If you are visiting Brussels, grand place is a must because around the square many museums and the most prominent gothic building of Brussels, the town hall or the city hall are situated. The town hall is a beautiful architecture from 1400 and a major attraction. It hosts many exhibitions and festivals. When I went there, the flower festival was going on with display of 100000 flowers.
The hall was built under the direction of Jacob van Thiene. In 1695, when the city was bombarded by Marshal de Villeroy, the Town Hall was destroyed by fire. The fire destroyed archives and the art collections. The interior was soon rebuilt, and the addition of two rear wings transformed the L-shaped building into its present configuration: a quadrilateral with an inner courtyard completed by Corneille Van Nerven in 1712. The Gothic interior was revised by Victor Jamar. The halls have been replenished with tapestries, paintings, and sculptures, largely representing subjects of importance in local and regional history.
Its reception rooms and aldermen’s offices contain fine Brussels tapestries from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, sumptuous Gothic wooden panelling,the insignia of ancient guilds and paintings from the collections at the Town Hall Museum.
The Town Hall accommodates the municipal authorities of the city. In 1830, a provisional government assembled here during the attempt of the Third French Revolution which provoked the separation of the Southern Netherlands from the Northern Netherlands. resulting in the formation of Belgium as is known presently. That is why, it has a tremendous historical importance in the political history of Belgium.
The place is well connected by bus and the hop off hop on have a stop near by. But I won’t suggest you to take hop on hop off in brussels as they close as early as 6 o’clock in the evening. If you are staying around the Bx nord station, grand place is walkable from there. We stayed in a hotel called Hotel Villa Royale near the botanical garden. We had a decent room with a clean & spacious bathroom . We got an offer price of 60 euro per night and the staff was nice and friendly. The hotel has a good location and you can’t ask more, accommodation is not so cheap here. I found the hostels are charging almost same as the hotels.
When we were there, the Brussels summer fest was going on. Pop and rock concerts were held at the Salle de la Madeleine and even if you do not buy the ticket you can listen to the concert from the nearby park adjacent to the bibliotek. The streets were closed from around 6 pm . Each evening from 11pm to 2.30 am, Afters/Electro City concerts with DJs were also there. Many food stalls served different cuisines. We caught a nice glimpse of the city hall from the live concert over the street.
At night the town hall looks even more beautiful due to the lights. It is also the most popular meeting point for friends or tourists.At day time, there is a small flea market around the place and the old town is also a brief walk from here. The chocolate museum and the brussels city museum is just around the corner.So do not miss the town hall if you are heading to Brussels.
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