Atomium – What exactly is it?

If you are driving around the Heysel Plateau in Brussels, you might come across a strange structure. It has large round capsules connected by rods or pipes. This is in fact a structure known as the Atomium and the description even though crude, is exactly how it comes across to an average citizen who does not know what it or its significance.

The Atomium was built in 1958 when the World fair took place in Brussels. It is 102 m tall. It is an enlarged version of an Iron crystal. The nine round spheres are made of stainless steel and connected to each other with tubes to hold the structure together. The 1950’s was an age of great discoveries and Hence something that represents science made a perfect choice to welcome the people to the mega even in Brussels in the year 1958 resulting in the decision to choose the design for the Atomium.

Out of the nine spheres in the structure, five are habitable having exhibition halls and other public spaces. The top sphere has a restaurant with a panoramic view of Brussels city. Interestingly, the Atomium was not meant as a permanent structure and was supposed to be removed after the World Expo. However, people felt that it somehow added to the charm of the Brussels landscape and hence it was decided to let it remain as a permanent structure. Today, thousands of tourists from all over the world visit the Atomium, making it one of the must visit spots in Brussels.

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