Brussels is the capital and largest city of Belgium and the capital of the European Union (EU). The city has a population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan area with a population of over 1.8 million. Over the millennium it has a tumultuous history of invasion, revolts and conquests. In World War I Brussels was occupied but German troops did not cause much damage. In World War II the city was again occupied, and was spared major damage during its occupation by Germans before it was liberated by the British in 1945.
Today all war damage has been repaired and it is a picturesque city with diverse of architecture, from baroque to gothic post modernist. But many architectural gems were demolished to make way for newer buildings with an eye to becoming the headquarters for the European Commission. French, Dutch and Flemish languages are heard around the city. Brussels is known for its local waffles, its many varieties of chocolate, its French fries and its numerous types of beers. The Brussels sprout has long been considered to have originated there.