Brussels is the capital and largest city of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union. The city is officially bilingual: Dutch and French. Brussels has grown from a 10th-century fortress town founded by Charles (953–993), Duke of Lower Lorraine, to a sizeable city. Although historically (since the Counter-Reformation persecution and expulsion of Protestants by the Spanish in the 16th century) Roman Catholic, most people in Brussels are non-practising. People of foreign origin make up nearly 70% of the population of the city. Brussels is known for its local waffle, its chocolate, its French fries and its numerous types of beers. The Brussels Metro dates back to 1976, but underground lines known as premetro have been serviced by tramways since 1968. A comprehensive bus and tram network also covers the city.

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