A selection of members from Brussels.

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Brussels is the capital of Belgium and has a population of over 1.3 million inhabitants. The city was founded in 979 AD along the river Senne and over the centuries it grew in size and importance. Following World War Two the city became an important centre for international politics and today it is recognised as the de facto capital of the European Union (EU), whilst the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters are also based in the city. Belgium is a bilingual nation and there are linguistic tensions in Brussels itself, with the number of people speaking French now overtaking those able to speak Dutch in the city, a situation which began to take hold following Belgian independence in 1830.

Clearly, then, Brussels has a fascinating history and this is, of course, reflected in its cultural output and the institutions which can be found in the city. Amongst the museums and art galleries worth visiting are the Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire; the Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique; the Musées d'Extrême-Orient; the Natural Sciences Museum of Belgium; the Royal Museum for Central Africa; the Belgian Comic Strip Centre; the Musée du Cinéma-Filmmuseum; Autoworld; the Belgian Army Museum and Museum of Military History; and the Musical Instruments Museum.

There are also numerous landmarks to be found throughout the city including the Grand Place-Grote Markt; the Manneken Pis, a bronze statue of a small boy who is urinating and Jeanneke Pis, its female equivalent; the Parc du Cinquantenaire-Jubelpark where you can see the impressive Arc de Triomphe-Triomfboog; the Atomium, a unique structure which was created for the 1958 World Fair in Brussels; the Law Courts of Brussels; the Basilique du Sacré Coeur, the fifth largest church in the world; the Royal Palace; and the Statue of Europe.

Belgium is recognised as being one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world and so it is unsurprising that in its capital you will feel very welcome and be able to discover plenty of gay-friendly venues. Also, there are events such as the Belgian Gay Pride Festival that takes place in the city every year, and so you will never be stuck for something to do during your stay.

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