Cassandre Borg

Written by Cassandre Borg

Modified & Updated: 03 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


The Atomium, an iconic landmark located in Brussels, Belgium, is not only visually striking but also holds a wealth of surprising facts and historical significance. This magnificent structure, resembling an enlarged iron crystal, was originally built for the 1958 Brussels World Expo and has since become a symbol of Belgian innovation and design.

In this article, we will delve into 14 fascinating facts about the Atomium that are sure to pique your interest. From its unique architectural design to its role as a cultural and scientific hub, this landmark offers a captivating blend of history, science, and art. So, get ready to explore the intriguing world of the Atomium and discover why it continues to be a must-visit attraction for locals and tourists alike.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Atomium in Brussels is a modern marvel symbolizing unity and progress. Its interconnected spheres offer panoramic views and unique exhibitions, making it a must-see cultural destination.
  • The Atomium, with its 14 surprising facts, represents the Atomium Age and serves as a reminder of humanity’s quest for new discoveries and a brighter future.
Table of Contents

An Iconic Symbol of Brussels

The Atomium is a renowned landmark and symbol of Brussels, Belgium. It was designed for the 1958 World Expo held in Brussels and has since become an iconic structure representing the city.

A Marvel of Modern Architecture

The Atomium is a striking example of modernist architecture. It was designed by engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak. Its unique design features nine connected spheres, representing an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times.

Unforgettable Height and Dimensions

The Atomium stands at an impressive height of 102 meters (335 feet). The central sphere, which houses various exhibitions, has a diameter of 18 meters (59 feet). Each of the nine spheres has a diameter of 18 meters as well.

Symbolizing the Atomic Age

The Atomium was built as a symbol of the Atomium Age, a time of scientific progress and discovery. Each sphere represents an atom of iron, and the interconnected tubes represent the bonds between these atoms.

An Enchanting Panoramic View

Visitors to the Atomium can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of Brussels from the top sphere. The observation deck offers stunning vistas of the city, providing visitors with a unique perspective.

Original Illumination

Originally, the Atomium was illuminated by 2,400 light bulbs, which created a stunning visual spectacle. Today, the lighting system has been upgraded, and the structure is illuminated by over 3,000 LED lights, transforming it into a dazzling display at night.

Interconnected Spheres

The spheres of the Atomium are interconnected by escalators, allowing visitors to explore the different exhibition spaces within each sphere. Each sphere has a different theme, covering topics such as science, history, and art.

A Symbol of Unity

The Atomium represents the unification of Europe and the nine spheres symbolize the nine founding member states of the European Union. It serves as a reminder of the importance of unity and collaboration among nations.

Ancient Atomium: The Original Structure

Originally built as a temporary structure for the World Expo, the Atomium’s popularity led to its preservation. In 2004, a major renovation took place, ensuring its longevity as a significant landmark.

An International Landmark

The Atomium has attracted millions of visitors since its opening in It has become an internationally recognized symbol of Belgium and a must-visit attraction for tourists from around the world.

Star of the Silver Screen

The Atomium has been featured in numerous movies and television shows. Its futuristic design and iconic status make it a popular choice for filmmakers seeking to capture its unique allure.

Special Events and Exhibitions

The Atomium hosts various special events, exhibitions, and temporary installations throughout the year. From art installations to scientific exhibits, there is always something new and exciting happening within its spheres.

A Monument for Progress

The Atomium stands as a symbol of progress, innovation, and technological advancement. It serves as a constant reminder of humanity’s quest for new discoveries and a brighter future.

The Atomium Today

Today, the Atomium is not only a landmark but also a cultural center and museum. It offers visitors a unique blend of history, art, science, and architecture, making it a must-see destination for those visiting Brussels.

Discovering the 14 surprising facts about the Atomium showcases its significance as a modern architectural masterpiece and a symbol of unity and progress. Whether you explore its interconnected spheres, marvel at its panoramic views, or attend special exhibitions, the Atomium offers an unforgettable experience that captures the very essence of Brussels and its rich history.


The Atomium is truly a fascinating and iconic landmark that has captivated visitors for decades. From its unique architectural design to its symbolic representation of scientific progress, the Atomium offers a glimpse into the world of atoms and molecules. Exploring its various spheres and exhibitions allows visitors to delve deeper into the mysteries of science and gain a greater appreciation for the advancements made in the field.

Whether you’re a science enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a unique experience, the Atomium is a must-visit destination. Its rich history, intriguing design, and stunning views make it a top attraction in Brussels. So, the next time you find yourself in the Belgian capital, don’t miss the opportunity to marvel at the Atomium and uncover the surprising facts behind this architectural marvel.


1. When was the Atomium built?

The Atomium was built in 1958 for the Universal Exposition held in Brussels.

2. How tall is the Atomium?

The Atomium stands at a height of 102 meters (335 feet).

3. Can visitors go inside the Atomium?

Yes, visitors can explore the various spheres of the Atomium, which house exhibitions and offer stunning panoramic views of Brussels.

4. What does the Atomium symbolize?

The Atomium symbolizes the peaceful use of atomic energy and the scientific progress made in the atomic age.

5. How many spheres does the Atomium have?

The Atomium has nine spheres, each connected by escalators and elevators.

6. Is the Atomium accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, the Atomium is accessible for people with disabilities, with ramps and elevators available for easier navigation.

7. Are there any restaurants or cafes inside the Atomium?

Yes, there are restaurants and cafes located within the Atomium, offering a variety of dining options.

8. How long does it take to visit the Atomium?

On average, visitors spend about 1-2 hours exploring the Atomium and its exhibitions.

9. Can tickets be purchased in advance?

Yes, tickets to the Atomium can be purchased in advance online, allowing for a smoother entry on the day of the visit.

10. Is photography allowed inside the Atomium?

Yes, photography is allowed inside the Atomium, except in certain temporary exhibitions where photography is restricted.

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