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Grand Place Brussels
Visit the Grand Place, One of the Most Beautiful Squares in Europe
Even in the old times, the Grand Place of Brussels has been used as a marketplace to trade goods. In the past time, the place was called as the Lower Market. At the early 13th century, three indoor markets were built in buildings belong to Duke of Brabant. However, in the 14th century, the Duke transferred the control of commerce to local authorities. The market was then changed. The city hall built in the south side of the square, and the Grand Place became the seat of Municipal Power. The King's House was also built in the same place with two of three indoor markets that were no longer in use. In 1695, the French army attacked and damaged the Grand Place, only leaving the town hall that was actually the principal target of the army. The rebuild of the square then began in the following four years. The buildings were made with the clashing combination of Gothic, Baroque, and Louis XIV styles.
In 1990, the Grand Place was pedestrianised and became a part of a large pedestrian zone in the center of Brussels. The square also houses many events, especially in summer. In July, there is the Ommegang, a historic parade that honours the coming of Charles the Fifth to Brussels in 1549. The Ommegang is also a part of the Carolus V festival that celebrates Emperor Charles V and his palace of the Coudenberg. While every 9 August, people celebrate Meyboom that was originally a celebration after the victory over Leuven City. There is also the famous flower carpet that is held once in every 2 years with different themes. The flowers used are all begonias, the national flower of Belgium. Other events include Christmas events, concerts, and daily flower market.
In the Grand Place, you can find many kinds of place, including museum. The famous one is the Brussels City Museum that is dedicated to the city's history. The museum has more than 7.000 collections inside, including the original statue of Manneken Pis, paintings, tapestries, plans, altar pieces, earthenware, porcelain, sculptures, scale-models, city maps, and other things. Even from the outside, the building is beautiful to see. It even recognised as a national heritage site in 1936, before the Grand Place received the same title. The museum also often used for temporary exhibition by many artists. Other museum located in the Grand Place is the Beer Museum that will show you the implements, brewing and fermentation tubs, a boiling kettle, and the material found in an 18th century brewery.
At night, the Grand Place is a magical place with beautiful lightings over the classic buildings. This is one of the reasons why the Grand Place is always packed with people, from morning until night. A lot of people spend their time just enjoying the view or taking photographs. You can also go to restaurants located in the square. Most of the restaurants are located in the ground floor and decorated beautifully.
How to Get Tickets?
If you want to spend your time just walking around the square or the shop, then you do not need any ticket. However, if you want to enjoy every little thing in this place, then you should check online, especially if you want to visit the museum, because some of them might need to be booked in advance. For example, if you want to visit the Beer Museum, then you will have to book so that the museum can prepare everything for your best experience.
How To Get Around?
As the Grand Place has become a pedestrian zone, then the only way to get around is by walking. It is also the best way to enjoy and see the exquisite details of the buildings in the area. You can also use this apps to lead your way and take you to tourist attractions located nearby.
What Should I Wear?
There is no recommended dresscode for visiting the Grand Place. If you are coming during an event, then you might want to dress up to match with the theme of the event. Remember to always check the weather as well so that you can enjoy your time walking around.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit the Grand Place is during events, for example in August. However, it can be hot because it is summer in Belgium. It will be more crowded as well because it is the high season for tourists.
Will I Need a Guide?
It depends on your need. Some people who want to take a lot of photo may prefer to walk around without guide. However, you can also join the free walking tours that are held several times a day.
How To Get There?
If you are going by train, then you can stop at the central station that is only 5 minutes away from the Grand Place by foot. Another choice is to use the Metro and stop at Brouckere.
It is advisable not to sit on the floor in the Grand Place area as it is quite uncommon, though you may find some drunk people do it.