(German: Bruch, marsh; Latin: selle, seat)
Capital of Belgium.
Its foundation is traditionally attributed to Saint Gery, Bishop of Cambrai, in the 6th century.
In the 8th century it was the residence of the Frankish kings, and from the l0th century belonged to the Dukes of Lower Lorraine and Brabant.
Duke Charles of Lorraine brought to Brussels the relics of Saint Gudule (979) who has since then been the patroness of the city.
In 1386 it became the capital of Brabant; under Charles V the capital of the Low Countries; and under Philip II the center of opposition to the Spanish rule.
It was ceded to Austria in 1714, taken by the French, 1794, became part of the Netherlands in 1815, and in 1830 was the scene of a revolutionary outbreak which resulted in the establishment of the Kingdom of Belgium.
During the World War it was occupied by the Germans.
Among the buildings of Catholic interest are the churches of Saint Gudule, Notre Dame du Sablon, Notre Dame de la Chapelle, and Saint Jacques sur Caudenberg.
The Jesuit College of Saint Michel is the seat of the publication of the by the Bollandists, and there are now kept the library and archives of the enterprise.
A statue of Saint Michael, also a patron of Brussels, surmounts the Hotel de Ville.
It is included in the Archdiocese of Mechlin.
New Catholic Dictionary