The Atomium is an international tourist attraction. This unique piece of architecture, created on the occasion of the World Fair of Brussels in 1958, became the most popular monument of the capital of Europe.

The External site Atomium was created by the engineer André Waterkeyn on the occasion of the World Fair of Brussels in 1958. Its original structure symbolizes an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times.

Atomium in figures and records

The Atomium is established by 9 spheres (1 sphere on each of the 8 tops and 1 in the centre). These 9 spheres are connected by 20 tubes, the whole resting on 3 pillars.

  • total height: 102m
  • diameter of spheres: 18m
  • diameter of tubes: 3m30
  • total mass (in 1958): 2.400 tons

And a series of records:

  • In 1958, due to its height, the Atomium is ranked the 6th largest built metal structure in the world.
  • In 1958, it had the fastest lift in Europe. It could carry 500 people an hour at a speed of 5 metres per second (18 km/h).
  • In 1958, the escalators were among the fastest in Europe. The longest measures 35 metres and could carry 3000 people per hour.


Five spheres of the Atomium are open to the public today. The basic sphere is dedicated to the External site permanent exhibition that explains the birth of the Atomium and the World Fair of 1958. Another sphere welcomes temporary exhibitions. Finally, the highest sphere hosts a restaurant and a great viewpoint over Brussels.

Design Museum Brussels (ADAM)

Launched in the wake of the purchase by the Atomium of the collection of the Plasticarium in December 2014, the External site Design Museum Brussels adopts an innovative and surprising perspective on plastic design from the 1950s until today but also on other forms of design. Through its exhibitions, guided tours, workshops, conferences and discussions, the Design Museum Brussels seeks to render historic and contemporary design intelligible to all.




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