13 reviews of Le grand place in English
What a gorgeous square. Stylish buildings, lovely (if a tad expensive) pubs and open air restaurants scattered around, tourists everywhere snapping away but so big you can still find a space to do it yourself. Did get a bit grating that the pub we chose charged everyone – including paying custoemrs, for using the toilets!
definitely worth going to see - very impressive and full of history. Depends on the time of year what there is to see in the summer they have music, and a huge carpet display at xmas time they have a nativity scene with real animals, they have concerts and other things a lot going on in this historic square.
La Grand Place is a must to visit when in Brussels. I visited last December and do it was very christmassy withich was a great attraction. There was a huge christmas tree, nativity scene and lots of lights all over the grand place. In the evening you get to see a great light show which is truly amazing to watch.
It is also a great area to wander round during the day as there are lots of shops and little streets off the main square.
I may not be very old (yet), but I have seen a fair share of main squares of various great cities of Europe.
We’re talking France, Italy, Greece, Belgium, Holland, England… (not Germany or Spain yet!) and many cities in each. Not a selection to be sneezed at.
And Brussels’ Grand Place is my favourite by far. It is just breathtaking. I do not know what does it. The off-centre door? The chantilly-lace-like tower? The golden gilting? The 1000+ statues? The fireplaces in the brasseries? The shining wet cobblestones? Honestly, I could not tell you. But some of my happiest moments have been there.
Last year’s christmas season had a light show set up with classical music echoing loudly around the square. I was stuck to the spot for ages…
This year so far they’ve “only” put up some lights criss-crossing the square (see picture) and it still looks lovely.
I could spend hours on end staring at the buildings. If only my boyfriend were patient enough…
Definitely worth a detour if you’re within 3 hours’ drive!!
There are many historic, medieval squares in Belgium. Many are much larger - in Antwerp and Bruges, for example, the Grote Markts (Grand Places) dwarf their sister in the capital. But what Grand Place lacks in dimensions, it makes up for in, well, grandeur. All the houses represent various guilds - the ones to brewers, bakers and ironmongers are the ones I can recall, but there are obscure guild signs on each of the buildings around the town hall and municipal museum, so grab a guide book and work out which is which.
The town hall houses a fairly unimpressive museum of Brussels’ history, redeemed by the 300-odd costumes of Mannekin Pis. It became the tradition for every visiting diplomat and dignitary to donate a costume to the Mannekin Pis statue, and so his wardrobe has to be kept here. It’s fascinating to see the various outfits he can be dressed up in.
The other nice thing about Grand Place is that every Christmas, there is a nativity in the square with real live sheep in the pen, to the immense delight of every passing child.
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