These monuments and their history which tell the story of our world: the Atomium of Brussels

These monuments and their history which tell the story of our world: the Atomium of Brussels
These monuments and their history which tell the story of our world: the Atomium of Brussels

We all know them at least visually, if not even having visited them one day. Over time, some have even become real symbols for their city or country, or even good commercial products in their derivatives. But do we always know their history, if not sometimes their reason for being? Rarely. So let’s go to some of these famous monuments that make up our world.

Today, we’re heading to Belgium and more particularly its capital Brussels with a rather astonishing monument which is the Atomium.

The same fate as the Eiffel Tower…

Monuments to the “glory” of science are ultimately not very numerous in the world. And if there is one that we often think of in this category, it is definitely the Atomium in Brussels.

Emblematic of Brussels, it was built on the occasion of the 1958 Universal Exhibition which highlighted science, the atom and their future uses (or more precisely imagined at the time).
The whole represents what we call “the conventional iron crystal mesh” magnified 165 billion times. It consists of nine stainless steel spheres 18 meters in diameter linked together by metal tubes 3.30 meters in diameter. Impressively high, it peaks at 102 meters.

Like the Eiffel Tower, the Atomium whose name is actually a mixture of words “atom” And “aluminum” (its original material) was to be an ephemeral work intended to last simply for the duration of the 1958 Exhibition. But like the Parisian monument, its originality, its popularity and the public’s enthusiasm will make the idea of ​​its destruction will quickly be abandoned… even if it was on the agenda again for budgetary reasons in the 1990s when it was necessary to think about completely renovating the monument.

Located on the Heysel plateau, right next to the Laeken park, the Atomium with its original architecture between sculpture and architecture is today one of the symbols of Brussels and even of Belgium, to the point of attracting more than 600,000 visitors each year who can access six of its nine spheres open to the public.

A place of art and culture

Beyond being an emblem and a visual landmark for the city, the Atomium is also a place of art and culture. Exhibitions on various themes relating in particular to science, technology and art are presented there. Just like concerts, shows and other events held there throughout the year.

And then of course the Atomium is the opportunity to see Brussels “from above” thanks to the panorama that we have from the top of the structure which, we remind you, exceeds 100 meters.

The Atomium in figures

  • 102 meters: the total height of the structure.
  • 2,500 tonnes: the total weight of the building.
  • 250 tons: the weight of each sphere.
  • 9: the number of spheres that make up the whole.
  • 2004-2006: the two years of work necessary to refurbish the Atomium.
  • €16: this is the adult price to access the monument.

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