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Grand Place intro

Grand place-Town hall and
anecdotes

Grand Place, guild houses, sheer beauty

From Grand Place to Manneken Pis

Ilot sacré-Galerie St.Hubert-Cathedral Ste Gudule

Opera-Hotel Metropole-Comic strip museum

Belgian Comic Strip history, pioneer of this art.

Sablon antique market, petit Sablon, palais de Justice

Marolles-genuine, flea market-Porte Louise 

Brussels, European capital of Art Nouveau


Brussels


Main Belgium page

Main Brussels page

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Belgian beer

Brussels in a nutshell

Belgian fries and pralines

Brussels, the city I love! 

Brussels, European capital of Art Nouveau

Restaurants (updated Feb 2004)

Cafes-Jazz

Grand Place-Guild houses-Sheer beauty

Continuing our tour around the Grand Place, we see at the angle of the rue Charles Buls a bronze statue representing Everard ‘t Serclaes in lying position.

Rub his arm !!

He was executed because he led the revolt in 1356 against the Count of Flanders. It is a long time tradition to touch, or rub the arm of the statue and make a wish. You’ll notice how the arm is worn out….Tradition says that the Brussels people besieged the castle where the assassins of ‘t Serclaes fled to take revenge for their murdered companion. As they expected the siege to last for a while they bought tons of chickens with them. It’s therefore that the nickname for” Brusseleers” is “Kiekefretters”, Brussels slang for chicken eaters. Grand Place no.8, “L’ETOILE” (1695) is the smallest house of the square. Under its arcade notice a beautiful Art Nouveau bas-relief dedicated to Charles Buls and other architects of the Grand Place. It’s neighbour, no.9, “LE CYGNE” (1698) was a private house before becoming in 1720 the Butcher’s guild house.
It’s today a high standard restaurant, very expensive and not justified IMHO. It used to be a meeting place for Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels who discussed and wrote their “Manifest of the Communist party” there.
At no.10, “L’ARBRE D’OR “(Golden tree)(1698), guild hose of the brewers, decorated with eloquent sculptures houses the MUSEE DE LA BIERE (Beer Museum), Open every day from 10.00 to 17.00 and where a café of the 18th century is reconstituted with a back room showing the techniques of contemporary brewing. Interactive spots where you can explore the Belgian beer world and as a supreme bonus to your visit…a free beer at the exit.
Nos.10 and 11 are respectively the “MAISON LA ROSE” (1702) and “MONT TABOR”(1699) have never been guild house but private homes. We arrive at the southern side of the Grand Place. From nos.13 to 19 it shows the “MAISONS DES DUCS DE BRABANT (1698), six corporative houses reunited to form a palace. Italo-Flemish style, the façade is enhanced by 19 busts of different dukes and duchesses, and 18 carat golden leaves decorated pilasters. Bas-reliefs ornate every door. Try to find out which corporation they represent. Notice that a “MUSEE DU CHOCOLAT opened recently at no.13. Nothing very special for the moment. From nos.20 to 23 only private homes. But at no.25 “”LA CHALOUPE D’OR” (1697), former tailors guild house, became a superb tavern.  A bust of Sainte-Barbe, patron of the tailors, still ornate the front, and Saint-Boniface, on the roof, blesses the tourists. Look at him with attention: yes…...a very important piece of his clothes is missing. But the best blessing is if you enter the “Godiva chocolate” shop just next to the tavern. It’s now a “cavern “of Ali-Baba!:-U
Victor Hugo once lived at no. 26-27 “LE PIGEON”, old painter’s guild house.
We are now at the MAISON DU ROI nos 29-33, late gothic style from the beginning of 16th century.
But that, plus an anecdote about the Grand Place, will be for next essay.

 

Bibliography

“Guide illustré de Bruxelles “by D.des Marez (Brussels 1979), « Gids » voor Vlaanderen (Vlaamse Toeristenbond), “Brussel, groei van een hoofdstad, by Jean Stengers (Antwerp, 1979), Guides du Routard (ed.Hachette 1979)”Vlaanderen’s roem”, by Guido Peeters (Brussels 1975), “Bruxelles au Moyen Age, by A. Joris ( Paris 1987)