"Grand Place" Grand Place - Grote Markt Tip by tompt
Grand Place - Grote Markt, Brussels: 214 reviews and 373 photos
The central market square in Brussels, the Grand Place, is one of the most beautiful town squares we ever saw.
The market square has a beautiful set of Guild houses and is dominated by the Town Hall and the King's house.
In the 12th century Brussels had become a commercial crossroads between Bruges, Cologne, and France. English wool, French wines and German beer were sold on the market.
During the early Middle Ages there were small wooden houses around the market, from the 14th century the rich and powerful patrician families built stone mansions here. The market turned into the main commercial and administrative centre of the city.
In 1402 the construction of the town hall started (completed around 1455).
The square had also become the political centre where meetings were held, executions took place and royals where officially received.
In the following centuries most wooden houses where replaced by decorated stone ones, mostly owned by the Brussels guilds.
On August the 13th 1695, the prestigious square was bombed to ruins by order of Louis XIV of France. He destroyed Brussels in reprisal of a lost battle in Namur.
Between 1695 and 1700 the guilds rebuilt all the houses. The townhall was also entirely reconstructed.
In the 18th and 19th centuries most of the houses became private property. But they must be kept as original as possible.
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