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More about the Atomium

The Atomium is a beacon in the Brussels skyline, a monumental structure halfway between sculpture and architecture. The building was designed and built for the Brussels World's Fair (1958), of which it was the flagship and emblematic building. Sixty-six years after its inauguration, the Atomium conserves its resolutely futuristic appearance.

The Atomium is shaped like a pointed cube and represents an iron crystal element enlarged 165 billion times. It was given this shape in honour of "science", whose achievements were at the heart of the 1958 Brussels World's Fair.

The Atomium was designed by engineer André Waterkeyn and built by architects André and Jean Polak. The Atomium was not intended to survive beyond the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, but its popularity and success quickly made it a major feature of the landscape, first in Brussels, then nationally and finally internationally. It was revived in 2006 and today remains Brussels' most popular tourist attraction, offering one of the best views of the capital of Europe.

The Atomium in figures

  • Spheres: 9, corresponding to the nine atoms that make up the elementary iron crystal
  • Diameter of the spheres: 18m
  • Weight of the spheres: approximately 250 tonnes
  • Distance between spheres: 29m
  • Tubes: 20
  • Tube diameter: 3.30m
  • Height: 102m
  • Diameter of the base pavilion: 26m
  • Mass: 2,400 tons when built in 1958 (2,500 following restoration in 2006)

Source: www.atomium.be

© FOD Kanselarij van de Eerste Minister

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