The Atomium: a must see, is it?

The Atomium – part of Brussels’ landscape – a fantastic piece of engineering or an eyesore?


The Atomium was built for the World Fair held in Brussels in 1958 known as Expo 58. The fair was organised post-war to promote the world’s technological and scientific advances, to look towards a better future and to encourage world peace.

Expo 58 was visited by over 6 million people, including Ms Elizabeth Taylor.

I think I would have liked to visit Expo 58. It sounds like an amazing event with spectacular buildings and events but sadly it was dismantled. The Atomium, the icon of the event remains. It was designed to represent an enlarged elementary Iron crystal. From inside, you get a close look at the balls which are 18 m wide as you travel the 102m between the balls and tubes to reach the top for a panoramic view.

We shuffled about the big balls to make our way to the top. The exhibitions inside were nothing to write home about.

The way up

When we reached to last ball in the exhibition, we discovered that you cannot reach the top ball through the tubes.

The way down

We travelled back down and took a very fast lift to the top from where we could see very little, well there was Mini Europe.


Mini Europe

Can you see the Eiffel Tour? Big Ben?

Was it worth it? Yes. I am glad we went. We can tick that off our tourist to-do list. The view was not spectacular as the sky was grey and cloudy. I advise that if you do decide to visit to Atomium – go when the weather is good.

On our way home, I spied this little graffiti of Expo 58


In need of a little bit of repair work.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Diederik Kramers says:

    The Atomium museum used to show footage of Marilyn Monroe visiting the Expo 58 construction site, as she was leaning over a model of the Atomium…. (dunno if it’s still on display: may have been removed because of blatant sexism)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Diederik Kramers says:

    For la petite histoire: a famous mock news report on RTBF tv some years ago (on Flanders breaking off from the Kingdom of Belgium, creating a real panic among francophone viewers) divulged that there was a secret, 10th Atomium ball underground reserved for ultra-secret government crisis meetings….

    Liked by 1 person

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