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History of Europe
Belgium

Why was the name Brussels given to the capital of Belgium?

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September 10, 2008 5:53PM

The name Brussels is the English name for the Belgian capital. In Brussels, two languages are spoken, Dutch and French. The French name is Bruxelles but you really want to take a look at the city's original name: Brussel, which is the Dutch name. Brussel is an evolution of the word "Broekzele", the old name of the city. You can still notice the "kz" combination in the French name. The word Broekzele is a combination of Broek, which means "marsh", and "zele" which means village. So the literal translation of Brussels is "Village in the marsh". When Brussels was founded more then a 1000 years ago, it was indeed in a place full of marsh, one of the last marsh places to be covered up is now known as the Heysel where you can find the Atomium.