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Grand PalaceFast Facts
- Location:In center of Brussels city
- Attraction Type:I Market square
- Significance:I A UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Best time to Visit:I May to September
- How to reach:I By road to the City Center; or by local trains to Grand Place
- Nearest International Airport:IBrussels International Airport
Grand Place is amongst the most beautiful town squares in Europe, if not in the entire world. The Dutch refer to it ‘de grote Markt, and the French call it ‘Grand Place’. Brussels Grand Place has not only charmed travelers but also several personalities of the likes of Baudelaire, Victor Hugo, and Archduchess Isabella over centuries. This town square is dominated by the King’s House or Maison du Roi, and the Town Hall. This Market Square in Brussels becomes a gigantic flower carpet arranged in begonias in every two years. Tourists from all corners of the globe arrive in this UNESCO World Heritage Center to witness this enchanting flower show held in August.
Origin of Grand Place Market Square goes back to the 12th century when this sand bank between two brooks was used as market place. This ‘lower market’ or ‘Niedermerckt’ emerged into an important commercial center for traders coming from Germany and Austria in the east, and France and England in the west. German beer and French wine were traded in considerable capacities in this harbor market.
Gradual development of the place started from 13th century when people started building wooden houses. 14th century onwards, stone buildings and structures started to appear as the market place grew into a commercial center. In the beginning of the 15th century, construction of Town Hall began which was completed in 1455. The wooden houses were gradually replaced by stone buildings most of which were owned by merchant guilds of Brussels city. In addition to being a commercial center, Grand Place developed into a political center as well.
In 1695, French Field Marshal De Villeroy, under the orders from King Louis XIV, bombarded this Grand Place Market Square to ruins. The local residents and merchants, with their determination, restored the entire Market Square to its original form. To protect the glory of the Grand Place with its historic buildings, Karel Buls, the mayor of Brussels, bound all the house and guild owners by servitude. Le Pegion, Le Cygne, and Maison des Brasseurs are the renowned guildhalls around the Market Square. Hotels and Restaurants in Brussels On your tour to Brussels in Belgium, you might put up in Metropole, Stanhope Brussels, Le Dixseptieme, Welcome, Amigo, Conrad Brussels, and Stanhope Brussels. To cater to your gastronomic needs you might visit the numerous eateries in this capital city of Belgium. For French specialties Comme Chez Soi, villa Loraine, and La Quincaillerie are the noteworthy restaurants. Chez Leon is a specialized seafood eatery, while Shanti is a complete vegetarian restaurant. For Indian delicacies Passage to India is the perfect place, and in case you love Mediterranean dishes Le Pain et le Vin is the restaurant to visit.