The Grand-Place is the central square of
the City of Brussels. All over the world
it is known for its decorative and
aesthetic wealth. The Grand-Place is
surrounded by the guild houses, the City
Hall and the Maison du Roi.
The Grand-Place is considered as one of
the most beautiful places of the world.
The Grand-Place of Brussels was
registered on the World Heritage List of
the UNESCO in 1998.
At the Grand-Place, numerous historic
events took place:
-1523: the first Protestant martyrs,
Hendrik Voes and Jan Van Essen, are
burned by the Inquisition there
-1568: the counts of Egmont and Hoorn
are beheaded there
-August 1695: during the War of the
League of Augsbourg, most of the houses
on the Grand-Place were destroyed during
a bombardment of the City by the French
troops of marshal De Villeroy. Only the
facade and the tower of the City Hall,
which were the target, and some stone
walls resisted the flaming canon balls.
The houses surrounding the square were
quickly reconstructed, in stone this
time, by the various guilds. Among
these, the house of the Brewers guild
which shelters the Brewers Museumtoday.
This remarkable mansion is one of the main
attractions in the Grand Place. It used to
be a bread market in the 13th century and
now it houses the Museum of the City of
Brussels. Come here to explore the history
of the city through paintings, sculptures,
photos and other valuable memorabilia.
Also, costumes of the Manneken Pis statue
can be seen here.
Just like many other buildings, this one had
to be rebuilt, too. After its reconstruction
in 1868, it gradually gained more and more
importance, until it became an official
historic site of Belgium in 1936.
Brussels Town Hall is one of Belgium's
finest civic buildings. Not only because
of the numerous sculptures adorning its
walls, but also because of its perfect
proportions and the incomparable beauty
of its tower, the spire of which is
topped by the archangel Saint-Michael.
Brussels laid the foundation stone of
the magnificent Gothic edifice in the
spring of 1402. In 1695, when the city
was bombarded by Marshal de Villeroy,
the Town Hall was destroyed by fire. Its
reception rooms and aldermen's offices
contain fine Brussels tapestries from
the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries,
sumptuous Gothic wooden panelling,the
insignia of ancient guilds and paintings
from the collections at the Town Hall
Mont des Arts
The Kunstberg or Mont des Arts, meaning
"hill/mountain of the arts", is a historic
site in the center of Brussels. The showcase
square was created for the Universal
Exposition held in Brussels in 1910. It
featured a park and a monumental staircase
with cascading fountains descending the
gentle slope from Place Royale down to
Boulevard de l'Empereur/Keizerslaan. The
original square was destroyed during the
post-war construction frenzy known as
Brusselization; between 1954 and 1965, the
square and its surroundings gave way to
massive, severely geometric postmodern
structures such as the Royal Library of
Belgium and the Congress Palace. The Mont
des Arts offers one of Brussels finest
views. From the vantage point on a hill, the
famous tower of the Brussels Town Hall at
the Grand Place is clearly visible. On a
sunny day, the Koekelberg Basilica and even
the Atomium can be seen.
Palace of Brussels
Next to the Royal Park and strategically
situated across from the Palace of the
Nation stands the Royal Palace of
Brussels. Representing part of Belgiums
constitutional monarchy, the Royal
Palace of Brussels serves as the
official palace where the king welcomes
heads of state and government and
The history of the Royal Palace in its
current form is not very old; it was
built in 1900 at the request of King
Leopold II. However, the ruins under the
palace, on which it was built, are
centuries old. These ruins are remnants
of Coudenberg Palace, a very old
palatial complex dating back to the 11th
century. It was a home of the Dukes of
Brabant who together with other
successors extended and improved the
palace for many centuries.
Unfortunately, this prestigious complex
was destroyed by a fire in 1731.
Almost 50 years after the disaster,
there were four separate buildings built
on the ruins. Two of them were connected
by a colonnade from the initiative of
King William II of the Netherlands. It
was already built in the neoclassical
style with a peristyle, under the
supervision of Belgian architect
The facade is huge and splendid, and the
overall impression is even better with
the precisely cut green bushes in the
front yard. However, to spot the Queen
or King in the window, you would have to
visit the Royal Palace of Laeken, which
is the official residence of the King
and Queen of Belgium.
MAtomium is an unavoidable icon of Brussels,
important place for international tourism,
unique creation in the history of
architecture and emblematic vestige of the
World fair in Brussels (Expo 58), the
Atomium is today the most popular tourist
attraction of Europes Capital.
The Atomium was constructed for the first
post-war universal world exhibition (EXPO
58) The nine spheres represent an iron
crystal magnified 165 billion times. They
represent the faith one had in the power of
science and moreover in nuclear power.
The Atomium offers:
- a surrealistic walk through tubes and
- the most beautiful panorama  over
Brussels and its surroundings [92m]- a ne
lunch at 95m height in the panoramic
restaurant (light or gastronomic, always 100
- a permanent exhibition about the history
of the building
- temporary exhibitions with different
- a boutique full of original gifts with the
Visiting the European Parliament is a
great way to find out about its work as
the voice of European Union citizens,
and about the impact it makes across
both Europe and the world.
The European Parliament is based in
Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg.
Varied activities for visitors in each
location cater to different age groups
and interests. Visitors can see how the
European Parliament works, how it
evolved and how to spot its influence in
their daily lives.
All visitor activities are free of
charge and are predominantly available
in each of the 24 official languages of
the European Union.
The Place Royale, the Royal
Square, close to the Royal Palace, is
located at the Mont des Arts (Arts' Mount).
The square is an ideal starting point for a
comprehensive cultural tour.. In the middle
of the square the statue of Godefroid de
Bouillon, first King of Jerusalem (11th
century). Around the square: Royal Palace,
Church of St. Jacques sur Coudenberg, Royal
Museums of Fine Arts, Rene Magritte Museum
(belgian surrealist painter) and the Museum
of Musical Instruments (Art Nouveau style).
From there a lovely view of towndown!