Stately, elegant, beautiful ... This is the Plaza Mayor, or Grand place, from the Belgian city of Brussels. One of the most outstanding architectural ensembles in the city, which was declared, for its beauty and historical value, World Heritage in the year 1998.
Today we want to accompany you on a walk through this very special square, in which most of its buildings date from the 17th century, a time when it was the cultural and commercial center of the city.
A unique architecture
One of the things I like the most about this Plaza Mayor in Brussels is the way in which the different architectural styles and artistic characteristic of the area and of the time. A combination that reflects the history and prosperity that the city reached.
The Plaza Mayor is located in the heart of the city and the first references to its existence date back to 1174. Before it was known by the name of Nedermarckt (or Lower Market). Have rectangular structure, result of the many extensions that it has been experiencing. In fact, it did not reach its final shape and size until 1695.
Among the most notable buildings found on Grand Place are the houses of the guilds, the town hall and the King's House. Many of the buildings that surround the square were rebuilt in the 16th century and their facades were remodeled to adopt elements of the Baroque or Renaissance style.
The Town Hall is in the southern part of the plaza and consists of a set of buildings built in different stages. Those facing the square are from the 15th century, although the statues on the facade were placed in the 19th. In front is the Casa del Rey, currently converted into Museum of the City. It was rebuilt around 1873, faithful to its original scheme, a three-story brick building with a porticoed facade and a tower.
Most Beautiful Square of Europe - Brussels Grand Place - Belgium (July 2020)