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There''s much more to Brussels than beer, chocolate and chips. Brussels is a stylish city where business-suited Eurocrats(欧洲共同市场的官员)hope to build continental unity in one of Europe''s only bilingual capital cities. Its millenniums-old tradition of pragmatic mercantilism and international relations is symbolized by grand halls, fabulous architecture and Pis Mannekin(尿童于连塑像), the sculpture of a little boy urinating that has become the city''s beloved symbol. This inland capital city of Belgium, bordered by The Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg(卢森堡)and France, it is a multi-cultural and multi-lingual city at the very heart of Europe. Indeed, it claims with some justification to be the ''Capital of Europe''.

 

  Brussels was already a thriving trade centre by the Middle Ages. The Bruxellois(布鲁塞尔人) have inherited the wisdom of ancestors who lived under Roman, Spanish, Austrian, French, Dutch and German domination - their country winning independence only in 1830. Today, Brussels boasts a highly skilled and adaptable workforce. Despite the population of Belgium numbering only 10.2 million, with Brussels itself just some 970,000-strong, the Bruxellois have the ability to compensate for their small numbers with skilled diplomacy, compromise and negotiation. These striking traits are followed closely by a highly intellectual and off-beat(不寻常的)sense of humour, underpinned(加强)by a strong sense of the bizarre. This may help explain why the Surrealist art movement(超现实主义艺术运动), pioneered by René Magritte, took off in Brussels. A playful and irreverent reaction to life is also revealed in the Belgian love affair with the comic strip(连环画), popularised worldwide with Hergé''s boy hero, Tintin. 

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