Grand Place of Brussels

Grand Place of Brussels

The Grand Place is the most famous, lively and photographed place in Brussels. With dozens of famous buildings, it is one of the most beautiful architectural complexes in Europe.

The Grand Place (Grote Markt in flamenco, Gran Plaza in Spanish) is the geographical, historical and commercial heart of Brussels, as well as one of the most notable squares in Europe. This lively, cobbled square is part of the most beautiful 17th-century architectural ensemble in Belgium.

The Grand Place in Brussels is one of the most impressive places in Belgium. Ancient and majestic, it suddenly appears when entering through some of the streets that surround it (the best is Rue des Harengs), boasting imposing buildings; It is not surprising that this symbol of old Europe has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

In the year 1695 the cannons of the French army destroyed a large part of the buildings in the square and all had to be rebuilt later, except the City Hall.

Stunning buildings

The Grand Place is composed of an impressive architectural ensemble that makes visitors not know where to look.
These are some of the most photographed buildings because of their importance and beauty:

Hotel de Ville: Located to the southwest of the square, the Town Hall is the most important and oldest architectural jewel of the square. The building, dating from 1459, features a 96-meter-high tower topped with a statue of Saint Michael, and a roof perforated with dozens of chandeliers. You can do guided tours but with a very reduced schedule, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the afternoon, in Dutch (1:45 pm), in French (2:30 pm) and in English (3:15 pm).

Maison du Roi: The King’s House was built in 1536 and had to be renovated in 1873. For many years it was the residence of the reigning monarchs, but nowadays it houses the City Museum (Musée de la Ville ), in which sixteenth-century paintings, some tapestries, and the small costumes that are part of the Manneken Pis wardrobe are exhibited.

Maison des Ducs de Brabant: Between the numbers 14 and 19 of the square, is this neoclassical set of buildings with flamenco roots formed by six guild houses.

Le Pigeon: In the numbers 26 and 27 of the square is LePigeon, housing in which the French novelist Victor Hugo stayed during his exile in Belgium, in the year 1852.

Le Renard, Le Cornet and Le Roy d’Espagne: In the same building you can find the Le Renard guild halls (the fox) dating from 1690, and Le Cornet, from 1697. Le Roy d’Espagne is the most famous bar from the Grand Place because, apart from beer, it offers privileged views from its terrace. In its facade it has a bust of Carlos II of Spain, sovereign of Belgium in century XVII.
To the left of the Town Hall there is a statue made in bronze which is said to give good luck to touch the arm. This is the statue of Everad’t Serclaes, executed in the fourteenth century while defending Brussels.

The Grand Place today

For decades the Grand Place has often hosted cultural and festive events, the most colorful takes place in August (every two years), when an immense carpet of flowers covers the center of the square. To get good views of it, we can have a drink on the terrace of Le Roy d’Espagne café.
Also, on the mornings of Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays a flower market is organized in the square. In its origin, in fact, the square was a market: hence in flamenco it is known as the Grote Markt.

The best place in Brussels

The Grand Place is the heart of Brussels and the busiest place in the city. Sitting down to taste a Belgian beer surrounded by so much history and in the midst of the continuous coming and going of tourists and locals is priceless. Also, this place is relatively other than as attractive as Paris.
In the center of Brussels.

Metro: Bourse, lines 3 and 4.
Tram: Bourse, lines 31, 32 and 33.
Bus: Bourse, lines 48 and 95; Gare Centrale, lines 38, 65, 71 and 86.

Nearby places
Museum of the City of Brussels (31 m)
Saint Hubert Galleries (206 m)
Jeanneke Pis (223 m)
Manneken Pis (265 m)
Brussels Cathedral (505 m)

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