Brussels is the capital and largest city of Belgium. It is also the de facto capital of the European Union, making it a major place for international politics. It began as a fortress town in the 10th century, founded by a descendant of Charlemagne and is now a city of 1.2 million. Although traditionally Dutch speaking, it underwent a sizeable shift to French in 1830 and, despite this being the majority language today, it is still bilingual. It is believed that the origin of the name Brussels is the Old Dutch for marsh.
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