Monaco the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides. Monaco has an area of 2.020 km2, making it the second-smallest country in the world after the Vatican. Its population was about 38,400 based on the last census of 2016. With 19,009 inhabitants per km², it is the most densely-populated sovereign state in the world. Monaco has a land border of 5.47 km, a coastline of 3.83 km, a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 m. The highest point in the country is a narrow pathway named Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires Ward, 161 metres above sea level. Monaco's most populous Quartier is Monte Carlo and the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins. Through land reclamation, Monaco's land mass has expanded by 20 percent. Monaco is known as a playground for the famous, due to its tax laws. In 2014, it was noted. Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state.
Although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields immense political power. The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297; the official language is French, but Monégasque and English are spoken and understood. The state's sovereignty was recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861, with Monaco becoming a full United Nations voting member in 1993. Despite Monaco's independence and separate foreign policy, its defense is the responsibility of France. However, Monaco does maintain two small military units. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the country's first casino, Monte Carlo, a railway connection to Paris. Since Monaco's mild climate and gambling facilities have contributed to the principality's status as a tourist destination and recreation centre for the rich. In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking centre and has sought to diversify its economy into the services sector and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries.
The state has no income tax, low business taxes, is well known for being a tax haven. It is the host of the annual street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix, one of the original Grands Prix of Formula One; the principality has a club football team. Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union, but it participates in certain EU policies, including customs and border controls. Through its relationship with France, Monaco uses the euro as its sole currency. Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004, it is a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Monaco's name comes from the nearby 6th-century BC Phocaean Greek colony. Referred to by the Ligurians as Monoikos, from the Greek "μόνοικος", "single house", from "μόνος" "alone, single" + "οἶκος" "house", which bears the sense of a people either settled in a "single habitation" or of "living apart" from others. According to an ancient myth, Hercules passed through the Monaco area and turned away the previous gods; as a result, a temple was constructed there, the temple of Hercules Monoikos.
Because the only temple of this area was the "House" of Hercules, the city was called Monoikos. It ended up in the hands of the Holy Roman Empire. An ousted branch of a Genoese family, the Grimaldi, contested it for a hundred years before gaining control. Though the Republic of Genoa would last until the 19th century, they allowed the Grimaldi family to keep Monaco, both France and Spain left it alone for hundreds of years. France did not annex it until the French Revolution, but after the defeat of Napoleon it was put under the care of the Kingdom of Sardinia. In the 19th century, when Sardinia became a part of Italy, the region came under French influence again but France allowed it to remain independent. Like France, Monaco was overrun by the Axis powers during the Second World War and for a short time was administered by Italy the Third Reich, before being liberated. Although the occupation lasted for just a short time, it meant the deportation of the Jewish population and execution of several resistance members from Monaco.
Since Monaco has been independent. It has taken some steps towards integration with the European Union. Following a land grant from Emperor Henry VI in 1191, Monaco was refounded in 1215 as a colony of Genoa. Monaco was first ruled by a member of the House of Grimaldi in 1297, when Francesco Grimaldi, known as "Il Malizia", his men captured the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco while dressed as Franciscan monks—a monaco in Italian, although this is a coincidence as the area was known by this name. Francesco, was evicted only a few years afterwards by the Genoese forces, the struggle over "the Rock" continued for another century; the Grimaldi family was Genoese and the struggle was something of a family feud. However, the Genoese became engaged in other conflicts, in the late 1300s Genoa became involved in a conflict with the Crown of Aragon over Corsica; the Crown of Aragon became a part of Spain through marriage and other parts drifted into various pieces of other
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Buenos Aires)
The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is an Argentine art museum in Buenos Aires, located in the Recoleta section of the city. The Museum inaugurated a branch in Neuquén in 2004. Argentine painter and art critic, Eduardo Schiaffino, was the first director of the MNBA, which opened on 25 December 1895, in a building on Florida Street which today houses the Galerías Pacífico shopping mall. In 1909, the museum moved to a building in Plaza San Martín erected in Paris as the Argentine Pavilion for the 1889 Paris exhibition, dismantled and brought to Buenos Aires. In its new home, the museum became part of the International Centenary Exhibition held in Buenos Aires in 1910. Following the demolition of the Pavilion in 1932, as part of the remodeling of Plaza San Martín, the museum was transferred to its present location in 1933, a building constructed in 1870 as a drainage pumping station and adapted to its current use by architect Alejandro Bustillo; the museum was modernized both physically and in its collections during the 1955–64 tenure of director Jorge Romero Brest.
A temporary exhibits pavilion was opened in 1961, the museum acquired a large volume of modern art though its collaboration with the Torcuato di Tella Institute, a leading promoter of local, avant-garde artists, elsewhere. This 1,536 square metres hall is the largest of 34 in use at the museum, which totals 4,610 square metres of exhibit space, its permanent collection totals 688 major works and over 12,000 sketches, fragments and other minor works. The institution maintains a specialized library, totaling 150,000 volumes, as well as a public auditorium; the MNBA commissioned architect Mario Roberto Álvarez to design a branch in the Patagonian region city of Neuquén. Inaugurated in 2004, this museum holds 4 exhibit halls totaling 2,500 square metres and a permanent collection of 215 works, as well as temporary exhibits and a public auditorium; the ground floor of the museum holds 24 exhibit halls housing a fine international collection of paintings from the Middle Ages up to the 20th century, together with the museum's art history library.
The first floor's 8 exhibit halls contain a collection of paintings by some of the most important 20th-century Argentine painters, including Antonio Berni, Ernesto de la Cárcova, Benito Quinquela Martín, Eduardo Sívori, Sarah Grilo, Alfredo Guttero, Raquel Forner, Xul Solar, Marcelo Pombo and Lino Enea Spilimbergo. The second floor's two halls, completed in 1984, hold an exhibition of photographs and two sculpture terraces, as well as most of the institution's administrative and technical departments. Official website Asociación Amigos Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Institute of Contemporary Arts is an artistic and cultural centre on The Mall in London, just off Trafalgar Square. Located within Nash House, part of Carlton House Terrace, near the Duke of York Steps and Admiralty Arch, the ICA contains galleries, a theatre, two cinemas, a bookshop and a bar. Stefan Kalmár became its director in 2016; the ICA was founded by Roland Penrose, Peter Watson, Herbert Read, Peter Gregory, Geoffrey Grigson and E. L. T. Mesens in 1947; the ICA's founders intended to establish a space where artists and scientists could debate ideas outside the traditional confines of the Royal Academy. The model for establishing the ICA was the earlier Leeds Arts Club, founded in 1903 by Alfred Orage, of which Herbert Read had been a leading member. Like the ICA, this too was a centre for multi-disciplinary debate, combined with avant-garde art exhibition and performances, within a framework that emphasised a radical social outlook; the first two exhibitions at the ICA, 40 Years of Modern Art and 40,000 Years of Modern Art, were organised by Penrose, reflected his interests in Cubism and African art, taking place in the basement of the Academy Cinema, 165 Oxford Street.
The Academy Cinema building included the Pavilion, a restaurant, the Marquee ballroom in the basement. With the acquisition of 17 Dover Street, Piccadilly, in May 1950, the ICA was able to expand considerably. Ewan Phillips served as the first director, it was the former residence of Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson. The gallery and offices were refurbished by modernist architect Jane Drew assisted by Neil Morris and Eduardo Paolozzi. Paolozzi designed a metal and concrete table with student Terence Conran. Ewan Phillips left in 1951, Dorothy Morland was asked to take over temporarily, but stayed there as director for 18 years, until the move to the more spacious Nash House; the critic Reyner Banham acted as assistant Director during the early 1950s, followed by Lawrence Alloway during the mid- to 1950s. In its early years, the Institute organised exhibitions of modern art including Picasso and Jackson Pollock. A Georges Braque exhibition was held at the ICA in 1954, it launched Pop art, Op art, British Brutalist art and architecture.
The Independent Group met at the ICA in 1952–1962/63 and organised several exhibitions, including This Is Tomorrow. With the support of the Arts Council, the ICA moved to its current site at Nash House in 1968. For a period during the 1970s the Institute was known for its anarchic programme and administration. Norman Rosenthal director of exhibitions, was once assaulted by a group of people who were living in the upper floors of the building: a bloodstain on the wall of the administrative offices is preserved under glass, with a note reading "this is Normans's blood". Rosenthal claims the group. Bill McAllister was ICA Director from 1977 to 1990, when the Institute developed a system of separate departments specializing in visual art. A fourth department lectures. Iwona Blazwick was Director of Exhibitions from 1986 to 1993. Other notable curatorial and programming staff have included Lisa Appignanesi, James Lingwood, Michael Morris, Lois Keidan, Catherine Ugwu, MBE, Tim Highsted and Jens Hoffmann.
Mik Flood took over as director of the ICA in 1990 after McAllister's resignation. Flood announced that the Institute would have to leave its Mall location and move to a larger site, a plan that came to nothing, he oversaw a sponsorship scheme whereby the electrical goods company Toshiba paid to have their logo included on every piece of ICA publicity for three years, in effect changed the name of the ICA to ICA/Toshiba. He was replaced as Director in 1997 by Philip Dodd. In 2002, the ICA Chairman Ivan Massow criticised what he described as "concept art", leading to his resignation. Following the departure of Dodd, the ICA appointed Ekow Eshun as Artistic Director in 2005. Under Eshun's directorship the Live Arts Department was closed down in 2008, the charge for admission for non-members was abandoned, the Talks Department lost all its personnel, many commentators argued that the Institute suffered from a lack of direction. A large financial deficit led to resignations of key staff. Art critic JJ Charlesworth saw Eshun’s directorship as a direct cause of the ICA's ills.
Problems between staff and Eshun, sometimes supported by the Chairman of the ICA Board, Alan Yentob, led to fractious and difficult staff relations. Eshun resigned in August 2010, Yentob announced he would leave. In January 2011, the ICA appointed as its Executive Director Gregor Muir, who took up his post on 7 February 2011. Muir was replaced by former Artists Space director Stefan Kalmár. 1948: 40 Years of Modern Art, the ICA's first exhibition organised by Herbert Read and Roland Penrose.1948: 40,000 Years of Modern Art, the ICA's second exhibition organised by Herbert Read and Roland Penrose.1950: London-Paris: New Trends in Painting and Sculpture launched
La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere of La bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini. Since La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most performed operas worldwide. In 1946, fifty years after the opera's premiere, Toscanini conducted a commemorative performance of it on radio with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. A recording of the performance was released by RCA Victor on vinyl record and compact disc, it is the only recording made of a Puccini opera by its original conductor. According to its title page, the libretto of La bohème is based on Henri Murger's novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème, a collection of vignettes portraying young bohemians living in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1840s. Although called a novel, it has no unified plot.
Like the 1849 play by Murger and Théodore Barrière, the opera's libretto focuses on the relationship between Rodolfo and Mimì, ending with her death. Like the play, the libretto combines two characters from the novel, Mimì and Francine, into the single character of Mimì. Early in the composition stage Puccini was in dispute with the composer Leoncavallo, who said that he had offered Puccini a completed libretto and felt that Puccini should defer to him. Puccini responded that he had had no idea of Leoncavallo's interest and that having been working on his own version for some time, he felt that he could not oblige him by discontinuing with the opera. Leoncavallo completed his own version in which Marcello was sung by a tenor and Rodolfo by a baritone, it was unsuccessful and is now performed. Much of the libretto is original; the main plots of acts two and three are the librettists' invention, with only a few passing references to incidents and characters in Murger. Most of acts one and four follow the novel.
The final scenes in acts one and four—the scenes with Rodolfo and Mimì—resemble both the play and the novel. The story of their meeting follows chapter 18 of the novel, in which the two lovers living in the garret are not Rodolphe and Mimì at all, but rather Jacques and Francine; the story of Mimì's death in the opera draws from two different chapters in the novel, one relating Francine's death and the other relating Mimì's. The published libretto includes a note from the librettists discussing their adaptation. Without mentioning the play directly, they defend their conflation of Francine and Mimì into a single character: "Chi può non confondere nel delicato profilo di una sola donna quelli di Mimì e di Francine?". At the time, the novel was in the public domain, Murger having died without heirs, but rights to the play were still controlled by Barrière's heirs; the world première performance of La bohème took place in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio and was conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini.
The initial response of the audience at the first performance was subdued and critical responses were polarized. Despite this varied introductory response, the opera became popular throughout Italy and productions were soon mounted by the following companies: The Teatro di San Carlo; the first performance of La bohème outside Italy was at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 16 June 1896. The opera was given in Alexandria and Moscow in early 1897; the United Kingdom premiere took place at the Theatre Royal in Manchester, on 22 April 1897, in a presentation by the Carl Rosa Opera Company supervised by Puccini. This performance was given in English and starred Alice Esty as Mimì, Bessie McDonald as Musetta, Robert Cunningham as Rodolfo, William Paull as Marcello. On 2 October 1897 the same company gave the opera's first staging at the Royal Opera House in London and on 14 October 1897 in Los Angeles for the opera's United States premiere; the opera reached New York City on 16 May 1898 when it was performed at Wallack's Theatre with Giuseppe Agostini as Rodolfo.
The first production of the opera produced by the Royal Opera House itself premiered on 1 July 1899 with Nellie Melba as Mimì, Zélie de Lussan as Musetta, Fernando De Lucia as Rodolfo, Mario Ancona as Marcello. La bohème premiered in Germany at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin on 22 June 1897; the French premiere of the opera was presented by the Opéra-Comique on 13 June 1898 at the Théâtre des Nations. The production used a French translation by Paul Ferrier and
Albert Camus was a French philosopher and journalist. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism, he wrote in his essay The Rebel that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving into individual freedom. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, the second youngest recipient in history. Camus did not consider himself to be an existentialist despite being classified in that way in his lifetime. In a 1945 interview, Camus rejected any ideological associations: "No, I am not an existentialist. Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked."Camus was born in French Algeria to a Pied-Noir family and studied at the University of Algiers, from which he graduated in 1936. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons to "denounce two ideologies found in both the USSR and the USA". Albert Camus was born on 7 November 1913 in French Algeria, his mother was of Spaniard descent, could only hear out of her left ear.
His father, Lucien, a poor French-Algerian agricultural worker, was wounded in the Battle of the Marne in 1914 during World War I, while serving as a member of a Zouave infantry regiment. Lucien died from his wounds in a makeshift army hospital on 11 October. Camus and his mother, an illiterate house cleaner, lived without many basic material possessions during his childhood in the Belcourt section of Algiers. In 1923, Camus gained acceptance into the Lycée Bugeaud and was admitted to the University of Algiers. After contracting tuberculosis in 1930, he had to stop playing football: he had been a goalkeeper for a prominent Algerian university team. In addition, he was only able to study part-time. To earn money, he took odd jobs: as a private tutor, car parts clerk, assistant at the Meteorological Institute, he completed his licence de philosophie in 1936. Camus joined the French Communist Party in early 1935, seeing it as a way to "fight inequalities between Europeans and'natives' in Algeria."
He did not suggest he was a Marxist or that he had read Das Kapital, but did write, "We might see communism as a springboard and asceticism that prepares the ground for more spiritual activities." In 1936, the independence-minded Algerian Communist Party was founded. Camus joined the activities of the Algerian People's Party, which got him into trouble with his Communist party comrades, who in 1937 denounced him as a Trotskyite and expelled him from the party. Camus became associated with the French anarchist movement; the anarchist André Prudhommeaux first introduced him at a meeting in 1948 of the Cercle des Étudiants Anarchistes as a sympathiser familiar with anarchist thought. Camus wrote for anarchist publications such as Le Libertaire, La révolution Prolétarienne, Solidaridad Obrera, the organ of the anarcho-syndicalist CNT. Camus stood with the anarchists when they expressed support for the uprising of 1953 in East Germany, he again allied with the anarchists in 1956, first in support of the workers' uprising in Poznań, later with the Hungarian Revolution.
Camus was irreligious. "I do not believe in God and I am not an atheist." ~Notebooks 1951–1959. He told Le Monde in 1956, "I would agree with Benjamin Constant, who thought a lack of religion was vulgar and hackneyed." In 1934, Camus married Simone Hié, but the marriage ended as a consequence of infidelities on both sides. In 1935, he founded Théâtre du Travail, renamed Théâtre de l'Equipe in 1937, it lasted until 1939. From 1937 to 1939 he wrote for Alger-Républicain, his work included a report on the poor conditions for peasants in Kabylie, which cost him his job. From 1939 to 1940, he wrote for a similar paper, Soir-Republicain, he was rejected by the French army because of his tuberculosis. In 1940, Camus married a pianist and mathematician. Although he loved her, he had argued passionately against the institution of marriage, dismissing it as unnatural. After Francine gave birth to twins and Jean, on 5 September 1945, he continued to joke to friends that he was not cut out for marriage. Camus had numerous affairs an irregular and public affair with the Spanish-born actress María Casares, with whom he had an extensive correspondence.
In the same year, Camus began to work for Paris-Soir magazine. In the first stage of World War II, during the so-called Phoney War, Camus was a pacifist. While in Lyon during the Wehrmacht occupation, on 15 December 1941, Camus read about the Paris execution of Gabriel Péri, he moved to Bordeaux with the rest of the staff of Paris-Soir. In the same year he finished The Stranger, his first novel, The Myth of Sisyphus, he returned to Oran, Algeria, in 1942. Camus was once asked by his friend Charles Poncet which he preferred, the theatre. Camus is said to have replied, "Football, without hesitation."Camus played as goalkeeper for Racing Universitaire d'Alger junior team from 1928 to 1930. The sense of team spirit and common purpose appealed to Camus enormously
This article refers to the museum in Paris. There are a number of other Picasso museums; the Musée Picasso is an art gallery located in the Hôtel Salé in rue de Thorigny, in the Marais district of Paris, dedicated to the work of the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The museum collection includes more than 5,000 works of art and tens of thousands of archived pieces from Picasso’s personal repository, including the artist's photographic archive, personal papers and author manuscripts. A large portion of items were donated by Picasso’s family after his death, in accord with the wishes of the artist, who lived in France from 1905 to 1973; the hôtel particulier that houses the collection was built between 1656 and 1659 for Pierre Aubert, seigneur de Fontenay, a tax farmer who became rich collecting the gabelle or salt tax. The architect was Jean Boullier from Bourges known as Boullier de Bourges, it is considered to be one of the finest historic houses in the Marais. The mansion has changed hands several times by inheritance.
The occupants have included the Embassy of the Republic of Venice François de Neufville, duc de Villeroi. It housed the municipal École des Métiers d'Art, it was acquired by the City of Paris in 1964, was granted historical monument status in 1968. The mansion was restored by Bernard Vitry and Bernard Fonquernie of the Monument historique in 1974–1980; the Hotel Salé was selected for the Musée Picasso after some contentious national debate. A competition was held to determine; the proposal from Roland Simounet was selected in 1976 from amongst the four. Other proposals were submitted by Roland Castro and the GAU, Jean Monge, Carlo Scarpa. For the most part, the interior of the mansion was restored to its former spacious state. In 1968, France created a law that permitted heirs to pay inheritance taxes with works of art instead of money, as long as the art is considered an important contribution to the French cultural heritage; this is known as a dation, it is allowable only in exceptional circumstances.
Dominique Bozo, a curator of national museums, selected those works that were to become the dation Picasso. This selection was reviewed by Jean Leymarie and ratified in 1979, it contained work by Picasso in all techniques and from all periods, is rare in terms of its excellent collection of sculptures. Upon Jacqueline Picasso's death in 1986, her daughter offered to pay inheritance taxes by a new dation; the collection has acquired a number of works through purchases and gifts. Picasso once said "I am the greatest collector of Picassos in the world." He had amassed an enormous collection of his own work by the time of his death in 1973, ranging from sketchbooks to finished masterpieces. The Musée Picasso has over 5,000 works of art by Picasso including 3,700 works on paper, sculptures in wood and metal, paintings; this is complemented by Picasso's own personal art collection of works by other artists, including Renoir, Cézanne, Rousseau, Seurat, de Chirico and Matisse. It contains some Iberian bronzes and a good collection of African art, by which Picasso was inspired.
The museum contains a large number of works that Picasso painted after his seventieth birthday. The museum has made an effort to present works by cartoonists who mocked or caricatured Picasso's work from the 1950s. There are a few rooms with thematic presentations, but the museum follows a chronological sequence, displaying painting, drawings and prints. Other items include photographs, newspaper clippings and photographs to provide additional contextual information; the second floor has a special area set aside for temporary prints. The third floor contains the library, the documentation and archives department, the curator's offices. More than 5,000 works were donated by Picasso’s family after his death in 1973 under a law permitting heirs to contribute art in lieu of tax payments. More donations came from the estate of Picasso’s last wife, Jacqueline Roque, from Anne Sinclair, a museum board member. Since 1985 more than 1,000 exhibits have been bought by the museum. In a period of economic crisis and government cutbacks on funding for culture, longtime director Anne Baldassari still managed to raise $41 million for the makeover by exporting artworks for exhibition abroad.
The Musée Picasso raised between €1 million and €3.5 million a year between 2008 and 2011 from the touring exhibition "Masterpieces from the Picasso Museum". The tour helped fund the refurbishment of the museum and included the De Young Museum, San Francisco, where attendance topped 335,000, the Chinese Pavilion, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Palazzo Reale, Milan. Upon re-opening, the museum is expected to finance more than 60 percent of its annual budget. In 2014, Baldassari was dismissed by Aurélie Filippetti, the French minister of culture, after mounting criticism of her management. New director Laurent Le Bon reopened the museum in September 2014 following a €52 million five-year renovation dogged by delays and escalating costs. By the end of the ongoing construction work, the museum’s public space was
Brussels the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita, it covers 161 km2, a small area compared to the two other regions, has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people. Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, it has been a major centre for international politics and the home of numerous international organisations, politicians and civil servants.
Brussels is the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions, including its administrative-legislative, executive-political, legislative branches and its name is sometimes used metonymically to describe the EU and its institutions. The secretariat of the Benelux and headquarters of NATO are located in Brussels; as the economic capital of Belgium and one of the top financial centres of Western Europe with Euronext Brussels, it is classified as an Alpha global city. Brussels is a hub for rail and air traffic, sometimes earning the moniker "Crossroads of Europe"; the Brussels Metro is the only rapid transit system in Belgium. In addition, both its airport and railway stations are the busiest in the country. Dutch-speaking, Brussels saw a language shift to French from the late 19th century; the Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual in French and Dutch though French is now the de facto main language with over 90% of the population speaking it. Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual.
English is spoken as a second language by nearly a third of the population and a large number of migrants and expatriates speak other languages. Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, as well as its historical and architectural landmarks. Main attractions include its historic Grand Place, Manneken Pis and cultural institutions such as La Monnaie and the Museums of Art and History; because of its long tradition of Belgian comics, Brussels is hailed as a capital of the comic strip. The most common theory of the origin of the name Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning "marsh" and "home" or "home in the marsh". Saint Vindicianus, the bishop of Cambrai, made the first recorded reference to the place Brosella in 695, when it was still a hamlet; the names of all the municipalities in the Brussels-Capital Region are of Dutch origin, except for Evere, Celtic. In French, Bruxelles is pronounced and in Dutch, Brussel is pronounced. Inhabitants of Brussels are known in French in Dutch as Brusselaars.
In the Brabantian dialect of Brussels, they are called Brusseleirs. The written x noted the group. In the Belgian French pronunciation as well as in Dutch, the k disappeared and z became s, as reflected in the current Dutch spelling, whereas in the more conservative French form, the spelling remained; the pronunciation in French only dates from the 18th century, but this modification did not affect the traditional Brussels' usage. In France, the pronunciations and are heard, but are rather rare in Belgium. See also: History of Brussels The history of Brussels is linked to that of Western Europe. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age, with vestiges and place-names related to the civilisation of megaliths and standing stones. During late antiquity, the region was home to Roman occupation, as attested by archaeological evidence discovered near the centre. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Frankish Empire; the origin of the settlement, to become Brussels lies in Saint Gaugericus' construction of a chapel on an island in the river Senne around 580.
The official founding of Brussels is situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Moorsel to the Saint Gaugericus chapel. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island. Lambert I of Leuven, Count of Leuven, gained the County of Brussels around 1000, by marrying Charles' daughter; because of its location on the shores of the Senne, on an important trade route between Bruges and Ghent, Cologne, Brussels became a commercial centre specialised in the textile trade. The town grew quite and extended towards the upper town, where there was a smaller risk of floods; as it grew to a population of around 30,000, the surrounding marshes were drained to allow for further expansion. Around