|Legend has it that St. Gery, Bishop of Cambrai and Arras built a chapel on one of the islands in the swampy Senne River in AD 695. By 1100 Brussels had its first fortified wall. Under the Habsburgs, the town flourished, becoming capital of the Spanish Netherlands. In the nineteenth century it became the capital of newly independent Belgium. After WWII, Brussels developed unchecked, first becoming the headquarters of NATO and later EU. Bruges, one of the most perfectly preserved medieval cities in Europe, escaping damage in both world wars to emerge as the most popular tourist destination in Belgium.