Grand Place - Grote Markt, Brussels
The central market square in Brussels, the Grand Place, is one of the most beautiful town squares we ever saw.
The market square has a beautiful set of Guild houses and is dominated by the Town Hall and the King's house.
In the 12th century Brussels had become a commercial crossroads between Bruges, Cologne, and France. English wool, French wines and German beer were sold on the market.
During the early Middle Ages there were small wooden houses around the market, from the 14th century the rich and powerful patrician families built stone mansions here. The market turned into the main commercial and administrative centre of the city.
In 1402 the construction of the town hall started (completed around 1455).
The square had also become the political centre where meetings were held, executions took place and royals where officially received.
In the following centuries most wooden houses where replaced by decorated stone ones, mostly owned by the Brussels guilds.
On August the 13th 1695, the prestigious square was bombed to ruins by order of Louis XIV of France. He destroyed Brussels in reprisal of a lost battle in Namur.
Between 1695 and 1700 the guilds rebuilt all the houses. The townhall was also entirely reconstructed.
In the 18th and 19th centuries most of the houses became private property. But they must be kept as original as possible.
Of course a must see is the Grand Place, a big place full of incredible beautiful buildings and of tourist making photos of everything. A place where ... people sit on the floor to stay there for a while ... with a flower market at Sundays ... and many other things I supouse they take place. With terrace restaurants around the place and shops of suvenirs ...
Another view on the guild houses.
It is nice to know that many houses in general are known better by their short name instead of a number.Before the emperor Nappy introduced this way of governing a city - the locals gave names like "Broodhuis" - "Lakenhalle" etc.
Thank you Napoleon - we will meet at Waterloo station !!
When you walking through downtown, narrow streets open suddenly into the breathtaking Grand-Place, with its ornate guild houses, impressive Town Hall and buzzing atmosphere. Grand-Place is the most beautiful central square in Europe I have ever seen. The Grand’ Place has been at the heart of Brussels’ life since the 11th century. Having been almost totally destroyed by the French bombardment ordered by Louis XIV in 1695, it was later rebuilt in its original architectural style by various workers’ guilds. The splendid neo-Gothic and Baroque houses that surround the cobbled square (which is about the size of a football pitch) once housed the headquarters of corporations of artists, merchants and tailors.
Like any other European city Brussels also have its old town square. It won’t be the best in the world but its beauty speaks itself. Grand place has wealth of history and it is surrounded by some awesome piece of art. The square has Town hall and few splendid buildings whose history goes to sixteenth century.
The heart of Brussels and the place to start getting to know the city is the Grand Place. This historic market square with its splendid guild houses and the impressive Gothic beauty of the Town Hall, is widely considered to be one of the most beautiful town squares in Europe.
Grand Place or Grote Markt is the main market square in Brussels. Here you will find some of the most beautiful buildings of the city, like the city hall, the guild houses and King's House. And if you walk just one street further, you'll see Manneken Pis. During all kinds of special occasions, like Christmas, the square is beautiful decorated.
Anyone visiting Brussels always heads towards Grand Place after their arrival. It has been the centre point for hundred of years and it has seen so many incidents decades after decades. There are so many stories, gossips, tales and historic facts that it is a sin not to visit Grand Place whilst you are in Brussels. surrounded by Guild houses and Town Hall. It has six entrance
The "Grand-Place" is the most famous and nicest tourist attraction of Brussels... and it deserves this reputation!!!!!
According to the UNESCO (The Grand place is a world heritage) : "The Grand-Place in Brussels is a remarkably homogeneous body of public and private buildings, dating mainly from the late 17th century. The architecture provides a vivid illustration of the level of social and cultural life of the period in this important political and commercial centre"
The fame and beauty of the Market Place lies in the Town Hall but also in the presence of a remarkably beautiful set of elaborately decorated guild houses. The guilds were very wealthy and politically powerful and a very nice house on the town square where they could discuss new regulations on their specific trade was the must! Thanks to a number of architectural decisions of the town administration, the unity and harmony of style could be preserved.
For me, it is one of the most beautiful square of the world...But I am not the only one.. Baudelaire and Victor Hugo were also struck by its charm, like the many thousands tourists visiting it each year.
The square is wonderful during the day but I think that it becomes even more magic at night with all the yellow, warm lights!!! In the summer, you can also enjoy a sounds/laser show and there are also various free concerts organised... A great experience!
The heart of Brussels and the place to start exploring the city is the Grand' Place. It's the main tourist attraction of the city. You can walk around, admire the beautiful buildings, guilt houses,... or just sitt down on one of the many terraces having a good beer ;-).
In Mid-August there's a flower carpet (every 2 years) all over the market square and in winter you can ice-skate and there's a awesome Xmas tree ! :-)
From April to September there's a music and light show:
the buildings and the square are illuminated at night and they play classical music. There are 2 sessions of 15 minutes each night.
Charles Buls, Mayor of Brussels in office until 1899. He tried to restore and conserve historical monument from the single monument to the group of historic buildings including Grand Place in order to give back to the place its formerly splendour. In 1899, the architects of Brussels who had been involved in this restoration work paid for an Art Nouveau monument in honours of Buls. It has been placed in the rebuilt "L'Etoile/De Ster" house on the Grand Place.
It was getting dark when we arrived at the grand square, I still wanted to try to make some pictures of this beautiful facades.
I am told that during the summer the square is filled with flower mosaic.
When we where there they where building a huge crib surround by christmastrees.
This is the main part of Brussels to visit, and having been through it many times I still enjoy going there. It really is one of the most beautiful squares in Europe. The buildings are beautiful and so ornate. Every other summer they have a carpet of flowers there. On summer evenings a 'Son et Lumiere' and in the winters there is a skating rink and at Christmas nativity scene, Christmas Market and tree.
There are a number of cafes and bars surrounding the square along with touristy lace and chocolate shops
In the streets and alleys that surround the Grand Place, one can get the idea of the housingsituation of centuries ago. One however now-a-days has to look sharply, behind neon0lights, commercial billboards and sunscreens, flags and posters. Still, in some places the history peaks out and it's surely worth to enrich yourself with these ancient images.
Some say this is the most beautiful Grand Place in the world and... to be honest, I say too.
Big guild houses, very small ones in a mish mash of styles: Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque.
Look up to the façade. Some of the houses have wonderful golden oraments, statues or paintings which divulge the houses' names, such as "The Fox" and "The Wheelbarrow".