At the heart of the city lies a breathtaking sight to see, the Grand Place of Brussels. Being in its presence is like stepping into a medieval town square, which is exactly what you’re doing. Deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this priceless piece of history is a MUST do while in Brussels.
As you walk into the big square you’re just blown away by the beautiful architecture, better than anything you could see even in Game of Thrones. Along with the beautiful buildings comes with an eco-system of street art and street artists. Street performance, paintings or graffiti are everywhere, and you can really get the most out of the local art scene.
Walking around the Grand Place, you’ll see horses and carriages, which offer rides around Grand Place and the near streets around downtown Brussels. It really feels like being one of the Belgian royalty, being drawn around in a carriage around such an exquisitely beautiful place! The horse-drawn carriage tours cost around €50 and take 30 minutes. Taking pictures for Instagram with them is every traveler’s MUST! Very memorable.
There’s so much to see in this architectural masterpiece of history. First, there’s the Town Hall of Brussels, which has a beautiful spire more than 300 ft tall! If you look at the #grandplace hashtag on Instagram, this is such a common place for people to stand next to it and take a picture with the tall 300ft spire in the background.
The Town Hall is asymmetrical since the tower is not exactly in the middle of the building and the left side and the right side aren’t the same. Legend is…that the architect who designed it jumped from the belfry after he realized his mistake!
Across from the Town Hall is the King’s House, which is another exquisite masterpiece of building design. The King’s House is a masterpiece in itself, Originally named “Breadhuis” (Bread House), the house was first a Duke’s, then a King’s, then finally ordered rebuilt for Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, as a late Gothic design. And what a grand masterpiece it is! Fitting in nicely with the Gothic design of the rest of the square, but was ordered built without any towers or spires, and inside the King’s House is the Museum of the City of Brussels. Group and guided tours are also available.
Also in the Grand Place are the majestic Guild Houses. 39 Halls for guilds ranging from brewers to goldsmiths to cabinet makers. The Grand Place has the Town Hall on one side, the King’s house on the other, and between them filling in the square are these beautiful houses, really just being there makes you feel the size and immenseness of such a feat of engineering and art combined into such an elegant large square.
All around the year, there are also festivals and art showings, concerts and light shows and flower shows and something for a little bit of everyone. One of the most popular is the Flower Carpet event, which is organized to happen in mid-August every 2 years.
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