Grand Place Brussels
Grand Place (Grote Markt in Dutch) is the central square of Brussels. World renowned for its rich ornamentation, it is bordered by guild houses, the Town Hall and the King's House (Broodhuis in Dutch). It is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful places of world. It was listed in 1998 on the UNESCO list of World Heritage.
historic site, she saw unfold many happy or tragic events. Among others, in 1523, the first Protestant martyrs, Johann Esch and Heinrich Voes, are burned by the Inquisition. Forty years later, the Counts of Egmont and Hornes, who had submitted complaints to Philip II on its policy in the Netherlands, there are beheaded. This triggered the beginning of the armed revolt against Spanish rule, which William of Orange took the lead.
In August 1695, during the War of the League of Augsburg, most of the houses, some of which are built of wood, were destroyed during the bombardment of the city by the French troops commanded by Marshal Villeroy. Only the facade and tower of the City Hall, which served as valuable reference to the gunners, and some stone walls were preserved incendiary bullets. The houses surrounding the square were richly rebuilt stone by the different corporations. Among them, the house of the guild of brewers now houses the Museum of the Brewers.
The French Revolution ruined again instead. The first pictures of the Grand Place show up without statues and without gilding. Everything disappeared in the eighteenth century. The beautiful facade that we see today are the result of a major restoration campaign of the late nineteenth century. What is paradoxical. No other city in this country has destroyed much of its past (like the vaulting of the Senne) but no city has ever not as invested in the redevelopment of its central place. The reason is very simple. Like the Catholic and conservative movement, the liberal and secular power has tried to show that he too had a great past. This is exactly what the mayor and the councilors Buls Brussels at the time wanted to do here.
The 19th facades of the current place are not always an accurate reflection of the buildings from 1695. Sometimes restaurateurs lack information as to the "King of Spain". Sometimes the original no longer corresponds to the needs or ideas of the nineteenth century. This is for example the house of the "Star" on the left of the City Hall. The building is first shaved to allow a widening of the street. Then it was rebuilt with a ground-floor colonnade with a pedestrian gallery. The "House of the King" is unpastiche nineteenth century. The old building had a turbulent history and was in poor condition. In the seventeenth century, the Archduchess Isabella did decorate a dedication to Our Lady of Peace which does not please too Liberal restorers of the nineteenth century. Therefore, we replace the old building with a new one where all religious decorative elements are replaced by political elements.
History of the place:
In the tenth century, the Dukes of Lower Lorraine, who built a castle on an island in the Seine, were the origin of the birth of Brussels. Towards the end of the eleventh century near the castle settled an outdoor market in a dried swamp (the area of the Grand Place at the time was a large swamp surrounded by sandbars) was called finally the "Nedermerkt", "the Lower market".
The implementation of a market place at this location is without doubt contemporary of the early commercial development of the locality. Writing, dated 1174 mentions a lower market (inferius forum) located near the point at which the Senne became navigable and had been upgraded to allow the loading of boats (Portus). This shopping area dependent on the St. Nicolas Church (patron of merchants), was then presented as an open space that occupies the site of a former dry marshes along the Steenweg, important road at the time, which connects two prosperous regions, Flanders and the Rhineland.