Friday, 26 July 2013

Grand Place Belgium

" "

There’s really nothing that can truly prepare you for the first time that you lay eyes on the Grand Place, which is the main plaza in Brussels. Belgium attractions don’t get any better than this square, which is enclosed by a dazzling array of buildings that boast different architectural styles. The Grand Place Brussels square is truly the heart of the city, and the fact that UNESCO has designated it as a World Heritage Site should give you and idea of its worth. Elegant, ornate, and able to please even the most critical of travelers, the Grand Place in Belgium is something you will not want to miss when in the country’s thriving capital city. There are other Grand Places in other Belgian cities, such as Brugge and Antwerp, and while they are also impressive, the one in Brussels takes the cake.

The Grand Place, or Grote Markt as it is known in Dutch, is not only the heart of the city, but it is also the ideal starting point for approaching Brussels tourism on a whole. The main Brussels tourism office is found at the square, and they can help you arrange tours of the Grand Place as well as extended tours of the city. The Grand Place is easy to find if you are staying at one of the Brussels hotels that are in the historic city center, and for those staying a bit further out, it’s a short walk from both the Gare Centrale and Bourse metro stops. This main plaza in Brussels is a major landmark so should you get lost on the way, just about anybody that you see on the street should be able to point you in the right direction. Once you stumble upon it, you’re in for a most impressive visual treat.

According to many visitors who are fortunate enough to enjoy the Grand Place Brussels experience, this square is one of the most beautiful in the world. In the Middle Ages, the Grand Place served as a stage for a local market, where goods such as wines from France and wool from England were purveyed. The small wooden houses that graced the square in the Middle Ages were far less impressive than the buildings that are found here today. It was in the fourteenth century that the square really started to become something spectacular, as wealthy families erected stone mansions around it. Once just a marketplace, the Grand Place eventually grew into the administrative center of Brussels, and in 1402, work on the stunning Town Hall began. The original structure was finished in 1420, though subsequent additions would be added in 1444 and 1452. Charles the Bold, who is known for his harsh punishment of the citizens of Liege in 1466, was responsible for the addition of the second wing of the Town Hall, which pertains to the 1444 renovations. The lofty Gothic tower that rises from the building was built in 1455 and it replaced a shorter belfry. Capping the Grand Place Brussels Town Hall like an angel atop a Christmas tree is a statue of Brussels’s patron saint, archangel Michael.

No comments:

Post a Comment