Grand Place (De Grote Markt)
Submitted by: mike clark
It's the best single place to get a feeling of 'Old Europe.'
"It's the best single place to get a feeling of 'Old Europe'. The Grand Place, a UNESCO site, is an outstanding example of the eclectic and highly successful blending of architectural and artistic styles that characterizes the culture and society of this region."
This historic square, lined with exuberantly ornate guild houses, is always filled with people, but you can usually get a table at one of the outdoor cafes and have some of the best beer on earth (300 varieties)while gazing at 300 year old masterpieces of architecture. Of course it's got tourists.
Concerts and musical happenings are organized all through the year on the 700 meter cobble stone square. The Grand Place has been for centuries, the focal point of the city's social and civic life. The people of Brussels gather here for their most important ceremonies and festivals. There are surprisingly good places to eat around the Grand Place. And of course the famous Belgian chocolate shops with gift wrapping.
What Makes Grand Place (De Grote Markt) a Great Place?
"All through the year it is visited by thousands who like to spend some time wandering around and admiring the beautiful buildings, or sitting down on one of the many terraces partaking in lively conversations, having a good Belgian beer or eating delicious mussels." It's a pedestrian open area square accessed by alleys on each corner and no vehicles.
A happy clean place, the square is relatively safe for a city of a million people with 24 hour surveillance by the nearby police station.
People of all ages come here to "get away from it all" and to see what's different from the last visit.
Sometimes you can't tell the tourist from the locals because everyone is in awe of the place and continually snap pictures, especially at night when floodlights give the buildings a surreal feeling.
History & Background
Through the nature and quality of its architecture and of its outstanding quality as a public open space, the Grand-Place illustrates in an exceptional way the evolution and achievements of a highly successful mercantile city of northern Europe at the height of its prosperity in the 17th century.
Belgian Tourist Offices: www.visitbelgium.com/contacts.htm
- Grand Place on Wikipedia - History and information from the free online encyclopedia
- BRUSSELS : Buildings and Monuments - visitors information for the Grand Place