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Tourist attractions Brussels

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  • 1 Parc de Bruxelles Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    This park used to be the hunting ground of the dukes of Brabant. In the 18C, it was turned into a French-style garden by Frenchman Barnabé Guimard and Austrian Joachim Zinner. It contains several statues, including the charming Girl with Shell by A d..

  • 2 Place des Martyrs Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. des Martyrs

    Designed in 1774-1775, this urban development has sadly been left to ruin for too many years and is currently being restored. In the centre, there is a monument to the dead of the 1830 revolution by Guillaume Geefs (1838).

  • 3 Musee Charlier Interesting

    Museums and art

    av. des Arts 16

    This museum is situated in the house that Henri Van Cutsem, art lover and patron of Guillaume Charlier, gave to the artist. It houses a large number of paintings and sculptures as well as some fine collections of furniture, tapestries and decorative ..

  • 4 Le Botanique Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. Royale 236

    The immense greenhouses of the former botanical gardens, the Cultural Centre of the French community in Belgium has a library, restaurant, cinemas, theatres and exhibition rooms. This busy place is worth a visit.

  • 5 Maison Cauchie Interesting

    Museums and art

    r. des Francs 5

    This is the personal house of the architect and decorator Paul Cauchie, dating back to 1905. Its surprising façade is nearly entirely decorated with sgraffito, a technique similar to fresco.

  • 6 Place du Jeu-de-balle Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Jeu-de-Balle

    This square is in the working-class district of Marolles. A daily fleamarket has replaced the old ballgame ("jeu de balle"). The buildings on the small sides are older than the square itself, which was only built in the middle of the 19C.

  • 7 St Nicholas's Church Interesting

    Religious buildings

    r. au Beurre 1

    This church, which is surrounded by old houses, dates back to the 12C, but was almost entirely destroyed in the 17C. It is dedicated to the patron saint of boatmen. Its neo-Gothic façade only dates back to 1956. Inside, you will see that the choir is..

  • 8 Théâtre de la Monnaie Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. de la Monnaie

    In 1830, this theatre witnessed the beginning of the "September Days". During a performance of La Muette de Portici by Auber, the audience sparked off the rebellion. Rebuilt in 1855 by Poelaert en 1855, the building was renovated in 1985-86..

  • 9 Place du Grand-Sablon Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Grand-Sablon

    This is one of the most elegant squares in Brussels. It is lined with ancient façades, antique shops, many cafés and luxury restaurants. Its atmosphere will delight you.

  • 10 Church of Notre-Dame-du-Sablon Interesting

    Religious buildings

    r. de la Régence 3b

    This lovely flamboyant style building was originally a chapel of the crossbowmen. Legend has it that in 1348, the pious Béatrice Soetkens brought a statue of the Holy Virgin from Antwerp to Brussels as a gift for the crossbowmen. The chapel became a ..

  • 11 Place du Petit-Sablon Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Petit-Sablon

    Transformed into a little square, this is surrounded by statuettes that represent the trades of Brussels. There are also statues of the counts of Egmont and Hornes and the great humanists of the 16C. All are the work of Fraikin. In the southeast is t..

  • 12 Place Royale Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. Royale

    Situated at the top of the Coudenberg ("Cold Mountain"), this elegantly proportioned, Louis XVI style square is the work of Frenchmen Guimard and Barré. It is dominated by the Church of St-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg. The centre of the square, w..

  • 13 Bois de la Cambre Interesting

    Nature and gardens

    av. de la Laiterie

    With undulating scenery surrounding a lake, this green oasis cuts into the capital as far as the southern end of avenue Louise. The English-style park (1860) is popular with joggers, and the lawns are handy for picnics. Bordered to the east by the sm..

  • 14 Manneken Pis Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Angle r. de l'Étuve et du Chêne

    Sculpted in 1619 by J Duquesnoy the Elder, the Manneken ("Little Man") Pis, or "Little Julian" used to bring water to the district. This little pot-bellied boy symbolises Brabançon vigour. In the name of decency, or to honour &quo..

  • 15 Belgian Comic Strip Centre Interesting

    Museums and art

    r. des Sables 20

    This centre is housed in the magnificent Art Nouveau building designed by Victor Horta in 1903 for the Waucquez textile house. Here, visitors will now find everything about making a comic book, see original drawings by the great artists and enter the..

  • 16 The European Quarter

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The expansion of Brussels impacted upon the natural beauties of this formerly verdant suburb. It is now home to European Union offices, making it the most cosmopolitan place in the city (and on the continent). Controversial for its urban environment ..

  • 17 Town Hall

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Grand-Place

    Built in the 15C, this is a Gothic masterpiece. In 1421, the Town Hall only took up the left wing and belfry. Its entrance was the current Lions staircase. In 1459, a slightly shorter right wing was added. The building is dominated by a magnificently..

  • 18 King's House

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Grand-Place

    Situated on the site of the old bread market, this house, originally called the House of the Duke, used to house the tax and tribunal services. It was entirely rebuilt in 1515 and renovated in the 19C, nonetheless preserving its late 16C Gothic style..

  • 19 Place des Palais

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. des Palais

    This great square is surrounded by palaces. The Royal Palace is particularly imposing. Its arched colonnade façade was built under Léopold II. The Throne Room (1872) is sumptuous. The building on the east of the square is the Palace of Academies (182..

  • 20 Bourse

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. de la Bourse

    This large construction looks similar to the Opéra Garnier in Paris. La Bourse (Stock Exchange) was built by Léon Suys from 1868 to 1873. The inspiration is Classical but the simplicity of its design is dominated by a decorative abundance. Auguste Ro..

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