Monday, April 21, 2008

Jake took these beautiful pictures of the Atomium. We visited the park right outside and we will go inside the Atomium on our next visit. We visited Mini Europe which is close by (I think it's about a block away) Dick, Jake and the boys went to the professional Soccer game close by also.

Golden Anniversary for Belgium’s Atomium

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Published: April 18, 2008

With fireworks, concerts, exhibitions and screenings of vintage films, Belgium celebrated on Thursday the golden anniversary of the Atomium, an aluminum and steel sphere that represents an iron atom magnified 165 billion times, The Associated Press reported. Planned, like the Eiffel Tower and the London Eye, as a temporary attraction, the Atomium was built for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair, which attracted 42 million visitors in six months. It became a landmark of the city, but by 2000 the structure — composed of nine huge aluminum-clad spheres linked by steel tubes — was attracting only 120,000 visitors annually. But after a two-year, $43 million renovation in 2006, it drew one million visitors in 18 months. It includes a permanent exhibition devoted to the 1950s, temporary art shows and a restaurant 335 feet above the ground, where spectacular views are offered, along with Ostend oysters and the chicken dish known as Mechelen cuckoo.