Place Royale, late 19th century The square itself is built on the former site of the Baliënplein, which was the main market square adjacent to the former palace of Coudenberg. The palace burned down, however, during a fire that took much of the original royal complex on the night of February 3, 1731.
The Atomium was built as the main pavilion and icon of the 1958 World Fair of Brussels. The construction of the Atomium was a technical feat. Of the nine spheres, six are accessible to the public, each with two main floors and a lower floor reserved for service.