Named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Grand Place square which houses the Town Hall is one of the most important tourist destinations in Brussels. Visiting this landmark will surely prove to be very memorable. Grand Place is the central market square, surrounded by many historic buildings such as the Town hall which dates back to the 15th century. The Town Hall was destroyed in 1695 when it was bombed by Marshal de Villeroy. The Hall today is home to a museum displaying tapestries, wood paneling and painting from the 17th century. The Grand Place and Town Hall look even more beautiful at night when they are lighted with golden floodlights. In the spring and summer season, there is a light show that is spectacular.
Address: Grand-Place, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: + 32 2 279 43 65, + 32 2 548 04 45
Located just south of the Grand’ Place, this Flemish renaissance styled church followed the plans of both Jean Cortvrindt and William de Bruyn. This baroque masterpiece was partially destroyed in 1695 and has since been rebuilt during the end of the 1600’s.
Address: Rue du Marchė au Charbon, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 02 514 31 13
This is the oldest church in Brussels and it is named after the patron saint of merchants. Established in the 11th century and renovated in 2005 it now houses several shops.
Address: 1 Rue au Beurre, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 02 513 80 22
In Flemish it means “little man pee”. This is a very famous attraction in the city. The statuette is of a little naked boy urinating in the fountain, located at the junction of Rue de'lEtuve & Eikstraat. There are various stories about this statue. One of them goes like this - Brussels was under siege by foreigners in the 14th Century and the attackers had planned to destroy the city walls with explosives. A little boy named Juliaanske from Brussels happened to see it. He urinated on the burning fuse and saved the city. On some occasions the statue is dressed in a costume. The present statue is Bronze as the original which was made of stone was stolen and destroyed.
Address: Rue de L'Etuve, Brussel, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 513 8940
Situated just north of the Grand’ Place, this church was built on a site of smaller 15th century church. This church is well known for its extravagant interior.
Address: Rue Neuve
Tel: +32 02 217 52 52
Churches located in the neighbourhoods of Ste Géry and Ste Catherine:
St- Jean-Baptiste au Béguinage
Notre Dame aux Riches
This church is situated on the Treurenberg hill at the border dividing lower and upper town. At the beginning of the 11th century a church existed on the same place where The Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule stands today. In 1047 the Duke of Brabant, Lambert II, had the relics of Saint Gudula, passed on from the Saint Gorik church in downtown Brussels to the new church at the Treurenberg hill. This was the defining moment for the Saint Gudula and Saint Michael church to take the prime position over all the other churches in Brussels. Initially built in Romanesque style, the church was later styled in Gothic architecture, because of its growing significance. Jean II, the Duke of Brabant, the archdukes Albert, Isabelle and Charles de Lorraine are buried in the chancel.
Address: Parvis Sainte-Gudule, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 217 83 45, +32 2 219 11 70
Website: The Cathedral of Saints Michel and Gudule
This is the Belgian parliament building which is situated at the northern end of the park of Brussels.
Parc de Bruxelles or Warandepark is the largest urban public park in the city of Brussels. The Royal Palace of Brussels, the Belgian Parliament, Théâtre Royal du Parc and the US Embassy encircle the Park. During the summer season, free parties are arranged every weekend. You can access the park via the Park Metro Station located beneath the Brussels Park. The design of the park is marveled at by having a view at its masonic symbols on the paths and fountains.
Address: rue Royale (Métro: Parc), between Parliament and the Royal Palace, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
The official palace of the King of the Belgium is in the nucleus of the city of Brussels. Though today the King and his family do not live here anymore. The Royal Family has shifted to the Royal Castle of Laeken in the suburbs of Brussels. The Royal Palace is situated at the southern end of the Brussels Park and the present structure as we see it today was renovated in the 1900’s on the iniative of King Leopold II. Even if the King does not reside here, he uses it as his office. There are a total of four buildings which also consists of a museum inside, displaying the collection of the Belgian royal dynasty.
Address: 16 Brederodestraat, 1000, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 551 20 20
Website: The Belgian Monarchy
The Former Palace of Brussels is a very important landmark in Brussels, due to its archaeological value. Initially only the remains of the chapel of Charles Quint and the rue Isabelle could be seen on the hill of Coudenberg. But with further excavations, a large ceremonial hall has been unearthed, which is dates long back than the chapel itself and was constructed in the 16th century. The Aula Magna (great hall) of Dukes of Burgundy and of rue Isabelle has been discovered at the lower level. This Former Palace has served its kings for over 700 years before getting burnt in 1731. Today it has got it former importance after several years of excavations.
This church was built in 1775 and during the revolutionary influence of France it was used as a temple of law. In 1802, this church which resembled a Roman temple but with a surprising bell tower placed on top, was returned to a Catholic church.
Address: 1 impasse Borgendael, place Royale
Tel: +32 02 511 78 36
This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing churches in Brussels. Built in the 15th and 16th centuries, the church once consisted of the famous statue of Mary which is said to have had healing powers. However the statue was destroyed during the Iconoclastic riots by Protestants. The church today features an impressive stained glass window set with saints which is over 12 metres high.
Address: 3B rue de la Régence
Tel: +32 02 511 57 41
This is a square filled with expensive antique shops and swanky restaurants. This major square attracts many tourists who especially enjoy exploring the art galleries and the delicious chocolate outlets. The area is particularly beautiful during specific festivals which take place throughout the year, for example the square is draped in white lights for the Christmas period. This is located just behind the Notre Dame so is perfect for a stroll after appreciating the fine architecture of Brussels.
Situated on the top of a hill, known as “gallows hill”, this palace was built between 1860 and 1880 by architect Joseph Poelaert in contemporary style. The structure is supposed to be believed the largest construction ever in the 19th century. It is massive and soars at 105 m high and covering a total surface of 24,000 square meters. In modern times, it functions as the supreme court of law for Belgium.
Address: Place Poelaertplein, 1000, Brussel, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 508 64 10
BEYOND THE CITY CENTRE OF BRUSSELS
Commission building of Berlaymont
Justus Lipsius building for the council of ministers
Parc du Cinquantenaire
The Atomium is monument built in 1958 for the Brussels World's Fair exhibition. It was designed by André Waterkeyn in the shape of a metal molecule which when magnified 165 billon times will look the Atomium structure. The entire structure is made of 9 interconnected steel spheres that tower at 102 meters tall. It weighs a massive 2400 tones. All the sphere are exhibition halls, but the most interesting one is the top sphere (18 meters in diameter) which provides a panoramic view of Brussels and Brabant.
Address: Bd. du Centenaire, Laeken, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: + 32 2 475 47 75
A park that is located in Bruparck, at the base of Automium in Brussels. Mini-Europe has miniature reproductions of all the famous monuments in the European Union. Although small in size, they appear very realistic. To make it more appealing, it has various live models such as Airbus, cable cars, volcano eruption etc. The park was inaugurated in 1989 by Prince Philip of Belgium with a starting investment of €10 million. A must visit for any one visiting Brussels. The exhibition “Spirit of Europe” which you should see when the visit is over, gives an interactional overview about the European Union. The reproduction of Brussels Grand-Place monument here has cost more than €350,000.
Address: 1 Avenue du Football, 1020, Bruparck, Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 474 13 13
Fax: +32 2 478 26 75
This church is the fifth largest church in the world. The construction of the church started in 1905 under the governance of King Leopold II, but could not be completed on time due to the two World Wars. The construction was put on hold for some time and it was in the year 1970 that the church finally was inaugurated. This huge structure is about 100 feet tall and is made from bricks and terracotta. At the entrance there are two towers on each side. With its towering height of 89 meters and width of 167 meters, it is no wonder that it is the largest building in Art Deco style of architecture. The construction of this church is simply marvelous.
Address: Parvis de la Basilique 1, 1081, Koekelberg, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 421 16 67
Fax: +32 2 421 16 61