Skip to main content


Me in front of the Palais de Bruxelles

Paris is nice, but Brussels…what a city. On a trip that is part of the EU Studies program, we skipped French class and took a quick train ride across the border and into Belgium. Quicker and closer than our previous excursion to Strasbourg, the purpose of our travel was to visit the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the headquarters of Politico EU, and Euralia, a consultancy firm specialized in European and French public affairs. Brussels is a beautiful city. I spent less than two full days. People tend to enjoy places they only experience for brief moments of time, maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much. Regardless, it is impossible to deny the beauty of places such as the Grand Place, the Parc de Bruxelles, the Palais Royal de Bruxelles, and my favorite, the city’s public transportation system. I look back at my time in Peru a couple of months ago and I wonder if such a beautiful and organized city as Brussels could ever be possible with Lima, the capital of Peru. I find it very difficult. Lima as the city it is today is not that old. With the migration of thousands of Peruvians from the countryside  during the second half of the 20th century, Lima grew out of necessity and in an unplanned manner. The same city that was designed for no more than 1 million people today holds 11 million and is nearly unrecognizable. A couple weekends ago as some students and I wandered around the Latin Quarter of Paris with one of the French professors we learned about George-Eugènes Haussmann. Prefect of the Seine, appointed by Napoleon III, he was responsible for the renovation of Paris, demolishing old medieval parts of the city and introducing modern city designs and infrastructure such as wider streets, a system of parks, and a proper sewage system. Haussmann is responsible for the Paris we know today. Maybe all Lima needs is its own Haussmann. However, something tells me that not even Haussmann could transform Lima into a city as beautiful as Brussels. After all Brussels has been around for quite the time now, is not overpopulated, and is essentially the capital of the European Union.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *