Brussels Brussels is also part of a large conurbation which extends between Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Leuven and Walloon Brabant and is home to over 5 million people.
Brussels grew from a small rural settlement on the river Senne to become an important city-region in Europe. Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a major centre for international politics and has become the home of numerous international organizations, politicians, diplomats and civil servants. The secretariat of the Benelux and the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are also located in Brussels. Today, it is considered an Alpha global city.
Historically a Dutch-speaking city, Brussels has seen a language shift to French from the late 19th century onwards. Today, the majority language is French, and the Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. All road signs, street names, and many advertisements and services are shown in both languages. Brussels is increasingly becoming multilingual with increasing numbers of migrants, expatriates and minority groups speaking their own languages.
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