Grand Place in Brussels, Renaissance soul

Grand Place of Brussels

The Grand Place is the heart of Brussels and I would almost say the whole of Belgium. It is an authentic architectural jewel, already recognized since 1998 as part of the Heritage of Humanity, able to get an exclamation of surprise in the same moment in which tourists see her.

This square of 110 x 68 m. is one of the most beautiful in all Europe and the reason why it is worth a visit to Brussels. The Grand Place enclosed in its buildings a sample of authentic Renaissance art, with elements of flamish, gothic, neoclassical and even from italian arts. A place in which all efforts were done to decorate profusely and almost with fantasy, to compose a melody elegant of arches, facades, reliefs, and domes.

It is also a place with a good part of the belgian history because it was used as a place of beheadings in the middle of the sixteenth century. In 1695 the square was totally destroyed by the French artillery of Louis XIV, but was rebuilt in only 3 years, and among other events, great emperors such as Carlos V walked along her.

What to see in the Grand Place

In the southern side is the Hotel du Ville, the Town Hall of the city, one of the most important gothic monuments of Belgium. Initiated in the year 1402 by Jacob van Thienen, it was not until 1449 when Jan van Ruysbroeck began to build up his famous bell tower, called the Tour inimitable, with 96 meters of height. But if it’s spectacular outside, inside is better. On the first floor is the Hall of the Council where there is a sample of the tapestries that tells us the story of the city. Throughout his journey, the room of Maximilian and the gallery of the sovereigns or the Gothic Room, we can admire tapestries and paintings.

Town Hall of Brussels by night

Town Hall of Brussels by night

To the left of the Town Hall we have, in the number 8, La Maison de l’Etoile where you will find the monument to the hero that liberated to Brussels of the occupation troops of the Count of Flanders.

In the Number 10 is the Maison de l’arbre d’Or, in which is the Museum of the Beer.

The east side of the Grand Place is occupated by the Palace of the Dukes of Brabant, erected by G. de Bruyn in 1698. Seven separate buildings but whose common façade is Neoclassical in style.

On the north side of the Grand Place, opposite the Town Hall, is La Maison du Roi, a beautiful palace of late gothic style brabantine with double gallery, and in whose first floor there is a richly decorated balconies, and in whose center was a fine belfry. It was initially built as a market of bread, but in 1515 was renewed by Keldermans the young under the orders of Charles V. Today it is the Museum of the city of Brussels.

Maison du Roi

Maison du Roi

The west side of the square is perhaps the most striking and picturesque. It is characterized by the various locals with tables where you can enjoy a good snack, but the buildings in which they are located are another patchwork of differents styles.

The number 1 and 2 houses the Maison des Boulangers built in 1867 and decorated with a bust of King Carlos II of Spain. The number 3 is the Maison de la Brouette of 1644, the number 4 is the Maison du Sac of the guild of the carpenters and the number 5 the Maison of the Louve where you can admire a relief of the Capitoline She-wolf and Romulus and Remus.

More information about the city: tourism in Brussels

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