Results 1-10of 21 Reviews
Blackburn, England, United Kingdom
December 17, 2011
From journal A Christmas Weekend in Brussels
CA1 1LA, England, United Kingdom
January 1, 2011
From journal Surprisingly interesting Brussels
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
October 20, 2010
From journal Very nice and cozy
October 1, 2009
From journal Weekend in Brussels
Cary, North Carolina
April 28, 2009
From journal Eating Our Way Through Brussels in One Day
Fort Belvoir, Virginia
November 24, 2007
From journal Two Weeks in Brussels
January 16, 2007
From journal The Heart of Europe - A Weekend in Brussels
by wanderer 2005
August 17, 2005
Brussels is more than a 1,000 years old and is also the European capital and home to the European Commission and the Council of Ministers of the European Union (EU).
Today, the name Brussels stands for an agglomeration of 19 communes forming one of the three regions of the federal Belgian state, the capital of the Kingdom of Belgium, and the headquarters of the French and Flemish Communities. The official languages are both French and Dutch. Street names and traffic sings are always in these two languages.
Grand Place is a wonderful historic place to spend the day. Cafés and chocolate shops line the square. Flower vendors are also available with the season’s brightest blooms.
Every 2 years, for 3 days only, in the tropical heat that is the Brussels summer, artists and horticulturalists join forces to create the greatest living carpet in the world! A flower carpet covers the entire square! Designs vary from year to year, and inspiration is drawn from all over the world.
The square is surrounded by some of the most beautiful architecture around, with Gothic buildings with spires and gold. It’s quite a sight. The cafés right on the square can be pricey, but the view is priceless. Take a walk down any of the side streets and you have a whole plethora of places to choose from. We stopped at an Italian place. I don’t remember the name (that’s SO not like me), but we had some pizza, and it was actually really good. I got the four-cheese, and one of the cheeses was gruyere. MY FAVE! It was SO freakin’ good. All I can remember about it was that it was right next to a Greek restaurant and across the street from another Italian place.
From journal Historic Brussels
April 27, 2005
From journal Walk Around Brussels in a Day
April 7, 2005
Several of the buildings here are former Guild Houses, and it's possible to tell which ones are which depending on how they are decorated architecturally from the outside. An example of this: you can tell which building used to be the guild house of the shipbuilders because there are marine symbols on the building. If you are interested in this particular type of history, I would suggest taking a tour, because you will be able to learn more with a guide than simply by reading the pamphlets.
In addition to the guild houses, one of the buildings was the former residence of Victor Hugo. For those of you who may have forgotten history/literature, he is the individual who wrote both The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Les Miserables. He actually described La Grande Place as the most beautiful square in the world. You should take a look and see for yourself.
The city hall was built in the 15th century, and you can tell the distinct difference in the building styles from this building and the guild houses. This is the building with the dominant bell tower that will be a focal point of several of your pictures. Here also is the lion’s staircase, always a good place to snap a few photographs. I would also suggest this as a meeting place if you are trying to gather a group, because simply saying La Grande Place does not narrow it down enough. Also, if you are lucky, you may catch a couple getting married, since everyone in Belgium is required to have a civil ceremony and many go to the Town Hall to perform this observance.
Opposite the Town Hall is the Maison du Roi (even though not a single King lived here). The majority of this building was rebuild in the 19th century; it is ornate and large and houses a museum inside.
In addition to simply the buildings, there are many bars/pubs/restaurants on La Grande Place. I would strongly suggest coming here at night for a drink (have a Belgian beer), sitting by the window, and simply enjoying the view. Between the people, the architecture, and the setting, it will be an experience you won’t forget.
My final bit of advice is to visit La Grande place twice. I know you are probably busy on your whirlwind tour of Brussels, but you won’t regret it. Visit La Grande Place the first time during the day and the second time at night. There will be a remarkable change in what you are seeing.
From journal Sensory Delight: Brussels, Belgium