If there's one symbol that stands for Brussels, a structure that can be recognised the world over, it's the Atomium. This is quite an achievement for something that was never built to last. Without the three support columns under the spheres, it would simply blow over in the first storm to pass over Belgium. It's crazy design was the brainchild of André Waterkeyn, and represents an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. It was constructed for the Expo 1958, the first World's Fair after World War 2, that looked hopefully into the future.
The highest sphere grants a panoramic view of Brussels, but the cost and long queues are rewarded with long distant views of an undramatic skyline.
Built for the international exhibition of 1958, this imaginative construction is a museum, with displays in five of its nine spheres. As Eiffel tower in Paris, it became one of the symbols of the city, and the main attraction in a park with several other interesting elements.
Located in the North of Brussels (and you need to take transportation to get there) is the architectural building known as Atomium. Built for the 1958 Worlds Fair in Brussels, it contains five spheres open to the public, including two on the 58 Worlds Fair, and then temporary exhibitions.
I just walked by on the way to a jazz concert at the nearby park, but it is impressive.
A seminal totem in the Brussels skyline neither tower, nor pyramid, a little bit cubic, a little bit spherical, half-way between sculpture and architecture, a relic of the past with a determinedly futuristic look, museum and exhibition centre; the Atomium is, at once, an object, a place, a space, a Utopia and the only symbol of its kind in the world, which eludes any kind of classification.
The Atomium was the main pavilion and icon of the World Fair of Brussels (1958), commonly called Expo 58. It symbolised the democratic will to maintain peace among all the nations, faith in progress, both technical and scientific and, finally, an optimistic vision of the future of a modern, new, super-technological world for a better life for mankind.
The peaceful use of atomic energy for scientific purposes embodied these themes particularly well and, so, that is what determined the shape of the edifice. At 102 metres high, with its nine interconnected spheres, it represents an elementary iron crystal enlarged 165 billion (thousand million) times. It was dreamed up by the engineer André Waterkeyn (1917-2005). The spheres, though, were fitted out by the architects André and Jean Polak.
The Atomium was not intended to survive beyond the 1958 World Fair but its popularity and success soon made it a key landmark, first of Brussels then internationally.
After visiting Atomium, there is park just next to the building, thats a little heaven in the city, I suggest u what I do there always, first walk about 300 m down direction to the carpark, and see the famous caravan type potato chips resto, grab one, buy ur refreshment, too, and walk back in that garden, just breath the fresh air of the nature and enjoy ur little meal ... :)
A real must see as u visit Brussels ...
well here is another high rise but at least once is worth. I come to Brussels very often on business and never been up so this time was there with the family and of course, force majeure I went up.
Just sitting there in a vast park complex of sights , gearing high into the sky at 102 meters high. As in many cities, this tall structure has become a symbol of Brussels. Not too much into high rises even in Paris, but you need to be here once lol!!!
It was set up to show case technology for the Universal exposition of 1958, and that was it. However, the popularity rose from there to new highs today,and it is there to stay.
There are 9 spherical balls of which 5 are accessible to the public; there is a permanent exposition on the the Universal Expo of ’58 in spheres 1 and 2;the other 3 are to show temporary expositions on spheres 2,4,5. The most expectacular views is from the bottom taking one of the fastest lift/elevators in Europe (about 5 meters per seconds or 18kph ) you go to sphere 7, where there are glass windows to give a marvelous view of the Brussels sky. The information is given in several languages.
Some figures for the monument are extraordinary, The spheres are connected by 20 tubes or connector escalators with 12 stops; it has 45000 photos in Flickr, 60000 in picasa, 13000 in facebook, and 600 000 visitors per year. You can rent it for private affaires 100 of them last year, visit by a dozen heads of state etc. There are five imitations of smaller scale in the world such as OZD Hungary, Minimundus Austria, Universal expo Seville , Miniwelt Lichtenstein, and Parque Europa Torrejon de Ardoz outside Madrid. Other structures offering similar views in the world are Tour de Tokyo, Fernsehtrum Germany, La perle de l’Orient China, Tour Eiffel France.
You have a panoramic restaurant at sphere 8 or level 8; and snack areas on the Atomium webpage http://atomium.be/#/FoodAndDrinks.aspx for which we decided to eat out in the Village.
The webpage for the atomium is here http://atomium.be/?lang=en and the Bruparck park complex with many other attractions some a topic for another post is here http://www.bruparck.com/
The atomium has an area fro kids and school outings. done on special shop days or with school tours. In all, we left with the impression we have been here before, another high rise tower with a view. HOwever, its very popular with folks from all over the world, and a visit at least once is worth it
The Atomium is a well known sight in Brussels but it was not intended to be a permanent structure. It was built for the 1958 Brussels world fair but it was so popular and enigmatic that it was retained long after the event and was in fact was restored in 2006 to ensure it's continuation well into the 21st century.
As well as being a very unique iconic construction viewed from outside, the atomium is also an exhibition centre and hosts a number of temporary exhibitions every year. At the time of writing this, I had just returned from seeing an exhibition about making water available for all the people of the world and how important rational water usage will be in the future.
But... it's not likely that there are many people visiting the atomium because of any of it's exhibits (i had no idea what exhibit there would be until I got there!), people only see the exhibits by accident really as they are probably 99% there to see the building.
The tour of the exhibits takes you around 4 of the globes, sometimes using escalators and other times you just have to walk up or down fixed stairs. The escalators inside the tubes linking the spheres are quite an experience.
There is also the chance to visit the top sphere where there is a restaurant and a viewing platform with spectacular views across Brussels and the Flemish Brabant. You take an elevator to the top sphere from ground level which gets you there in an amazingly quick 22 seconds. What is not so quick is the queue to get to the elevator (both going up and going down).
The Atomium is open 7 days a week from 10am to 6pm (ticket office closes at 5.30pm). Adult admission is €11 but you save €3 off this price if you have a Brussels card.
The trip begins ascending to the last ball in Europe's fastest elevator. From there you can enjoy the best views in the locality of Heysel and Brussels. Then we went down the elevator to the ground and continue the visit by the escalators next to the exit of the Atomium and from there you can connect with the balls to visit them, in them are temporary exhibitions.
El recorrido se empieza subiendo a la última bola, en el ascensor mas rapido de europa. Desde allí se pueden disfrutar de las mejores vistas que ofrece la zona de Heysel y Bruselas. Después bajamos en el ascensor a la planta baja y continuamos la visita por las escaleras mecanicas que hay junto a la salida del Atomium y desde allí se pueden conectar con las bolas para visitarlas, en ellas hay exposiciones temporales.
Stainless steel structure, 102 meters high, was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1958 and represents an iron molecule enlarged 165,000 million times. You can access balls through a series of escalators and there you will see furniture in the decade of 50 and temporary exhibitions.
Estructura de acero inoxidable, de 102 metros de altura, se construyó para la exposición universal de 1958 y representa una molecula de hierro aumentada 165.000 millones de veces. Se pueden acceder a las bolas gracias a una serie de escaleras mecanicas y allí se podrá ver mobiliario de la decada de los 50 y exposiciones temporales.
The Autonium is something not to miss. It was cleverly built for the 1958 Expo in the shape of an Atom.
The upper levels were closed to the public because they were used for scientific research, but even the lower levels are high enough to give a magnificent view.
The upper spheres seem to have been open to the public since my visit and now the view can be seen from the highest sphere. Also there is a restaurant at the top aptly called, "Panoramic Restaurant."
This is a fascinating structure and seems to be quite a popular place to visit. There were great views, scientific displays and wonderful things to see here.
You can take the elevator to reach the open public levels, but one of the most impressive aspects, to me, was not taking the elevator down, rather desending through one of the "arms" of the structure. It was so steep that it seemed a surreal experience.
The Atomium was built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair; it was designed by André Waterkeyn.
It is some 102 metres / 335 ft tall.
It comprises of nine steel spheres connected to form a cell of an iron crystal magnified some 165 billion times.
Tubes connect the spheres to the centre. They enclose escalators which connect the spheres and they contain exhibition space. The top sphere offers a panoramic view of Brussels. Each sphere is 18 metres in diameter.
It should be noted that there are always queues, and you will have a wait, but it is well worth it for the view.
Unfortunately, I have only been to Brussels once, on the way back from Rwanda nearly 16 years ago, and I was deathly ill with some sort of African parasite so I did not get to do much in the way of siteseeing and do not remember most of what I did see but there was one thing which I did see which will stay with me for quite some time. A leftover from the World's Fair of 1958, the Atomium is perhaps one of the two or three most memorable symbols of worldwide technological and cultural expositions. It is certainly far more eccentric than the 1964 Unisphere in New York or the 1962 Space Needle in Seattle. Conceived by an engineer, André Waterkeyn, it is a gigantic replica of an iron crystal molecule and was intended to symbolize “the peaceful use of atomic energy for scientific purposes.” Five of its nine spheres are accessible to visitors, as is its maze of interconnecting tubes.
The Atomium is a structure made for the World Expo of 1958, that Brussels hosted. It's the model of an iron crystal cell unit, and it was designed by André Waterkeyn. Like many other landmarks, it wasn't intended to be there after the World Expo but it became one of Brussel's landmarks.
Of the 9 spheres, 5 can be visited - including the top one where there's a nice view of Brussels. Or you can try and do some composition pictures, like holding one of the spheres or like some Spanish guys that we encountered, who were trying to use one of the spheres as football and hit it with the head hehe.
Close to the Atomium, the park Mini-Europe can be visited but it was closed when we were there.
The Atomuim was build in 1958 for the world expo in Brussels. The building represents the symbol "Iron" but 165 billions times enlarged. It is almost 103 meter high and has nine bolls. During 2006 the Atomium was renovated. However, the government considered to remove it because of the financial burden on the city of Brussels. I am pleased they decided to keep it and didn't destroy one of the most important symbols of Belgium. Certainly worth a visit.
If you ever visit Brussels, you should pay a visit to Atomium; the centrepiece of the 1958 World Expo has become the Eiffel Tower of Brussels but some may consider, it is the white elephant of Brussels and initially it was supposed to be destroyed after the Expo.
The 102 meters high and 2,400 tons weight Atomium is a structure, which represents the concept of an "atom". It symbolizes an elementary iron molecule with its 9 atoms and magnified 150 billion times. It honored the metal and iron industry and the belief in the atomic power.
The Atomium stands on the outskirt of Brussels in the Heysel Park contrasting with the Gothic architecture in the town center. It has nine spheres representing the nine Belgian provinces, made of steel (earlier it was made of aluminum) connected by tubes along the twelve edges of the cube.
You can take a lift, once the fastest in the world, to the top for a view of the city. To the other spheres including restaurants and shops you can take slanting elevators. There is also an exhibition of the Atomium in comics from 1958 to the present, and a film on the building's construction.
Next to it locates the Mini-Europe park, which has miniatures of the famous monuments of EU at a scale of 1:25. Hungary is represented by the maquette of Széchenyi Bath building!!
Entrance fee € 7, however, free entrance for all people born during the period of the Expo 58 (from April 17 till October 19, 1958) on the day of their birthday.
Open daily from 10am till 7pm
Built in 1958 for the Brussels World Fair, symbolising a crystal molecule of metal by the scale of its atoms, magnified 165 billion times. It was not intended to stay after the fair, but due to popularity it has become a permanent attraction in Brussels.