Belgium
Grand Place

Here you’ll find travel reports about Grand Place. Discover travel destinations in Belgium of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

27 travelers at this place:

  • Day170

    Day 171: Exploring Brussels

    August 4, 2017 in Belgium

    Another busy day, this time exploring the World Heritage sites in Brussels! Up and out fairly early, as we wanted to check out La Grand-Place, the main central square in the old town before it filled up with tourists.

    So we walked into town, stopping en route at the Manneken-Pis, the fountain statue of a little boy pissing that is inexplicably famous. I know most people are surprised at how small the Mona Lisa is, but this is another thing entirely - it's actually about the size of a garden gnome. I really have no idea why it's famous, since phallic/crude fountain sculptures aren't exactly uncommon in Europe.

    Anyway. We made it to the Grand Place around 9:30am, which was fairly early but not quite early enough as quite a few people were around already. Particularly people running free walking tours, with their giant colourful umbrellas. Could be worse I guess, could be surrounded by cruise ship passengers!

    The Grand Place is the old market square of Brussels, and is a WHS in its own right. The original market from the 11th century was burned down by French invaders in 1690, and over the next 10 years architects and tradesmen rebuilt the buildings in grand style. Because the entire project was being overseen by the city's aldermen, the buildings are all very complementary, and because the merchant guilds were all competing to build the nicest facades, they're all very impressive too.

    But as nice as it is, it's ultimately just a large town square. We filmed each of the four directions, said some words, picked out some nice details and then headed on.

    Next up we hopped on a tram to the rich north-east of Brussels to visit another world heritage site: Stoclet Palace. This is a large semi-art deco mansion building on the outskirts of Brussels, constructed in the 1910s. Money was no object for the financier, a wealthy banker and art collector, so it was constructed in the most lavish styles and with exquisite finishings inside. Of course, it's still in private hands (the same family no less), so we just filmed it from the outside. Back on the tram!

    Hopped off the tram, heading towards the Horta Museum we'd seen the outside of yesterday, and stumbled across the headquarters of the European Commission. Couldn't go inside, obviously, but interesting to see and take a few photographs of. This isn't the parliament building though, that's in a different part of the city.

    Grabbed some lunch and then headed to the Museum. I wasn't feeling particularly up for it, but I'm really glad we went as it was fantastic. The house was furnished basically as Horta had left it in the 1930s, and it looked fantastic. Obviously the art nouveau style looks quite dated now, but it really inspired feelings of the belle epoque and the optimism of the early 20th century. Spent a couple of hours in here, though sadly no photos permitted.

    Back to the hotel fairly early where we spent some time editing videos and entertaining a lonely dog! Ate dinner out on the terrace of a nice local restaurant, still no rain today though very overcast sadly! Had a very delicious Belgian beef stew - very thick gravy made with dark beer, yum.
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  • Day18

    Happy Meyboom!

    August 9, 2017 in Belgium

    Today is the day of the Mayboom planting, a delightfully odd tradition born from a dispute over the taxation of beer in the 13th century. Each year, a parade of giants, marching bands, ceremonial soldiers, and a large birch tree make their way into the Grand Place with much pomp and ceremony. Afterwards, the tree is carried through the city until it is planted.

    I spent a good while figuring out when and where it actually started, and then decided to just get a good spot in the Grand place to watch the finale.

    The branches and leaves are distributed to the crowd and along the route, primarily to women and girls. Happy Meyboom :)
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  • Day1

    Stopover in Brussels

    September 14, 2017 in Belgium

    This morning I took the ICE from Frankfurt to Brussels and shared the ride with a lot of soccer fans from Cologne going to London for the Europa League game tonight.
    After check-in I took part of a free guided tour. Unfortunately it was raining quiet a lot but luckily I got an umbrella from the tour guide :) With all the Manekken Pis in the city it's no wonder that it's mostly raining.
    Do you know what's the most famous belgian comic is? No it isn't Tintin (Tim und Struppi)... It's a happy family wearing white caps and they are blue ;)
    Of cours I couldn't miss trying belgian waffles. But all the whipped cream, chocolat, strawberry toppings are just for tourist so I had a plain one - delicious!
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  • Day18

    Bruxelles, nous sommes réunis

    June 21, 2015 in Belgium

    Bonjour Brussels! Ça va?

    It was good to be back again. I really love this city. It's a place of such extraordinary contradictions. It's a French speaking island in a Flemish sea. It's home to Europe's most opulent square (perhaps even overblown to some) yet its most famous tourist attraction is the self-depreciating Manneken Pis. It's a city of only two million yet, after Washington, undoubtedly the globes most important governmental city (there are more registered journalists in Brussels than in any other city on the planet - by far). From waffles to NATO, there really is everything in Brussels.Read more

  • Day7

    Brussels, Belgium

    June 8, 2012 in Belgium

    Early morning breakfast of a couple of pastries (different shop) and we were off to the Thalys train station for the ride to Brussels. Train ride was uneventful.

    In Brussels, after a transfer to the local train (free) we arrived at a central station, across the square was our hotel, Le Meridien.

    After checkin we walked around the city, the Grand Place / Hotel de Ville. Had some fries with ketchup, mustard and onions (good!), a waffle with nutella and strawberries.

    At 2pm our beer tour started.
    We went to a small local bar and tried some Trappist beers, learned about trappist ales vs. Abbey ales. Then a 20min walk to the Cantillon Brewery and bought some beers. Did the tour of the old brewery. Lots of interesting points about the brewery. Last we went to Morbier Lambic, a bar with lots of beer on tap and bottled. I had some interesting beers: dark spiced stout, smoked licorice

    Dinner was at a not so good place called Olea Leen. Seemed touristy and fake.

    -Myron
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Grand Place, Grote Markt, Groot Markplein van Brussel, الميدان الكبير, Гран-Плас, Гран Плас, Grande-Place v Bruselu, Grand-Place, Γκραν-Πλας, Granda Placo, Grand-Place de Bruxelles, Veliki trg u Bruxellesu, הכיכר הגדולה בבריסל, Grand Place u Bruxellesu, Գրան Պլաս, Grand Place di Bruxelles, グラン=プラス, გრან-პლასი, 그랑플라스, Gran Plasas, Wielki Plac w Brukseli, Grand-Place de Bruxelas, Piața Mare din Bruxelles, กร็อง-ปลัส, 布鲁塞尔大广场

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