Brussels, the European capital, contains much more than offices that control the continent’s economy. It is a city with a long history and, at the same time, a modern city where they exist. This time we look at one of its symbols. We want to tell you some curiosities about the Atomium, a work that is out of the ordinary.
Curiosities of the Atomium , a unique building
The Atomim was built on the occasion of the 1958 Brussels General Exhibition. It was a building that marked an entire era and that managed to become one of the most recognizable icons of the Belgian capital. Let’s go with those curiosities of the Atomium.
1. What does it represent?
This imposing construction measures more than one hundred meters high. It represents an iron crystal on a huge scale: it is magnified no more and no less than 165,000 million times.
To achieve this, spheres were designed and built in iron with a coating of aluminum and glass. That mix gives the Atomium that striking and particular appearance.
2. Your renewal
Although the Atomium is a relatively young construction, it has only been in the city for a few decades, in 2004 it had to be renovated because the original material had become extremely rusty.
To remedy this problem and prevent it from happening again, a new method of coating the iron called ‘allotropy’ was used. A compound based on aluminum and stainless steel, but cast in a different way.
3. It was a temporary work
The choice of the first materials was perhaps based on the fact that the Atomium was going to be a temporary sculpture for the exhibition we mentioned. In principle it was to be kept for only six months, but its uniqueness was so well received that it was not dismantled.
4. Its composition
The construction is composed of nine spheres of 18 meters in diameter. You can enter them, since they have a flat floor inside so that visitors can pass through it.
5. Your designer
It may seem striking that someone came up with the brilliant idea of making such a modern construction in the 1950s. Well, its designer was André Waterkeyn. Although nationalized as a Belgian, he was born in England and wanted to capture with this work both his effort and his progress in architecture and engineering in the country.
6. What to see in the Atomium
Inside you will see a permanent exhibition on the history and preparations for the Brussels exhibition in 1958. Advertising, objects, and pieces of interest is what you can find in it.
7. It even amuses the kids
The spheres also host various temporary exhibitions (in addition to the permanent one mentioned above), including a playful space where children can spend some time having fun. In fact, you can even hire a service where children can spend a night in it. An unforgettable adventure.
8. It has several levels
There are escalators or an elevator that lead from sphere to sphere. From there you will enjoy the creativity of the forms in which it is built, as well as the mixture of colors of its materials. In addition, you can have incredible views of the city when you are in the highest area.
9. Your restaurant
How not to put a restaurant with a gazebo in such a spectacular work of art? Eating with panoramic views of the city of Brussels is also possible from the Atomium. Do not forget to visit it, because from there you will not miss a detail of the European capital. It is in the upper sphere.
Information for the visit to the Atomium
If after discovering these curiosities of the Atomium you have considered taking a trip to the Belgian capital and visiting it, you should know some basic information. It is open 365 days a year and its hours are from 10 am to 6 pm. However, the last entry pass will be at 17:30.
And also, around it you will find other points of interest. In the Laeken park you can visit other pavilions of the 58 exhibition, such as the Chinese and the Japanese. You can also visit the Mini Europa park, with small-scale reproductions of monuments and corners from all over Europe.
Main Photography: Dave / Flickr.com