About a 10mins drive from downtown Brussels, there is this huge park that was once used for the EXPO in 1958. The main attraction is this remarkable structure, Atomium. It’s 102m high, weights 2400 tons and took 3 years to make.
“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.” http://atomium.be
The tour says that the EXPO58 officials came down to two final entries for the main pavilion, the Atomium and a tower. If a tower had been chosen, it would have competed with the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France and maybe not even have survived beyond 1958 as it was only intended for the EXPO like the other pavilions. However, with its popularity and success at its time and even now, it remains as is for the locals and tourists to enjoy. 🙂
The fourth picture is a view from the top. It was too foggy this weekend but on a clear day, you could see the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, one of ten largest Roman Catholic Church by area in the world.
Also, for those of you who didn’t know, EXPO (a.k.a. World Fairs) are large public exhibitions that started in 1851 with the Crystal Palace in London, UK. In the early days, the fair focused on trade, technical inventions and advancements. Throughout the years, the focus on technology still remained strong but the emphases are now more on the participating countries’ cultural significance and national images. I haven’t been to one but they look very interesting. The next EXPO is in Yeosu, South Korea from May to August, 2012. I must visit…..somehow. 😉