To many locals the European Quarter is an anodyne, self-contained administrative centre that has little to do with everyday Brussels life. This is understandable as the once-residential area was changed beyond recognition by the influx of the big European institutions. Now, though, set pieces such as Parliament, the famous Berlaymont building, and the Council of Ministers have a power of their own. Add to this some of Brussels’ major museums, the charming parks of Cinquantenaire and Leopold and the lively restaurant squares Luxembourg and Jourdan and you have an area with a specific feel that holds its own.
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