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  • Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is the capital and largest city of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union. It is also the largest urban area in Belgium, comprising 19 municipalities, including the municipality of the City of Brussels, which de jure is the capital of Belgium, in addition to the seat of the French Community of Belgium and of the Flemish Community. Brussels has grown from a 10th-century fortress town founded by a descendant of Charlemagne to a sizeable city. The city has a population of 1.2 million and a metropolitan area with a population of over 1.8 million, both of them the largest in Belgium. Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a major centre for international politics. Hosting principal EU institutions, the secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the city has become the polyglot home of numerous international organisations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants. Brussels is just a few miles north of the boundary between Belgium's language communities—French in the south, Dutch in the North.

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