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Brussel travel guide — Brussel tourism and travel information

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about Brussel

Brussels (French: Bruxelles, Dutch: Brussel, German: Brüssel) is a major city in Belgium and its capital.

Brussel history

A small castle was built around 979 C.E. near the Senne.

The small town became in the 12th century an important stop on the commercial road from Bruges to Cologne.

The Heysel Stadium disaster took place in Brussels on May 29, 1985.

Brussels's linguistic history

The Brussels Capital Region is currently home for both French- and Dutch-speakers. Dutch, or more precisely its "linguistic predecessors", was the language of the city from its foundation. In those first 6 centuries, French was only used in the relations with the then "Romance-speaking" (linguistic predecessors of French) areas around Nivelles. During the Austrian period, 'Dutch' remained the popular language in Brussels, and French was for several centuries only spoken by the haute-bourgeoisie and the nobility. It started becoming only a somewhat popular language under the French regime, and especially after 1830, by the immigration of many French (revolutionaries and others) and many Walloons, attracted by the new Belgian authorities. As in 1830, only the haute-bourgeoisie and the nobility (1% of the population) had voting rights, these groups wanted to fashion the new state along their personal preferences. As a result, they had to attract many French-speaking Walloons to staff the public services.

The area, which is geographically situated in the south of Flanders, was still mostly Dutch-speaking until the middle of the 20th century. During the 19th and 20th century, more and more French-speaking civil servants coming from Wallonia settled in Brussels and persistent social, administrative, cultural and political pressure made many Flemings switch their vernacular to French.

The Brussels-Capital region nowadays is officially French-Dutch bilingual and some municipalities in Flanders around Brussels have special linguistic facilities to protect the right of the French-speaking minorities.

In 4 September 1998 the Council of Europe published a resolution entitled "Situation of the French-speaking population living in the Brussels periphery" which focussed on a linguistic conflict affecting six communes in Flanders, and made recommendations to both the Flemish government and the French-speaking inhabitants.

The International Labour Organisation, a UN agency, reported ) the results of an experiment, involving two testers applying for jobs in Belgium, where the Moroccan job applicant was discriminated against in favour of the Belgian.

On the one hand, many Flemings complain about a strong pressure from French-speakers against the bilingual status inside the Brussels-Capital region. Belgian judiciary has never engaged in any official investigation; all these complaints are still pending. In the early 90's, an official declaration from the regional government explicitly acknowledged that social housing was de facto reserved entirely for those applying in French. As late as 2003, Rudy Demotte, the federal minister of Public Health and a French-speaking socialist, has publicly acknowledged that urgent medical services discriminated against Dutch speakers, in the sense that it was often difficult for Dutch speakers to use their own language.

On the other hand, there are reports and claims of discriminations against French-speakers in the outskirts of Brussels regarding access to health care, using their own language, and social housing.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Brussels".

This city is also known as: Brussel,Bruxelles (Brussels).

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