RAILWAY STATIONS: There are 3… all on the same line. Most trains stop at all three.
TRANSPORTATION: Buses, trams, and a new very good subway system. One can walk to most attractions. A ONE DAY TICKET is available… also a 10 journey ticket.
LE GRAN’ PLACE: “The most beautiful public square in the world”…in the heart of Brussels. Beautiful ancient Guild Halls and Town Hall, dating from the middle Ages, surround the square. Each building sports a medieval flag and the cornices of the building are gold leaf. It is still used as a market place in the early morning. At night, colored lights are flashed across the HOTEL DE VILLE, with Bach or Beethoven music played over a loud speaker. Sit and have a drink and enjoy. In addition there are NUMEROUS events staged daily in this beautiful square..always something going on. HOTEL DE-VILLE (TOWN HALL): …on Le GRAN PLACE … begun in 1402 … a fine example of Gothic Architecture, and the most imposing structure on the square. The hours are Tue-Fri 9:30-5. Sun 10-4. MAIS0N DU ROI: … on Le GRAN PLACE … opposite the Hotel de Ville … constructed in the 16th century … now the HISTORICAL MUSEUM OF BRUSSELS. The collection includes the numerous costumes the natives have placed on their favorite statue – The Manneken-pis. (More about him later) Hours are Tue-Fri 10-5. Sat/Sun 10-12.
MANNEKEN-PIS: This small bronze 17th century statue of a boy “making water” is considered symbolic of Brussells spirit, which seems to be “Pee on it”. The statue is frequently dressed in outlandish custom-made outfits and hats by pranksters. This practice started over 100 years ago and continues. You never know when you’ll find him dressed. (This fountain is down from the GRAN PLACE on Rue de I’Etuve.
MUSEE DE L’ART ANCIKEN: 3 Rue de la Regence. Daily 10-5. Closed Mon. Near the ROYAL PALACE … with the best collection of Flemish Art … Bosch, Breughel, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Hals. The MUSEE OF MODERN ART, after a recent renovation is now connected to the ancient art Museum. The Modern contains works mostly by Belgian moderns … especially Magritte, Ensor, and Delvaux. The Magritte’s are First Rate.
ROYAL PALACE: This palace was the residence of royalty. It’s located on a Classical square of elegant proportions. Hours 10-4. Closed Monday.
PALAIS DE JUSTICE: On Place Poelart … a massive stone structure whose courtyard affords a panoramic view of Brussels. Daily 8:30-4. Clo. Sun.
MICHEL CATHEDRAL (St. Gudule): Begun in the 9th c … took over 300 years to complete … the national Cathedral of Belgium and one of the oldest buildings.
PETIT SABLON: A beautiful square with Gothic columns and 48 bronze statues.
BRUEGHEL HOUSE: The house (difficult to find) where the artist lived late in life.