- Location:In Boulevard du Centenaire in Heysel, Brussels
- Attraction type: Monument
- Significance: An engineering marvel
- Best Time to visit: All through the year
- Visiting hours: April to August — 9 am to 8 pm; September to March — 10 am to 6 pm
- How to reach: By Metro to Heysel Station on 1A line
- Nearest International Airport: Brussels International Airport
The Atomium to Belgium is what Statue of Liberty is to USA or the Eiffel Tower is to France. Technically speaking, it is the representation of lattice structure of iron magnified 165 billion times. What was created as a symbol of Brussels World Fair, became an icon for the country. This gigantic depiction of the most basic form of matter was conceptualized and put to shape by an engineer, Andre Waterkeyn.
Atomium comprises nine spheres of diameter of 59 feet, connected by the tubes with a length of 94 feet and diameter of 10 feet. Each of these spheres, displaying scientific themes and galleries, is connected by elevators. The topmost sphere has a restaurant and an observation gallery. The escalator connecting the observation gallery is supposed to be among the fastest in Europe.
The engineering marvel of the Atomium in Brussels is in the fact that it is supported by a single sphere, thereby enabling the diagonal of the cube to be vertical. This cubic body centered system weighs 2400 tons and reaches a height of 335 feet from ground to its highest point.
Belgium’s most treasured engineering creation was put under renovation from 2001 to 2005 by City of Brussels, Belgian Federal State, and Besix — Jacques Delens. The total renovation cost amounted to 23 million Euros.
Atomium monument has become so synonymous with Belgium that one of its products ‘Atomium Beer’ has become a huge hit in entire Europe.
Staying in Brussels
Brussels being the capital of Belgium, accommodation is never a trouble on a visit to this city. Among the high-end hotels, you might opt among Sofitel Brussels Toison d’Or, Radisson SAS Royal, and Hotel Metropole Brussels. In the mid-range category, you might select among Hotel Scandinavia, Hotel NH Atlanta, Louise Hotel Brussels, Hotel Floris Avenue, and Villa Primavera.
There are numerous restaurants to cater to your culinary needs in Brussels. Restaurant Vismet, Viva M’Boma, Jacques, Shamrock and Les Brassins are among the popular eateries serving exotic dishes at affordable prices. In case you prefer exclusivity, visit La Belle Maraichere, De Gulden Boot, and Belga Queen.