Tuesday, March 04, 2014

La Grand Place from Dusk to Dark, Brussels, Belgium

Welcome to my blog. A couple of weeks ago I traveled to Brussels on a business trip. I had two evenings to walk and take photos. It was my first time in Brussels. Somehow I had managed to miss seeing any photos or video footage of La Grand Place. I stepped into the square and was rooted to the spot. It took my breath away. Enjoy the photos.

The Spire of the Town Hall lit up by the setting sun......

......beckons you to La Grand Place.....

.....and here it is!
The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels. It measures 68 by 110 metres (223 by 361 ft), and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The public and private buildings in the square date mainly from the late 17th century
Guildhalls on La Grand Place

Just lovely!

The square from a different perspective

A cluster of private buildings on the west side of the square

From 1504 to 1536 the Duke of Brabant built a large building across from the city hall as symbol of ducal power. It was built on the site of the first cloth and bread markets, which were no longer in use, and it became known as the King's House (Middle Dutch: 's Conincxhuys), although no king has ever lived there. It is currently known as the Maison du roi (King's House) in French, though in Dutch it continues to be called the Broodhuis (Breadhouse), after the market whose place it took

The Brussels City Hall was built on the south side of the square in stages between 1401 and 1455, and made the Grand Place the seat of municipal power. It towers 96 metres (315 ft) high, and is capped by a 3 metre (12 ft) statue of Saint Michael slaying a demon

The Grand Place was voted the most beautiful square in Europe in 2010. A survey by a Dutch website (stedentripper.com) asked its users to rate different squares across Europe. Moscow’s Red Square and the Place Stanislas in Nancy, France, took second and third place
Night gathers pace and lights illuminate the beauties of La Place

The Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), which covers most of the south side of the Grand Place, consists of a group of buildings around a rectangular internal courtyard. The part facing on to the square is from the 15th century, consisting of two L-shaped buildings. The entire facade is decorated with statues dating from the 19th century

Dusk turns.....

.....into dark...


The Monument Everard 't Serclaes. One of the greatest works of Julien Dillens (1849-1904). It is badly damaged (it's meant to be black) and will be restored

The architecture is from 3 different eras (Baroque, Gothic and Louis XIV)  giving it an eclectic but still harmonious flavour

Historically, the Grand Place was essentially a market place where traders and citizens sold and bought food. Therefore you will notice that all the streets surrounding the square are named after foods like chicken (poulet), herbs (herbes), and cheese (fromage)

In 1523 the first Protestant martyrs, Hendrik Voes and Jan Van Essen, were burned by the Inquisition in the square

Every two years since 1986, La Place is covered on August 15 with a splendid and ephemeral flowers carpet of 1.800 square metres, made up of a million colourful begonias, which attracts thousands of visitors coming from the whole world

The following morning I travelled to Amsterdam and then back to Singapore

I loved my time in this gorgeous square

and found it hard to drag myself away
Next time I'll take you on a walk so you can see other parts of this lovely city