The Zuidas is a rapidly developing business district in the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The Zuidas is known as the Financial Mile and it lies between the rivers Amstel and Schinkel along the ringway A10. The greatest influences for the development of the Zuidas are La Défense in Paris, in size it can best be compared with the Noordruimte/Espace Nord in Brussels. In the future the station, Amsterdam Zuid, in the center of this area will become the second main station of Amsterdam. It is expected to be 5th busiest passenger station in the Netherlands, with connections to Schiphol Airport, Antwerp and Paris by high-speed rail and it will connect to the German high-speed network, the ICE, via Utrecht and Arnhem. The journey from the Zuidas to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol takes approximately 8 minutes, future development could include an underground line directly to the airport. Another high-speed link has been proposed by a consortium of companies between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Amsterdam Zuid and the city of Almere, the Zuidas already has good underground connections to other business areas with the Circle Line.
After the completion of the North South line, the Zuidas will have a better connection to the city center. The city council is not only investigating expanding the network to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Large multinationals such as ABN-Amro and Akzo Nobel have their headquarters in this new area, the World Trade Center Amsterdam has recently been renovated and expanded. A large infrastructural axis might be tunnelled, transforming the entire area and this would add an estimated €2 billion to the cost of the plan. Zuidas, website of the city of Amsterdam
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie
The Rogier Tower is a skyscraper located in the Northern Quarter central business district of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Belgium. It owes its name to the square Place Rogier/Rogierplein in front of the building and it was formerly known as the Dexia Tower after Dexia bank, but that bank fell victim to the 2007–2012 global financial crisis and the towers name was changed on March 1,2012. The occupant remains the former Dexia bank and it is the third tallest building in Belgium. It is built on the site of the Rogier International Centre, called the Martini Tower, which was formerly the tallest building in Belgium, constructed between 2002 and 2006, the Rogier Tower is 137 m tall. It was originally planned to be 179 m tall, but the proposal was rejected because the height was thought to be excessive, the Rogier Tower is one of the few towers in Brussels whose roof is not horizontal, instead being made up of three inclined sections. It is one of the towers in the world to have a fully glass roof. Dexia claims that the sloping of the roofs are reminiscent of the stylized letter X in the Dexia logo.
The building has 6000 windows, and 4200 of these are equipped with an average of 12 lightbulbs, each having a red and blue LED and these are lit up to form colourful displays, with each window acting as a pixel. To minimize power consumption, the LEDs only illuminate the outside of the blinds. Usually the display is just abstract patterns or the temperature, but on occasions and major holidays. Due to the recession, the lighting has been greatly reduced. Media related to Rogier Tower at Wikimedia Commons
Heysel Stadium disaster
39 people—mostly Italians and Juventus fans—were killed and 600 were injured in the confrontation. Approximately an hour before the Juventus-Liverpool final was due to kick off, Liverpool supporters charged at Juventus fans and this came after a period of hostility between the two sets of fans which saw missiles thrown from both teams supporters. The instigators of violence are still unknown, with varying accounts, Juventus fans ran back on the terraces and away from the threat into a concrete retaining wall. Fans already standing near the wall were crushed, eventually the wall collapsed, many people climbed over to safety, but many others died or were badly injured. The game was played despite the disaster, with Juventus winning 1–0, the disaster was described as the darkest hour in the history of the UEFA competitions. In May 1985, Liverpool were the defending European Champions Cup winners, again they would face Italian opposition, who had won, the 1983–84 Cup Winners Cup. Both teams were placed in the two first positions in the UEFA club ranking at the end of the last season and were regarded by the press as the best two sides in the continent at the time.
Both teams had contested the 1984 European Super Cup five months before, despite its status as Belgiums national stadium, Heysel was in a poor state of repair by the time of the 1985 European Final. The 55-year-old stadium had not been maintained for several years. For example, the wall had been made of cinder block. They were surprised that Heysel was chosen despite its condition, especially since Barcelonas Camp Nou. However, UEFA refused to consider a move, the stadium was crammed with 58, 000–60,000 supporters, with more than 25,000 for each team. The two ends behind the goals comprised all-standing terraces, each end split into three zones, the Juventus end was O, N and M and the Liverpool end was X, Y and Z as deemed by the Belgian court after the disaster. However, the tickets for the Z section were reserved for neutral Belgian fans in addition to the rest of the stadium and this meant the Juventus fans had more sections than the Liverpool fans with the Z section occupied by neutrals which is thought to have heightened prematch tensions.
At the time Brussels, like the rest of Belgium, already had a large Italian community, added to this, many tickets were bought up and sold by travel agents, mainly to Juventus fans. A small percentage of the tickets ended up in the hands of Liverpool fans, at approximately 7 p. m. local time, an hour before kick-off, the trouble started. The Liverpool and Juventus supporters in sections X and Z stood merely yards apart, the boundary between the two was marked by temporary chain link fencing and a central thinly policed no-mans land. Fans began to throw stones across the divide, which they were able to pick up from the crumbling terraces beneath them, as kick-off approached, the throwing became more intense
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France. It has an area of 105 square kilometres and a population of 2,229,621 in 2013 within its administrative limits, the agglomeration has grown well beyond the citys administrative limits. By the 17th century, Paris was one of Europes major centres of finance, fashion and the arts, and it retains that position still today. The aire urbaine de Paris, a measure of area, spans most of the Île-de-France region and has a population of 12,405,426. It is therefore the second largest metropolitan area in the European Union after London, the Metropole of Grand Paris was created in 2016, combining the commune and its nearest suburbs into a single area for economic and environmental co-operation. Grand Paris covers 814 square kilometres and has a population of 7 million persons, the Paris Region had a GDP of €624 billion in 2012, accounting for 30.0 percent of the GDP of France and ranking it as one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. The city is a rail and air-transport hub served by two international airports, Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly.
Opened in 1900, the subway system, the Paris Métro. It is the second busiest metro system in Europe after Moscow Metro, Paris Gare du Nord is the busiest railway station in the world outside of Japan, with 262 millions passengers in 2015. In 2015, Paris received 22.2 million visitors, making it one of the top tourist destinations. The association football club Paris Saint-Germain and the rugby union club Stade Français are based in Paris, the 80, 000-seat Stade de France, built for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, is located just north of Paris in the neighbouring commune of Saint-Denis. Paris hosts the annual French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on the red clay of Roland Garros, Paris hosted the 1900 and 1924 Summer Olympics and is bidding to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. The name Paris is derived from its inhabitants, the Celtic Parisii tribe. Thus, though written the same, the name is not related to the Paris of Greek mythology. In the 1860s, the boulevards and streets of Paris were illuminated by 56,000 gas lamps, since the late 19th century, Paris has been known as Panam in French slang.
Inhabitants are known in English as Parisians and in French as Parisiens and they are pejoratively called Parigots. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the Paris area from around the middle of the 3rd century BC. One of the areas major north-south trade routes crossed the Seine on the île de la Cité, this place of land and water trade routes gradually became a town
Bombardment of Brussels
The bombardment of Brussels by French troops of Louis XIV on August 13,14, and 15,1695, and the resulting fire were together the most destructive event in the entire history of Brussels. The Grand Place was destroyed, along with a third of the buildings in the city, the reconstruction of the city centre, effected during subsequent years, profoundly changed the appearance of the city and left numerous traces still visible today. The bombardment was part of the Nine Years War, the French forces hoped that by bombarding, or threatening to bombard Brussels, they would be able to divert Allied troops from the Siege of Namur. The strategy was unsuccessful, and no military gain came of the bombardment, the 17th century, called the Great Century by the French, was anything but great for the inhabitants of the Southern Netherlands. During this period, this went through a succession of wars and destruction. In 1695, nearly forty years after the Battle of the Dunes of 1658 and this expansion resulted in the gradual annexation of Spanish possessions to Frances north.
Wars were fought and alliances made and broken, and fortresses continuously changed hands, the Nine Years War had been raging since 1688. Opposing France was a large European coalition, the Grand Alliance, with its head as William III of Orange, leader of the Netherlands, and soon to be king of England. Alongside William stood Spain, the Holy Roman Empire as well several electors, among them Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, governor of the Spanish Netherlands. In July 1695, the city of Namur, occupied for three years by the French, was besieged by William III of England, at the head of an allied army. After the death of the Duke of Luxembourg, the French army was led by the Duke of Villeroi, the king, irritated at the recent turn of events, urged Villeroi to destroy Bruges or Ghent in a surprise attack. Villeroi, eager to please the king, instead suggested that bombarding Brussels would have more of an effect in drawing the enemy to a place in which the French could attack them strategically.
At the end of July, Villeroi sent the king a request for supplies, compiled by his master of artillery. He evaluated that 12 cannons,25 mortars,4000 cannonballs,5000 explosive shells, an amount of gunpowder, lead shot and fuses. In addition, there would need to be a train capable of supplying arms. The supplies and troops were taken out of French garrisons and strongholds in the region. These maneuvers did not pass unnoticed, as Villeroi let his intentions be known with the goal of worrying the allied armies besieging Namur, on August 3, a truce was declared in the siege in order to treat the wounded and restock the citadel. After six days, the siege resumed, with both William III and Maximilian II Emanuel standing their ground, only the small army of the Prince of Vaudemont, near the city of Ghent, was able to achieve anything, by controlling roads leading to Brussels
Brussels and the European Union
Brussels in Belgium is considered the de facto capital of the European Union, having a long history of hosting the institutions of the European Union within its European Quarter. This agreement was temporary, and plans were set to relocate the institutions to Saarbrücken which would serve as a European District, the 1957 Treaties of Rome established two new communities, the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community. These shared the Assembly and Court of the ECSC but created two new sets of Councils and Commissions, discussions on the seats of the institutions were left till the last moment before the treaties came into force, so as not to interfere with ratification. Brussels waited until only a month before talks to enter its application, the members agreed in principle to locate the executives and the assembly in one city, though could still not decide which city, so they put the decision off for six months. In the meantime, the Assembly would stay in Strasbourg and the new commissions would meet alternatively at the ECSC seat and at the Château of Val-Duchesse, the Councils would meet wherever their Presidents wanted to.
In practice, this was the Castle in Brussels until autumn 1958 when it moved to central Brussels,2 Rue Ravensteinstraat, Brussels missed out in its bid for a single seat due to a weak campaign from the government in negotiations, despite widespread support from the people. The Belgian government eventually pushed its campaign and started large-scale construction, on 11 February 1958, the six governments concluded an unofficial agreement on the setting-up of community offices. The Belgian government further provided newly built offices on the Mont des Arts/Kunstberg for the Council of Ministers Secretariat and European Investment Bank. Furthermore, it was located on the border between the two major European civilisations and Germanic, and was at the centre of the first post-war integration experiment, the decision was put off due to the varied national positions preventing a unanimous decision. Luxembourg fought to keep the ECSC or have compensation, France fought for Strasbourg and Italy, initially backing Paris, Parliament passed a series of resolutions complaining about the whole situation of spreading itself across three cities, though unable to do anything about it.
The 1965 Merger Treaty was seen as a moment to finally resolve the issue. Luxembourg, concerned about losing the High Authority, proposed a split between Brussels and Luxembourg, the Commission and Council in the former with Luxembourg keeping the Court and Parliamentary Assembly, together with a few of the Commissions departments. Hence, the status quo was maintained with some adjustments, The Commission, with most of its departments, as would the Council, but in April and October it would meet in Luxembourg. In addition, Luxembourg would keep the Court of Justice, some of the Commissions departments, Strasbourg would continue to host Parliament. Joining the Commission was the merged Council secretariat, the ECSC secretariat merged with the EECs and EAECs in the Ravenstein building which moved to the Charlemagne building, next to the Berlaymont, in 1971. The first purpose-built building was the Berlaymont building in 1958, designed to house 3000 officials which proved too small. However, these developments were sporadic with little town planning.
In 1983 it went further by holding a plenary session in Brussels
Fortifications of Brussels
There were two stages of fortifications of Brussels, the first walls, built in the early 13th century, and the second walls, built in the late 14th century and upgraded. Today, only a few sections of either remain, the first walls of Brussels were a series of fortifications erected around the Belgian city of Brussels in the early 13th century. The city quickly outgrew them, and starting in 1356, a second, larger set of walls was built to better enclose, the now superfluous walls were dismantled between the 16th to 18th centuries. Isolated portions of the first walls can still be seen today, construction on the first walls of Brussels is estimated to have been at the beginning of the 13th century, under the reign of Henry I, the first duke of Brabant. The beginning and end dates are not clear, but construction would have lasted several decades, on the other hand, from historical maps and other documents that have been preserved, the precise former course of the walls is known. The walls were 4 kilometres long, in the west, they encompassed the site of the citys founding and first development, Saint-Géry Island, the Grand Place and the first port on the Senne river.
They extended to the heights in the east of the city, enclosing the first St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral on Treurenberg hill, the walls were initially made of earth, with a wooden fence on top. These gave way to walls made of stone that were 10 metres tall and 1 to 2.5 metres thick, the walls were supported by square pillars, spaced roughly 4 metres apart, linked by a row of arches for support. These were buried underneath a talus, and they supported the main wall, a second arcade supported a crenellated parapet, where defenders could stand. A large ditch was dug in front of the walls, along the length of the walls, there were roughly 40 defensive towers, in addition to seven primary gates and five smaller entrances. The death of Duke John III of Brabant in 1355 sparked a succession crisis, as both of his sons had died, he left the throne to his daughter Joanna and her husband Wenceslaus I of Luxembourg. Count Louis II of Flanders had married Joans younger sister Margaret, Louis invaded Brabant and quickly seized Brussels, planting the Flemish lion flag in the middle of the Grand Place.
The city walls offered relatively little protection, during the night of 24 October 1356, a group of Brabantian patriots led by Everard tSerclaes scaled the city walls and drove the Flemings from the city. This enabled Joanna and Wenceslaus to make their Joyous Entry into Brussels, since the construction of the first walls in the 13th century, Brussels had grown extensively and had become quite important. On account of this growth, the first walls were no longer large enough and it had become clear that further defences, better adapted to the current era, needed to be constructed. Following the succession crisis, city authorities decided to build a new set of walls, Everard t Serclaes, who had been named schepen, was among those contributing to the decision. The second walls of Brussels were erected between 1356 and 1383, the wall was to have a length of nearly 8 km, which was enough to enclose the surrounding hamlets and fields that supplied the city. There were to be 72 semicircular towers along the wall, there were seven main gates, corresponding to the seven entries into the first walls of Brussels, but the similarities mostly end there
Francization of Brussels
Initially, the dominant aspect of this transition was the shift from Dutch to French among local Flemings in Brussels. A simultaneous shift from Walloon and Picard to Belgian French has taken place in Wallonia, a historical shift to French among urban elites in Leuven and Ghent has been reversed as the use of Dutch regained prestige. The transition began very slowly in the 18th century, but accelerated after the Belgian Revolution, in spite of the Dutch-speaking majority, French was made the sole official language, and French was the language of the government, the courts, the media and education. The Dutch language had a low social prestige in Belgium at the time, and knowledge of French was considered necessary for social advancement, the massive shift from Dutch to French was underway by the late 19th century. At first there was a surge in the number of residents, mostly native Dutch-speakers who had learned how to speak French. As Dutch was often not passed down from one generation to another, halfway through the 20th century, the number of monolingual French-speakers surpassed the number of bilingual French/Dutch-speakers.
In the 1960s the Belgian language border was fixed, limiting official bilingualism to the 19 municipalities of Brussels, as Flanders prospered economically and Dutch regained its prestige, the Francization of Dutch-speakers effectively ceased. Simultaneously, as Brussels urban area expanded, a number of formerly Dutch-speaking municipalities in surrounding Flanders became predominantly French-speaking. This phenomenon is, together with the future of Brussels, one of the most controversial topics in all of Belgian politics. Around the year 1000, the County of Brussels became a part of the Duchy of Brabant with Brussels as one of the four capitals of the Duchy, along with Leuven, and s-Hertogenbosch. Dutch was the language of Brussels, as was the case in the other three cities. Not all of Brabant, was Dutch-speaking, the area south of Brussels, around the town of Nivelles, was a French-speaking area roughly corresponding to the modern province of Walloon Brabant. Initially in Brussels as well as parts of Europe, Latin was used as an official language.
From the late 13th century, people began to shift usage to the vernacular and this occurrence took place in Brussels and in other Brabantian cities, which had all eventually transformed by the 16th century. Official city orders and proclamations were thenceforth gradually written in Middle Dutch, until the late 18th century, Dutch remained the administrative language of the Brussels area of the Duchy of Brabant. As part of the Holy Roman Empire, Brabantian cities enjoyed many freedoms, before 1500, there were almost no French documents in the Brussels city archives. By comparison the cities in the neighboring Duchy of Flanders such as Bruges, Kortrijk, such high level of French influence had not yet developed in the Dutch-speaking areas of the Duchy of Brabant, including Brussels. After the death of Joanna, Duchess of Brabant, in 1406, the Duchy of Brabant became a part of the Duchy of Burgundy, in 1477, Burgundian duke Charles the Bold perished in the Battle of Nancy