Grand Place

Grand Place (Grote Markt in Flemish) is the heart of Brussels. Situated in the Old Town right in the city centre, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in Europe, as you can find decorated historic buildings in different architectural styles surrounding the buildings. Many of them were designed by the famous Brussels architect Victor Horta. The most famous ones are the Town Hall, Kings House and the guildhouses.
The square, 68x110m in size, is a major tourist attraction and is declared an UNESCO Heritage site. It is especially beautiful at night when all buildings are illuminated. Every two years in August, an enormous flower carpet is set up at the square for a few days.

In 1695 the square was bombed to the ground by French artillery, only parts of the Town Hall remained. After that buildings were constructed in Gothic, Baroque and Louis XIV styles. In the 19th century the square was refurbished after a long time of decay.


Hôtel de Ville, Brussels Town Hall. Built 1402-1420 in a Gothic style, it is the most significant building at Grand Place. It is 96m tall to the top of the spire, and the tallest structure in the Old Town (no other tall structures can be found). There is a tourist office inside the building. The Town Hall was destroyed during the French bombardment in 1695 destroying the original interior, but was soon rebuilt. Until 1795 it also served as the municipal building for Brabant.

"Atop the spire stands a 5-metre-high gilt metal statue of the archangel Michael, patron saint of Brussels, slaying a dragon or devil. The tower, its front archway and the main building facade are conspicuously off-centre relative to one another. According to legend, the architect upon discovering this "error" leapt to his death from the tower. More likely, the asymmetry of the Town Hall was an accepted consequence of the scattered construction history and space constraint." Source: Wikipedia

The gothic entrance to the Town Hall


The Gothic Town Hall

On the top of the Town Hall there is a statue of St Michael the archangel slaying the dragon


The top of the Town Hall at Grand Place, seen from Montes des Arts, with the gilt-metal statue of the archangel Michael slaying the dragon.

Views of Town Hall from Montes des Arts.

Town Hall and Cathedral of the Sacred Heart seen from Mont des Arts


Maison du Roi (King's House or Broodhuis) houses the Museum of the City of Brussels. It was completed in 1868. One room in the museum houses 750 costums of Manneken Piss.

Guildhouses at Grand Place


Guildhouses on the other side


Detail of Guildhouse from 1698

Majestic building at Grand Place


Some buildings were under renovation

Hard Rock Café

Maison du Roi


Maison du Roi and one of the horse carriages

Details of guildhouse

Grand Place   Grand Place in French/English and Flemish   Horse carriage, Grand Place

Guildhouses at Grand Place   Towards Place d'Espagne   Grand Place

Decorations beneath Grand Place   Tour du Midi, Brussels tallest building, seen from Grand Place   One of many restaurants at Grand Place

Guildhouses at Grand Place   Details of Maison du Roi   Grand Place

The iconic Town Hall seen from the backside at the small Rue de l'Amigo.   The courtyard of the Town Hall looks much different then the exterior at Grand Place.   Segways at Grand Place.



Grand Place is especially beautiful at night when all buildings are illuminated. You can watch more of that in the Brussels by night section.