012
    Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “The present reeks of mediocrity and the atom bomb.”
    — Rene Magritte (1898-1967) a Belgian Surrealist painter

    The Atomium is the only pavilion remaining from the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair (popularly known as Expo ’58). Designed by André Waterkeyn, it is a replica of an iron crystal blown up 165 billion times; it stands 335 feet tall; each sphere is 59 feet in diameter. There are 9 spheres all together connected by tubes. Originally clad in aluminum, today the spheres are wrapped in stainless steel.

    In 2004 the Atomium was restored to its original luster and opened to the public again in 2006. This unique landmark celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2008. Today it is the most visited tourist attraction in Brussels!

    The top sphere, reached by an elevator from the ground level of the structure, has a restaurant and panoramic views. Four spheres are open to the public and can be reached by escalators from within the building only; movement within the Atomium could be difficult for persons with reduced mobility. Three of the upper spheres are reserved for events.

    For children under 6 years of age admission is free; for ages 6 to 11 the tariff is €2; and for adults it is €9.

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    • Architecture
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel

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    Atomium: Exterior

    by von.otter Written May 16, 2012
    Atomium, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “Now the Brussels Universal and International Exhibition of 1958 will have its Atomium—probably the strangest structure of them all.”
    — from “A New Landmark for Brussels … the Atomium” by G. H. Davis in the January 1958 issue of “Popular Mechanics”

    STRANGE BUT FUN  In his article, Mr. Davis places the Atomium in the company of London’s Crystal Palace of 1851, Paris’s Eiffel Tower of 1889 and New York City’s Trylon and Perisphere of 1939. The world’s fair in Brussels was the first to feature a Vatican Pavilion.

    At 335 feet high, the Atomium represents an elementary iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times. This leftover from the days of ill-placed optimism in nuclear energy has nine spheres, interconnected by escalators and staircases, each of which has a lattice-like ceiling. This landmark was restored in 2006.

    For children under 6 years of age admission is free; for ages 6 to 11 the tariff is €2; and for adults it is €9.

    Related to:
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    • Museum Visits
    • Architecture

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  • imeley's Profile Photo

    Atonium

    by imeley Written Aug 30, 2007
    1 more image

    Built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair (Expo '58), the 103-metre (335-foot) tall Atomium monument represents a unit cell of an iron crystal (body-centred cubic), magnified 165 billion times, with vertical body diagonal, with tubes along the 12 edges of the cube and from all 8 vertices to the centre.

    Nine steel spheres 18 metres in diameter connect via tubes with escalators as long as 35 m, among the longest in Europe. Windows in the top sphere provide a panoramic view of Brussels. Other spheres have 1950s exhibitions. Three upper spheres lacking vertical support are not open to the public for safety reasons
    (source: wikipedia)

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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Atomium, amazing architecture

    by Martin_S. Updated Jan 4, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Atomium, Brussels, Belgium
    4 more images

    This was built to mimic an iron crystal for the Brussels World Fair in 1958.. We were lucky enough to visit just after they had finished doing some rebuilding and refurbishing and it looked sparkling and new, although actual entrance to the restaurant and exhibts was still closed. You can find some technical details at this site:
    http://www.atomium.be/HTMLsite/dyn/page.php?translation_id=9&info_id=3&lid=3
    Prices are between 6-7 Euro, depending on season.

    Related to:
    • Architecture

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  • Roeffie's Profile Photo

    Brussels the capitol of little Europe!

    by Roeffie Updated Aug 7, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mini Europe seen from Atomium

    Mini Europe

    Mini Europe is as the word says Europe in miniature on a scale of 1:25 to be exact.

    The buildings shown are all wellknown landmarks in their country.

    For example:
    Akropolis in Athens, Brandenburger Tor in Berlin, House of Parliament in London and so on.

    Opening hours
    from 22/03/2003 till 30/06/2003 from 9h30 till 17h
    from 01/07/2003 till 31/08/2003 from 9h30 till 19h
    from 01/09/2003 till 30/09/2003 from 9h30 till 17h
    from 01/10/2003 till 04/01/2004 from 10h till 17h

    Admission fees
    Adults € 11,50
    Children 12 yrs € 8,50
    Children 120 cm € 0,00

    Do you get it! The pricing i mean!

    So if you are smaller then 120 cm and younger then 12, what do I have to pay?

    I'm not kidding here, this is the pricing as it is on their own website.

    Adress: Eeuwfeestlaan, Bruparck

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  • Lalique's Profile Photo

    Mini EuropeIt's a nice park...

    by Lalique Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Mini Europe

    It's a nice park (nearby Atomium) but IMHO it's interesting mostly to children but maybe I'm moaning 'coz of the weather? It was raining like hell while we were there ;)))

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  • Lalique's Profile Photo

    AtomiumThis is not actually...

    by Lalique Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Atomium

    This is not actually off-the-beaten, quite the opposite ;)) but since it's located far from the city center, I decided to put it's here.

    This construction became the equal symbol of Brussels as Grand Place and Manneken Pis, and somehow it deserved this.

    It was built for the international exhibition held in 1958 and noone thought that it would survive another couple of years but it did!!! Inside in the very top ball you can see the skyline of Brussels and in the other balls there is life exposition of 1950-60s.

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  • Belgian_Guy's Profile Photo

    Check out Bruparck with the...

    by Belgian_Guy Updated Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Check out Bruparck with the Atomium, Oceade and Mini-Europe!! The atomium is a strange monument built for the world exposition in 1958: november 1954, the engineer André Waterkeyn, who wished to celebrate scientific progress, hit upon the idea of the Atomium. This was to represent the atomic lattice of iron crystals, magnified 165 billion times linearly, according to the 'cubic body centered' system. The Atomium is thus the visiualization of microscopic molecular structures on a great enlarged scale. Check out: http://www.atomium.be

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  • blueangel's Profile Photo

    Carousel magic...

    by blueangel Written Mar 30, 2004

    This carousel is found near the Atomium...just outside Mini Europe...
    Brings u back to those childhood days doesn't it? I just had to take a ride!

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