Our last stop on a two-week tour of Holland and Belgium ended in the capital city of Brussels, Belgium’s largest municipality, capital, and administrative center of the European Union. But we hardly noticed those noteworthy accolades: we just loved it for the scenery, history, and modern fashions and art!
Although we initially thought that this would be our last post lauding this charming Holland/Belgium journey, we had so many photos of Grand-Place itself that we have two “last” posts! We first discovered the charms of Grand-Place the day we arrived in Brussels: this cobbled plaza lies only a few paces away from our temporary residence in Brussels: Hotel Amigo.
Our first view wowed us: the grand size of the plaza, its historic guild halls, Maison du Roi (king’s palace), and City Hall. Everywhere, people held up cameras to capture buildings, architectural details, and the one-after-another photo ops of remarkable style.
You have to stand at a distance just to take photos. Massive buildings tower above you, offering magnificent architecture and styles ranging from Baroque to Gothic.
Grand-Place originally was an open-air market, as early as the 10th century. And it has evolved beyond its early designs, with major renovations taking place after a fire in the 14th century and bombardments in 1659. (Source: Top Ten Facts about the Grand-Place)
Today it’s a gathering place.
And the center of celebrations and events, brings people together, securing it as the center of Brussels.
We were unprepared for the beauty at sundown when soft backlighting flooded the buildings, exposing gilded details (as in the photo at the top). And as evening approached, man-made lights added more golden touches, making Brussels a special place to visit.
Whether you go with a tour or all alone, don’t miss standing among historic buildings in this UNESCO Heritage Site or come for greater celebrations like the light and sound shows at Christmas or the spring flower carpet on the world’s most beautiful square.
Grand-Place is a site to behold!
Travel in a dazzled state,
Rusha & Bert
This post is one in a series prompted by a recent trip to The Netherlands and Belgium. Thank you to Viking cruises (Holland & Belgium 2022) and our travel agent, Lauren Gunnels of Ortelius Travel Advisors, for the arrangements and free time to enjoy the scenery!