Preface
Brussels holds a unique place in European municipal history stemming, first and foremost, from its physical location. A relative latecomer among western European capitals, the city began as a military outpost situated in Europe's northwestern lowlands, a region that has long served as a crossroads of commerce, culture, and conflict. Drawing on its strategic site, the city grew economically wealthy and politically prominent, and its geography has endowed it with a history that has made the Belgian capital truly western Europe's most "European" city. The banners of every major regional power—Roman, Carolingian, Bur-gundian, Spanish, Austrian, French, English, Dutch, and German— have flown here.
In addition, its location at a place where borders meet, in straddling the linguistic frontier dividing the Germanic tongues from the Latin, has made Brussels a natural venue for communication and exchange. Immigrants, emigres, and expatriots have, over time, blended with, and added to, the local cultural mélange; and, while tensions, most famously between French speakers and Dutch speakers, have simmered here, they have never boiled over into civic lawlessness.
Ruled for centuries by foreign overlords and exposed to continuing inflows of outsider influences, the city has long been a remarkably diverse place, where a tolerant cosmopolitanism and an openness to the wider world, acquired by necessity, are defining features. As such, Brussels has hosted more world's fairs than any other city of its size, and, as a favored site for international conferences, congresses, companies, and agencies for over a century and a half, its status as the headquarters city for the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and a host of other multinational bodies is a logical one.
At the same time, a hearty individualism and a defiant stubbornness in defense of local liberties are hallmarks of its inhabitants. The urge to
secure rights to self-government runs as a central theme throughout the city's history, its chronology peppered with recurrent riots, rebellions, and revolutions by residents resilient and resolute in preserving and promoting their autonomy. The last quarter of the last century has witnessed events that run true to the historical form. The creation of the Brussels Capital Region within a federal Belgium, the product of evolving demands and realities, has, in turn, given rise to new challenges that its citizens, long practiced in the arts of both accommodation and confrontation, are well prepared to meet.
Dutch rather than Flemish is used in this book in reference to the language since standard Dutch is the official language in use in Belgium. Entry titles are given, where applicable, in both French and Dutch. French titles appear first in deference to the fact that French is the majority language of residents of the Brussels Capital Region. Within the text, French names are used in the interest of conserving space. The names of monarchs of Belgium are given in English for reasons of linguistic impartiality.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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  • préface — [ prefas ] n. f. • prefaice fin XIIe; lat. præfatio, de præfari « dire d avance » 1 ♦ Texte placé en tête d un livre qui est de l auteur ou d une autre personne, et qui sert à le présenter au lecteur. ⇒ avant propos, avertissement, avis,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Preface — • The first part of the Eucharistic prayers in all rites Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Preface     Preface     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • preface — PREFACE. s. f. Avant propos, discours preliminaire que l on met ordinairement à la teste d un livre pour preparer le lecteur. Grande, longue preface. belle preface. preface ennuyeuse. faire une preface. l Autheur a mis une excellente preface à la …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • preface — PREFÁCE, prefác, vb. III. 1. tranz. şi refl. A da sau a lua o formă nouă, un conţinut nou; a (se) transforma, a (se) modifica, a (se) schimba, a (se) preschimba. 2. tranz. A repara, a reface un obiect, schimbându i (parţial sau total) aspectul,… …   Dicționar Român

  • Preface — Préface Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Preface — Pref ace, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Prefaced}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Prefacing}.] To introduce by a preface; to give a preface to; as, to preface a book discourse. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Preface — Pref ace (?; 48), n. [F. pr[ e]face; cf. Sp. prefacio, prefacion, It. prefazio, prefazione; all fr. L. praefatio, fr. praefari to speak or say beforehand; prae before + fari, fatus, to speak. See {Fate}.] 1. Something spoken as introductory to a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • preface — Preface, et prologue d un livre, Propos preparatif de ce que nous voulons dire puis apres, Prologus, Praefatio, Exordium. Celuy qui recite la preface és comedies, Prologus. Faire une preface, un preambule, ou une entrée de plaidoirie, Exordium… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • preface — ► NOUN 1) an introduction to a book, stating its subject, scope, or aims. 2) the preliminary part of a speech. ► VERB 1) provide with a preface. 2) (preface with/by) begin (a speech or event) with or by doing something. DERIVATIVES …   English terms dictionary

  • preface — [pref′is] n. [ME prefas < MFr < ML prefatia, for L praefatio < prae , before (see PRE ) + fatus, pp. of fari, to speak: see FAME] 1. [usually P ] R.C.Ch. the introduction to the Canon of the Mass, ending with the Sanctus 2. an… …   English World dictionary

  • Preface — Pref ace, v. i. To make a preface. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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