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Atomium in Belgium: How Iron's Crystal Lattice Gained Popularity Over Manneken Pis
Atomium in Belgium: How Iron's Crystal Lattice Gained Popularity Over Manneken Pis
The building symbolizes the breakthrough of humanity in science

A fragment of the crystal lattice of iron, magnified billions of times, attracts tourists from all over the world and is very loved by local residents, because this is not just a monument, but a building inside which you can visit. 60 years ago, Atomium was the symbol of Expo-58, representing the host of the event - Belgium. Now it is increasingly called the symbol of this country. They say that over time, in popularity, he can bypass even Manneken Pis. It is the most visited monument in Brussels and one of the most original buildings in the world.

Any tourist can visit this unusual building

XX century man - the master of physics

Through huge pipes and spheres, the progressive engineer André Waterkane wanted to show the cubic structure of iron, magnified 165 billion times. It is no coincidence that the building received such a scientific name - "Atomium". In the postwar years, the project was supposed to symbolize the fact that the future of mankind lies in physics and, above all, in nuclear power. The theme of a peaceful atom, subject to man, was just becoming fashionable at that time.

Exhibition of 1958 in an old photograph

Waterkane prepared a project specifically for the World's Fair, assuming that his brainchild would stand here for only six months, and then it would be dismantled. The building took 18 months, which was preceded by another year and a half of deep research and accurate calculations, because no one had created anything like this before.

View of the Atomium

The opening of the Atomium aroused great interest among citizens, and, I must say, it has not subsided for 60 years. Since the symbol of the exhibition was not originally designed for such a long operation, in 2004-2006 the city services even had to completely restore the building, both inside and out (replacing the aluminum coating with steel).

Each sphere weighs about 250 tons

Inside the "atoms"

The height of the Atomium is 102 meters. The diameter of each of the nine spheres-atoms is 18 meters. The 250-ton "balls" are connected to each other by 20 pipes. Inside the "Atomium" there are stairs, four escalators and an elevator, which at the time of construction, in 1958, was considered the fastest in Europe. And one of the descents between the two spheres reminds visitors of an exciting journey in the spirit of "Star Wars" - a similar effect is created, among other things, with the help of original changing lighting.

The most vivid impression when visiting "Atomium" is a journey from one atom to another through a tunnel with cosmic lighting

By the way, out of nine "balls" only three can be visited by sightseers. In three more technical and office premises are located, and the rest are intended for tenants who can rent them for any events - for example, to celebrate a child's birthday in such a "sphere".

Here you can celebrate a celebration, spend the night or dine in a modest restaurant

Domestic tourists who visited the "Atomium" describe their impressions in two ways. On the one hand, there is nothing particularly interesting inside the building for a sophisticated Russian: going up and down, stairs and metal are everywhere. On the other hand, the Atomium does not claim to be an entertainment center, but it is an original observation deck with gorgeous views of Brussels.

From the height of the observation deck, a gorgeous view opens up

Europeans perceive the building with much more enthusiasm and rejoice, like children, in moving from one ball to another, a dinner “in the clouds” (there is a restaurant in the building) and numerous interesting exhibitions held in the “Atomium”.The Brussels people themselves are especially delighted and proud of the building, considering it a national treasure.

Europeans are delighted with the exhibitions and excursions that take place inside the giant crystal lattice

By the way, the "crystal lattice" has its own hotel designed for children - it is quite unpretentious, but the very fact that you can spend the night in such an extraordinary building in a round capsule adds romanticism.

Atomium on 2 Euro coin

Outside - more interesting

The building looks most attractive from the outside. First of all, the very size of the giant fragment of the crystal lattice is impressive, from which passers-by are simply breathtaking. Therefore, it is best to consider it, standing not at the very foot, but at a decent distance.

The beauty and originality of the Atomium is recognized by both Europeans and Russians

In addition, in daylight, the spheres-atoms shimmer very beautifully in the sun, and in the dark they look spectacular thanks to the backlight. The building can be photographed from different angles - and all the photos will turn out to be original.

By the way, Russia also has its own original buildings, the architects of which were supposedly ahead of their time. For example, Melnikov's hive house some connoisseurs compare it to carbon nanotubes.

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