Grand Place and the Town Hall

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Brussels, Belgium

Grand Place and the Town Hall Brussels Reviews

Bojasem Bojasem
216 reviews
Extraordinary square Jan 24, 2016
The Grand Place (French, pronounce; also used in English) or Grote Markt About this sound listen (Dutch) is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by guildhalls, the city's Town Hall, and the Breadhouse (French: Maison du Roi, Dutch: Broodhuis). The square is the most important tourist destination and most memorable landmark in Brussels, along with the Atomium and Manneken Pis. It measures 68 by 110 metres (223 by 360 ft), and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

in the 10th century, Charles, Duke of Lower Lorraine constructed a fort on Saint-Géry Island, the furthest inland point at which the Senne river was still navigable. This was the seed of what would become Brussels. By the end of the 11th century, an open-air marketplace was set up on a dried-up marsh near the fort that was surrounded by sandbanks. The market was called the Nedermerckt, or Lower Market.

Fantastic architecture and and location in the center , Grand-Place is an iconic example of Belgian/Flemish architecture.

i like walk and enjoying viewing in this area
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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idrisabidi idrisabi…
4 reviews
grand place Jul 19, 2011
very beautiful place it has a lot of buildings and has for example the very beautiful town hall in it. its very known for tourists but its really something you have to check out when in Brussels. It's also close to the most famous little statue of Belgium manneken pis
wandern-lust wandern-…
4 reviews
Great place to relax and grab a beer! Jul 07, 2011
Magical atmosphere at night, full of life during the day.

Just sit down at one of the cafes, order a good Trapist beer and enjoy the view and architecture of the wonderful buildings surrounding this excellent square!
Chokk Chokk
1733 reviews
The magnificent Grand Place Apr 26, 2009
Grote Markt or Grand Place is the central market square of Brussels. I t is also a magnificent study in great architecture and ambiance. There are not many visitors who are not taken by its splendour. Even my first time here long ago as an 18 year old European traveller, I remember that this place was something special. Today years later and living next to it, it still impresses me maybe more than even then.

The square is quite abnormal for the city of Brussels; the city today is not hiding many similar buildings, these are mostly found in Bruges, Ghent, Leuven or Antwerp. "One of the most beautiful town squares in Europe, if not in the world", is a phrase often heard when visitors in Brussels try to describe the beauty of the central market square.

What I really enjoy about the square today besides the ambiance and the huge amount or different people walking by is the numerous activities. There is always some kind of activity going on besides the weekly flower sales on a Saturday. It can be a concert like the one which I attended yesterday. Every year there are Christmas markets which last year was supported by a fabulous sound and light exhibition. The most famous events that take place here are the annual Ommegang (an historical procession at the beginning of July) and the biennial flower carpet where the square is transformed in to an awesome flower carpet. I could keep on going, but the point is that the square is a magnet of beauty and activities.

During the early middle Ages small wooden houses were scattered around the market, but as from the 14th century the rich and powerful patrician families built stone mansions. Gradually the market turned into the main commercial and administrative centre of the city. In 1402 the construction of the town hall started (which would eventually be completed around 1455). The square had by then already become the political centre where meetings were held, where executions took place and where dukes, kings and emperors where officially received. In the following centuries most wooden houses where replaced with beautifully decorated stone ones, mostly owned by the Brussels guilds.

On August the 13th 1695, however, the prestigious square was bombed to ruins by Field Marchal DE VILLEROY. By order of Louis XIV of France he had Brussels destroyed in reprisal of a lost Battle in Namur (south Belgium). Between 1695 and 1700 the guilds rebuilt all the houses. Also the heavily damaged town hall was entirely reconstructed.

In the 18th and 19th centuries most of the houses became private property. After attempts of several owners to modernize the facades of their houses, which would have resulted in a mutilation of the unity of style, the mayor of Brussels, Karel Buls, decided that the houses of the Grand-Place had to be preserved as much as possible in their original style. Since that year the owners of the houses are bound by servitude.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
seraphimkarlien seraphim…
93 reviews
town square Dec 06, 2009
Brussels main square, Grand Place in French or Grote Markt in Dutch, is listed on Unesco's world heritage list.

Most buildings, including the ornate town hall, date back to the late 17th century. It is really beautfiful, but to be honest I don't really understand what makes it só special to be included on the Unesco list. Still, not to be missed if you visit Brussels. But don't go for a drink anywhere near it, beer prices are ridiculously expensive!
Pearl510 Pearl510
162 reviews
Mar 16, 2007
This square is the most important one in Brussels, ever since the 11th century. It is build on a former bog area, just like other parts of the town-center.

The town-hall is also standing here, but wasn't build until the 15th century, when the Brabant court moved to Brussels. It is a Gothic masterpiece.

During the war between France and the Great Alliance (17th century) there were prolonged fights in this area. Hardly anything was left from the building, except for some walls and tower. Later on the town hall and the houses surrounding in were rebuild. That is why they're all constructed in the same Flemish-Italian style, and why the Town Hall has a more classic wing at the back. Inside there is a great collection of Belgian artwork, containing lots of memories to our national history.

Visiting the Town Hall will cost you approximately 5 Euros (students pay 4). It is opened from 10am until 5pm except on monday's, when it's closed. The closest train station is the central one. When traveling by subway you best get of at the 'Bourse' stop, but you might as well walk from the station since it isn't that far.
360³ view of the Grand Place
Town Hall
danorwick danorwick
15 reviews
Jul 21, 2007
Probably the first place one would visit when on a trip to Brussels, and seriously, one of the most beautiful and impressive town squares I have ever seen. The amazing buildings which surround the main plaza are so ornate and overwhelming, it is breath-taking every time it is entered. The main tourist office if found here, as are plenty of restaurants and places of tourist interest (beer and chocolate museums for example). Of an evening there is mass accumulation of visitors who all seem to be calmed by the location, helped partly by the "Son et Lumiere" shows held from April to October. One of the best places to chill out with a beer EVER.
tekk2k tekk2k
27 reviews
Grand Place Oct 01, 2007
It's very cool. My hotel was right down the street from it so we would go there at night and eat at pita alley(very cheap). The architecture is very impressive. It's like a huge town square surrounded by some the only historic buildings in the city that weren't destroyed in the war. It's not worth a trip to Belgium, but if you're there, then it is definitely a must see.

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