on January 1, 2011
I consider myself a bit of an architecture buff and I had read that the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert was one of the most beautiful 19th century shopping arcades in the world. Although I am not sure it is quite as awe inspiring as The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in milan it is certainly impressive. The galerie is covered by a glass roof which is actually a series of different achways and this lets the most amazing light in when it is sunny but of course this being Belgium it is more useful at keeping people dry against the rain. The facades of all the shops are all extremely elegant in a way that isn't seen today with lots of classical columns and there are even some statues on display. The shops that line the arcade are mostly of the expensive luxury kind but it was nice to window shop even if I couldn't afford to buy anything from them. What surprised me was that there was a cinema and a theatre in the arcade. On further reading of my guide book I found out that the theatre was built in 1847 and is one of the royal theatres of Brussels where oparas and revues are still played. There was a wonderful cafe in the arcade that had outside seating where we had some coffee and amazing cakes. This was extremely popular and although they had a lot of seating people were actually queueing waiting for people to vacate their seats. The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert is truely a agical place and one I highly recommend you visit. It gives off an air of sophistication and offers a look back to the past.
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