The Atomium In Brussels

The first post-war world exposition was held in Belgium. During the 1958 World’s Fair, Heysel Park became an international melting pot of architecture and tourism. This strange monument stands for his 59 years.

The Atomium is located quite far from the center of Brussels, making it difficult for tourists to access. Still, it’s easy to reach from the center by public transport or the red hop-on hop-off bus. Of course this is also an option if you want to travel by car.

The imposing sphere stands out even from a distance. The structure is 102 meters (= 335 feet) high and hundreds of feet wide. Either way, it shouldn’t be long before the Iron Crystals conquer the Skyline!

Since 2004, the Atomium and surrounding park have been significantly improved. To the discontent of many proud Belgians, the monument was falling into disrepair and the government decided to do something about it. The Atomium has been restored to its former glory using stainless steel and has been open to the public again since 2006.

Once you have your tickets (you can also buy them online for the same price), it’s time to explore this amazing building.

Once you’ve stowed your bag in the locker, proceed to the bottom light bulb.

After a short security formality, you’ll soon be grabbed by a cartoon character willing to take a picture with you. When you realize you can buy those photos at a later date, you are again pushed aside while someone else is brought in for the next photo shoot. Well… anyway, we’re not here to read Belgian comics! Let’s explore the inside of the famous Atomium!

From the bottom bulb there were two choices. I climbed the stairs or stood in line and immediately dove into the highest sphere.

We decided to put the panorama view aside and read a bit more about the monument itself first.

The wrecking ball below is a permanent exhibit about the Atomium and his 1958 World’s Fair, but did you know that the Atomium was almost never built? A huge TV tower almost occupied the place. Mr. Watercane didn’t want that to happen, so after some tough negotiations, the futuristic building finally got underway.

His second ball you can attend is mainly focused on his 1958 World’s Fair, and it’s nice to see so many photos of these beautiful monuments built during the World’s Fair. is. Most of these buildings were demolished after the exhibition ended. Unfortunately, many of these gems would certainly look great in Heysel Park.

The 1958 World’s Fair must have been a real treat for little Belgium. There is finally some peace after this horrific world war. 

We continued our visit going higher and higher on a long escalator. Temporary exhibitions about Sabena were held in these steel bunkers. Former Belgian airline.

At Expo ’58, invention was happening non-stop. And some inventions were adopted by the aviation industry as well. It’s quite strange to see the speed of this progress. Especially when you see that really little has changed since then. Don’t get me wrong! A lot has changed, but to see how much they’ve accomplished in such a short time… wow!

As we descended the escalator, we were treated to an amazing futuristic light show. As the escalator rolled down all the guests, we were enveloped in dancing lights of red, blue and white. A bit like Aurora, but represented in Atomium. Okay, why?!

The main reason I got the Atomium ticket was of course the view. When we got back to the base of this strange structure, we had to queue for about 15 minutes just to catch a glimpse of the panorama from the top sphere. Only a dozen people could be raised at once. The continuously running elevator was Europe’s fastest in 1958, but the Atomium elevator was 5 m/s and was soon replaced by much faster elevators.

While pumping up, you can see the charging shaft through the glass roof. In just a few seconds you will reach an altitude of 102m and from there you will finally enjoy a spectacular view of Heysel and Brussels.

I agree; the views aren’t the best, but if the weather is good you can see dozens of kilometers ahead. Tiny little people and buildings are so special, especially when you get an overview of the million-plus people walking or driving under you. This panoramic view also shows just how big Brussels really is, and best of all, the city’s growth won’t stop anytime soon.

The weather was nice, so I decided to enjoy the gentle sunshine while people-watching at Heysell Park. The Atomium may seem like a quirky monument, but it’s definitely worth a visit. 

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