Grand Place

Brussels, Belgium

Grand Place


The Grand Place (French, pronounced [ɡʁɑ̃ plas]; "Grand Square"; also used in English) or Grote Markt (Dutch, pronounced [ˌɣroːtə ˈmɑr(ə)kt] (listen); "Big Market") is the central square of Brussels, Belgium. It is surrounded by opulent Baroque guildhalls of the former Guilds of Brussels and two larger edifices; the city's Flamboyant Town Hall, and the neo-Gothic King's House or Bread House building (French: Maison du Roi, Dutch: Broodhuis) containing the Brussels City Museum. The square measures 68 by 110 metres (223 by 361 ft) and is entirely paved.

The Grand Place's construction began in the 11th century and was largely complete by the 17th. In 1695, during the Nine Years' War, most of the square was destroyed during the bombardment of Brussels by French troops. Only the facade and the tower of the Town Hall, which served as a target for the artillery, and some stone walls resisted the incendiary balls. The houses that surrounded the Grand Place were rebuilt during subsequent years, giving the square its current appearance, though they were frequently modified in the following centuries. From the mid-19th century, the square's heritage value was rediscovered, and it was thoroughly renovated.

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