is the capital
, of the French Community of Belgium
, of the Flemish Community
, and is the headquarters of the European Union
's institutions. Brussels is in the centre of Belgium, and also the largest municipality of the Brussels-Capital Region
. This municipality inside Brussels is correctly named The City of Brussels
, which is one of 19 municipalities
that make up the Brussels-Capital Region, with a total population of 1,018,804 inhabitants (1 January 2006). The municipality has a population of about 140,000. The Metropolitan area has about 2,090,000 inhabitants. Brussels is also the political seat of NATO
, the Western European Union
(WEU) and EUROCONTROL
, the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation.
In 977 AD, the Holy Roman emperor Otto II gave the duchy of Lower Lotharingia on the empire's western frontier to Charles, the banished son of King Louis IV of France. Mention was already made of Brussels at the time: Bishop Saint-Gery of Cambrai-Arras settled a chapel on a small island (695). However, the founding of Brussels is usually said to be when a small castle was built by Charles around 979 on Saint-Géry island in the Zenne or Senne river.