Brussels - Wikipedia
Pronunciation. Early history. Topography and location. Brussels as capital . Municipalities. Brussels-Capital Region. Political status. Agglomeration in Brussels. French and Flemish communities . Common Community Commission. International institutions.
Brussels (French: Bruxelles [bRysel] (listen) or [bRyksel] (listen); Dutch: Brussel ['[email protected]] (listen)), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (French: Region de Bruxelles-Capitale;[a] Dutch: Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest),[b] is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium.  The Brussels-Capital Region, located in central Belgium, is part of the Flemish Community or the Flemish Community; however, it is distinct from the Flemish Region (within the region it forms an Enclave) as well as the Walloon Region.  Brussels, Belgium's richest region by GDP per capita, is the most populated. It has a population exceeding 1.2 million and covers 162km2 (63 sq miles). It is the largest metropolitan area in Belgium, with over 2.5 million inhabitants. It also forms part of a large conurbation that stretches towards Ghent and Antwerp, Leuven, Walloon Brabant. This area is home to more than 5 million people. 
From a small village on the Senne river, Brussels has grown to be an important European city-region. It has been a key centre of international politics since the Second World War and is home to many international organisations, politicians and diplomats.  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, and legislative branches (though the judicial branch is located in Luxembourg, and the European Parliament meets for a minority of the year in Strasbourg). [c] This is why its name is often used to refer to the EU and its institutions.  Brussels also houses the secretariat of NATO and the headquarters for NATO. It is recognized as the Alpha global city because it is both the capital and financial hub of Belgium.  Brussels, which is the hub of rail, road, and air traffic, is often considered together with Belgium as Europe's geographic, economic, and cultural crossroads.  Brussels Metro is Belgium's only rapid transit system. It also has the busiest and largest railway stations and airport in Belgium.