- By Kevin
- On Nov 6, 2017
- Travel Tips
A popular excursion is the full-day Ghent and Bruges Day Trip from Brussels,which explores the historical and cultural attractions of these beautiful UNESCO-listed cities.Best tropical vacations in&around Brussels,Brussels guides bring you into the most beautiful Brussels city.
Grand Place(Grote Markt)
Right in the heart of Brussels Old Town,the city's main plaza(known as Grand Place)is one of the best preserved in Europe.Much of the square's elegant character is due to the unique architecture of its elegant Gildehuizen(guild houses)with their magnificent gables,pilasters,and balustrades,ornately carved stonework,and rich gold decoration.Most were built between 1696 and 1700 in the Baroque style but with some Flemish influences.The history of the Grand Place dates back much earlier though.It was first established in the 11th century and evolved soon after,to become the political and economic center for the city.
The most recognisable building on the square is the Hôtel de Ville(Town Hall),built in 1402 with the intention of upstaging the Stadhuis in the rival city of Bruges.Inside are several magnificent rooms.Among the most impressive are the Maximilian Chamber hung with Brussels tapestries;the large Council Chamber with a superb ceiling by Victor Janssens and tapestries to his designs;the great banqueting hall and the Marriage Chamber,both beautifully panelled;and the Escalier d'Honneur with murals illustrating the history of Brussels.
Address:Grand Place,Central Brussels
Along the Rue de l'Etuve is Brussels'best-known landmark,the Manneken Pis,usually besieged by a throng of tourists.Although he can be traced back to at least 1388,nothing much is known about the origin of the figure of a little boy urinating,popularly referred to as"the oldest citizen of Brussels."The Manneken is,however,surrounded by various legends.According to one,the fountain is a memorial to a courageous infant who averted a conflagration,according to another,it commemorates the son of a count who succumbed to a pressing urge while taking part in a procession.The present statue was made in 1619 by Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder and has been stolen on several occasions though always recovered.During major celebrations,events,and festivals in Brussels,the statue is famed for being dressed in costume.
Address:Rue de l'Etuve,Central Brussels