Brussels has two official languages: French and Flemish. All street names are bilingual. However, the region is largely (about 90%) French-speaking, a trend increasing as the grip of the EU tightens. Commuters increase the percentage of Flemish speakers during the day, but in the evening, the city settles down to speak French.
English is increasingly becoming the accepted language for business, not only because of multinationals or the presence of ex-pats, but simply because it is a neutral language. Some signposts even appear in Latin.
The main tourist attraction of the city of Brussels and its central tourist poist is a square called Grand Place (Big Square). It's not so big at least in comparison to say St. Mark Square in Venice or Market Square in Krakow, Poland - the biggest mediaeval square in Europe.
But the old, renovated houses around Grand Place looked really amazing either at daytime and at night when the square was heavy lighted. It was a paradise for old architecture lovers! And for those who like watching people :-) Grand Place :-)
BRUSSELS' TOWN HALL = A MUSEUM.....
This H?TEL DE VILLE IS a MASTERPIECE of Gothic civil architecture from the 15th Century.
The BRUSSELS TOWN HALL is also famous for the richness of its INTERIOR.
Paintings, sculptures and tapestries evoke locan and national HISTORY in one of the most sumptuous environments in the country (BELGIUM)
INFORMATION AND GUIDED TOURS ON RESERVATION!
tel. +32 2 279 43 50
It is situated at de GROTE MARKT in the very city centre.
Visiting this wonderful page will brighten your day......it is an emersion in times-long-gone and after that feast you leave the building to step into the sunshine and nowadays BRUSSEL......
L'Eglise Sainte-Marie affiche un style insolite, romano-byzantin avec influence gothique. Oeuvre de l'architecte Louis Van Overstraeten, elle est une des plus importantes églises de Belgique érigées au XIXème siècle, perpétuellement en rénovation.
The church Sainte-Marie displays an unusual style, Roman-Byzantine with Gothic influence. Work of architect Louis Van Overstraeten, it is one of the most important churches of Belgium erected in the XIXth century, perpetually in renovation.
This is Brussels, as end of year gets closer...
Early December, the city gradually dives in the jolly atmosphere of year end celebrations.
Streets are adorned, Grand-Place has this dramatic ambience as the buildings (mainly the City hall) is steadily lit in blue, red, green neon lights. Find there the Christmas tree also. Some other buildings are neon-light lit too.
The cows on Grand-Place (neon-lit as well) are reported to leave the country this year. It seems it is the last Christmas you'd see them on here.
For once, I chose another spot to highlight on my pictures when it comes to show Brussels at Christmas period: Place Sainte- Catherine area... - Place Ste- Catherine and March? aux poissons. Places to walk in the dark. Nice in daylight but it has a whole dramatic touch at night.
As for Christmas market, different shots for the two markets:
*March? aux Poissons (Fish Market): shot on December 5, 2003, the start of the annual Xmas market as Brussels gets ready to feast for a month.
*Place Ste Catherine
Shot December 10, 2003. My favourite carrousel is there (Man?ge d'Andr?a). It grants you with another look at the Christmas market on March? aux poissons.
Many more people expected around the weekend. Appropriate music, with special performances by folk groups during the weekends. This 2003 edition, as usual, is the biggest in Belgium with 220 wooden chalets located around the la Bourse (Stock exchange), Place Sainte Catherine and March? aux Poissons.
Also, carrousels there, ice-skating rink to entertain the kids and big kids. Go there for the Xmas market. Not only for the artcrafts (local and foreign, like Laotian silk, love at first sight!!) but more ranges that would suit everyone's taste and budget. This year's theme is "European traditions".. plus the food, boudin de Noel (special Christmas black pudding), waffle and even Vietnamese food.. And Gluhwein, of course!
For 2003, Christmas market till Jan. 2004
- Eglise Ste- Catherine in Blue and pink light.
A nice Vter who went to Koln Christmas market, on 25 Dec. 2003, regretted her trip while I was showing her Brussels Christmas market on Dec. 30 afternoon. She told me she wouldn't have gone that far since this one surprised and pleased her more. I know where to spot her on dec. 31, with her family. yessss! she is returning there.. to try those European specialties? the jenever? hot chocolate? some churros? Belgian fries? .. or would they "upgrade" to heavier Tartifflette and chiffonade? and some winter hut food? or oysters maybe? I know she loves oysters... me too... hehe :)
Metro M station: Ste-Catherine