In 1958, Brussels was home to the first World's Fair Exposition to come after World War II. The event was super-saturated with post-war optimism and futurist ideas, and despite that more than fifty years has past since the Fair took place, those ideas can still be seen as embodied by the Atomium; a 335-foot tall structure inspired by the iron atom. Consisting of eight enormous steel spheres joined by sixteen tubes, the Atomium dominates the landscape like an alien spaceship. Each sphere is nearly sixty feet across and they house exhibit halls and (at one time) a restaurant. Sadly, due to safety concerns the three top-most spheres are off limits to the general public.
The building was intended to be demolished at the completion of the fair, but it proved to be such an iconic work of architecture that it was allowed to remain. Currently, it's the most popular destination in the city and a holdover to a unique period in history.
Would you like to know more?
-Visit the official Atomium site