La Grand Place: A UNESCO Heritage Site In Brussels

La Grand Place is excellent anatomy of the centuries-old commercial and residential buildings in Brussels. At La Grand Place town square, the architecture offers an elaborate graphic of the city culture, narrating its medieval history. This 12th-century town square (formerly Nedermarckt) has a dark-history as hundreds of people were executed here in the 16th and the 17th-century. Fortuitously, most of these people were either rebellions, protestants or witches who upped their voice against prejudice of all kinds.

La Grand Place Square

The magnificent Grand Place of Brussels is one of the world’s most memorable ensembles. You can reach Grand Place through six different alleys that slowly and gradually unveil the enclosed cobblestone square. I suggest you take the Rue des Harengs route! By and large, La Grand-Place is a rectangular cobblestoned market square, starring architectural jewels and artistic styles of modern culture. Analogously, the most interesting places to explore in Grand Place are the 15th-century Hôtel de Ville, gilded statues, guild halls and Baroque gables. 

Besides the grand architecture, La Grand Place also typifies the officialdom of Brussels at the climax of its successfulness. It indicates the demolition caused by the French artillery; and is a metaphorical pride of the Brussels bourgeois, who restored the city to its former glory in a contemporary style. While visiting this square, take an unsparing look at the bell tower of the city hall and the 15th-century buildings that withstood many bombardments over time.

Famous Landmarks In And Around

The King’s House or The City Museum

Located 1-minute from La Grand Place is the King’s House which is now the City Museum. With towering spires, carved columns and medieval-age design, this building instantly teleports you to the age of Renaissance and discovery. The architecture gives way to richly pointed arches, grid windows made up of coloured panes, and timbered doors with its sloping vellum design. The museum tour ensures that you breathe the medieval ambience through its majestic oak staircase irradiated by windows portraying coats of arms and imposing timber frame echoing the upside-down hull of a ship. 

The Gothic Revival style interprets the embellishing elements in a new light. Even the new building has a flamboyant appearance, and its exterior is decorated, with galleries, historical statues and a bell-topped tower. 

Homes Decorated With Fretwork

The Grand Place is dotted, on each side, with many guild houses and private residences. While each house has a name, in their prevailing order, they are mostly the outcome of the restoration of the 1695 bombardment. The richly put together facades with their sculptural illustrations includes columns and railings, and their extravagantly outlined gables have Italian Baroque and Flemish influences. The square is home to nearly forty guild halls and some startling 14th-century buildings.

Grand Place is also famous for the Flower Carpet event that features colourful carpet designs made from over 7-Lakh begonias. The other side of the square is prospered, with cafés, restaurants and boutique stores. If visiting on a Monday, Wednesday or a Friday morning, visit the flower market on other days, stop by to enjoy evening rock concerts.

The Town Hall

Last but not least, visit Town Hall, the primary building on Grand Place square. This town hall was built-in, different stagings in the fourteenth century, and as it turns out, it is also the square’s only surviving medieval building. The Town Hall is lopsided as its 315 ft tall Brabantine tower is not precisely in the centre of the building. Historians believe that the asymmetry was an assumed outcome of the widespread building history and space limitations. Nonetheless, the building is crowned with a 16 ft gilt statue of Saint Michael, killing a dragon and is ‘totally’ worth the visit. St. Michael is the guardian angel of Brussels.

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