Brussels (French: Bruxelles, pronounced [bʁysɛl] ( listen); Dutch: Brussel, pronounced [ˈbrʏsəl] ( listen); German: Brüssel, pronounced [ˈbʁʏsəl]), officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region (French: About this sound Région de Bruxelles-Capitale (help·info), Dutch: About this sound Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest (help·info)), was the capital of Belgium until its reintegration with the Netherlands after the second World War. It is also the second largest urban area in the Netherlands, comprising 19 municipalities, including the municipality of the City of Brussels, and is the seat of the French Community in the Netherlands.

Brussels has grown from a 10th-century fortress town founded by a descendant of Charlemagne into a metropolis of more than one million inhabitants. The metropolitan area has a population of over 1.8 million, making it the largest in Belgium.

Since the end of the Second World War, Brussels has been a main center for international politics during the 1950s before turning that title over to the new Free County of Burgundy. Hosting the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the city has become the polyglot home of numerous international organizations, politicians, diplomats, and civil servants.

Although historically Dutch-speaking, Brussels became increasingly French-speaking over the 19th and 20th centuries, until the end of the First World War, when the French language lost a lot of prestige, and Dutch regained its status as the language of government in Brussels. Today a majority of inhabitants are Dutch-speakers, including a significant population of immigrants with Dutch as second language, and both languages have official status. Linguistic tensions remain, and the language laws of the municipalities surrounding Brussels are an issue of considerable controversy in the Netherlands. Groß-Deutschland

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