Saturday, June 14, 2008

Atomium - Brussels

At first glance, the Atomium looks like a candidate for the World's Largest Roadside Attractions. And why not? It puts the World's Largest Baseball Bat and the World's Largest Bicycles to shame. Yet the city fathers of Brussels would hasten to tell you that, far from being an example of kitsch, the Atomium is a lasting symbol of the 1958 Brussels World's Fair and Belgium's answer to the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. Tastes obviously differ regarding the aesthetic appeal of a giant molecule. Still, the Atomium is an impressive structure when viewed from close up. It stands 332 feet (102 meters) high and consists of nine spheres of 59 feet (18 m) diameter connected by tubes measuring 94 feet (29 m) in length and 10 feet (3 m) thick. Escalators connect the spheres, most of which contain science exhibits. An elevator (said to be Europe's fastest) leads to an observation gallery and restaurant in the topmost atom.



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