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Brussel is a region of Belgium consists of 19 municipalities, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. Despite its name, the Brussels-Capital Region is not the capital of Belgium. Article 194 of the Belgian Constitution establishes that the capital of Belgium is the City of Brussels, the municipality in the region that is the city's core. It covers 162 km a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of over 1.2 million. The five times larger metropolitan area of Brussels comprises over 2.5 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.
History of Brussels is closely linked to that of Western Europe. Traces of human settlement go back to the Stone Age, with vestiges and place-names related to the civilization of megaliths, dolmens and standing stones. During late antiquity, the region was home to Roman occupation, as attested by archaeological evidence discovered on the current site of Tour & Taxis, north-west of the Pentagon. Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire, it was incorporated into the Frankish Empire. The origin of the settlement which was to become Brussels lies in the Saint Gaugericus construction of a chapel on an island in the Senne river around 580. The official founding of Brussels is usually situated around 979, when Duke Charles of Lower Lotharingia transferred the relics of Saint Gudula from Morsel to Saint Gaugericus chapel. Charles would construct the first permanent fortification in the city, doing so on that same island.
Brussels is known for its cuisine and gastronomy, as well as its historical and architectural landmarks and some of them are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Overall, Brussels is a safe city. However, it has the highest crime rates in Belgium. So if there is one place where you should be extra vigilant in Belgium, it's Brussels. During the day, be careful of pickpockets.