Saint Michael and Saint Gudula Cathedral, Brussels

50° 50' 52" NB , 4° 21' 33" OL

Brussels, the Capital of Peregrine Falcons!

A pair of Peregrine Falcons have established their nest in the heart of Brussels, on one of the towers of St. Michael and St. Gudula's Cathedral, a stone's throw from the famous Grand Place! This inescapable monument of the Belgian Capital has been a home to these birds of prey since 2004. It is unheard of in Brussels' living memory! The bird had completely disappeared from Belgium, and most of Europe, hunted by poachers and poisoned by pesticides. It has returned to nest in the heart of the city, in among the people. And it has been so well received that there are now no fewer than 12 pairs in the city. What a symbol!

Boasting exceptional cultural heritage and a multicultural fabric, Brussels is made up of various neighbourhoods where even falcons have made a home. In addition to chocolate, beer or even the Grand Place, these peregrine falcons offer tourists and passers-by a taster of spring in Brussels. The arrival of young falcons is expected each year, symbolising the return of good weather to the capital. Come and discover them in April and May at the Observation Post set up in the square of the Cathedral. You will be welcomed by two ornithologists who will tell you in detail about the natural history of these fabulous birds, and show you the intimacy of the nest thanks to a system of cameras positioned a few centimetres from the young falcons. You can even observe and take photographs of the parent falcons, thanks to a powerful telescope. Back at home, you can continue to follow the falcons, by connecting to the streaming cameras which broadcast continuous images in HD during the nesting period. What a show!

Come and visit the historic heart of Brussels with its boutiques, diverse shops, bars, brasseries, not forgetting the inescapable Manneken Pis who will undoubtedly appear smaller than what you had imagined. Visiting on foot, or by bus or tram, you can discover other pleasant neighbourhoods in Brussels, including Sablon, the Royal Palace and the Marolles quarter. To the north, the famous Atomium offers a breathtaking view of the city and unforgettable memories of your Brussels experience.

See you soon.

Philippe Close,

Mayor of the City of Brussels