A Travellerspoint blog

Walkable Brussels

Nice lazy start – lay in till 7am, answered emails till 9am and then had yummy breakfast of fresh bread and cheese, Belgium biscuits dunked in a cuppa and fruit. Brekkie was a part of the price.

I head out with my map given by the owner and spent 4 1/2 hours wandering around the city from where I am staying. Covered a lot of ground & saw everything I wanted to in that time. Not anice day - very grey & looked like rain but didnt . Was very cool in the wind earlier in the day but did warm up later. It is such a pretty city but my photos won't do it justice without a blue sky background to show off the beauty of the buildings.

Around 1 million people live in Brussels & it was founded back in 979. The locals speak french or flemish and most of the city streets are all cobblestoned and make a lovely sound when driven across.

Where I am staying is near a high end shopping street & Louise station. First came across the most massive building I have ever seen in my life. From the people walking around in black gowns & white necktie I worked out it was a court building. Read later that this building called Palais de Justice built between 1866 & 1883 was for many years the world largest building.....can totally believe it. Takes up a whole block and is very high with the most massive dome on top!

Walked down a wide boulevard and came to Sablon church, park & cute little cafe street. the park was very french looking - ornamental , ordered and elegant. Place du Petit Sablon park was originally a horse market & was converted in 1890 into an elegant garden with lavish fountains surrounded by wrought iron fences. I was taken a photo of the church over the road when I heard a loud whistle blown at me for standing on the grass. Gave me such a fright!! A park ranger shooed me off. The church took over 100 years to build in the 14th century.

Further down the road opened up into a big circular road with imposing buildings - many of them museums all the way around. I stopped in at an info centre next to there.

Just around the corner was the Royal Palace – home of the Belgian king and he was in the country as the flag was flying on top. The palce overlooks Brussells park - again very french with rows of trees in straight lines adn several pathe sall neding up at a massive fountain. One part of the park had such dense forest of trees down in a hollow that it was dark in there as the leaves of these massive trees had made a canopy and it was all damp and mossy in there. Felt like you could be in the middle of the countryside.

Walked around to see the massive modern buildings of the EU where delegates of European union members all meet.

Heading down to the town I stopped into the 15th century cathedral of St Michael that had beautiful stone and wood carvings inside. One o fthe stone carvings was so life like that this little naked baby's bottom looked so real I wanted to pinch it. Such clever craftsmen!!!.

Down into the older part of town I went in next to the St Hubert Galleries – a beautiful covered arcade of shops opened in 1846 with 2 sections each over 100 metres long. it is very elegant and was full of very expensive chocolate shops.

The windy streets opened up on to Grand Place or Grote Market a 15th century market square. It is on of the grandest & most beautiful squares in the world. When you first walk into it it takes your breath away with the beautiful gothic Hotel De Ville or Town hall centre stage. Its needle like spire is 315 feet in height & it is topped by the archangel Michael. It is surrounded on 4 sides by ornate baroque and gothic guild houses.

Belgium is famous for lace, chocolate, tapestry and beer. One place I passed called Delerium Cafe sells 2000 types of beers!Looked at some more churches and around the stock exchange - another beautifully carved building! Had a quiche & fruit meringue for lunch

Had to see the Belgian icon called the Manneken Pis made in 1619 - a famous statue of a little boy peeing , had seen a million of them in souveneir shops all over town.

Walked back home a different way, picked up more dinner supplies from the local store and came back to get organised and packed for my early start tomorrow.

Passed this cool footpath cleaning machine - was a giant vacuum cleaner!

Palais de Justice

Palais de Justice


Sablon cafe area

Sablon cafe area


A building with1500 on the date on the wall

A building with1500 on the date on the wall


Cool street cleaning vacuum cleaner

Cool street cleaning vacuum cleaner


Fountains, statues and cool buildings

Fountains, statues and cool buildings


The Grand Place Square

The Grand Place Square


Guild Houses

Guild Houses


Hotel de Ville or Town hall

Hotel de Ville or Town hall


The magnificent square

The magnificent square


Police on horse in the square

Police on horse in the square


Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis


Manneken Pis is a very small statue

Manneken Pis is a very small statue


Stock exchange

Stock exchange


Guild House

Guild House


Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville


The Galleries arcade

The Galleries arcade


St Michael cathedral

St Michael cathedral


EU banners

EU banners


Banners -old

Banners -old


Banners- new

Banners- new


Banners at entrance

Banners at entrance


EU Buildings

EU Buildings


Lion statue at back entrance of palace

Lion statue at back entrance of palace


Back entrance to palace

Back entrance to palace


Royal Palace

Royal Palace


Brussels Gardens

Brussels Gardens


Parliament

Parliament


Fountain in Brussels Gardens

Fountain in Brussels Gardens


Musems

Musems


Museums

Museums


Petite Sablon Park Founaton & statues

Petite Sablon Park Founaton & statues


Sablon Church

Sablon Church


Sablon Gardens

Sablon Gardens


Elegant gardens

Elegant gardens

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Belgium

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