Grand Place 4.5 rating

  Cultural Attractions

The Grand Place or Grote Markt is the iconic square of Brussels, surrounded by the Town Hall and a range of beautiful 300 year old buildings. Having started out as a market place in the 12th, it developed as a major urban economic centre over time and is today a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Gothic Town Hall (Hotel de Ville) from the Middle Ages is the highlight of the square, with a 96 metre high Brabantine tower topped by a gilt statue of archangel Michael, the patron saint of Brussels. Built in an era when symmetry was highly valued, the Town Hall is glaringly asymmetrical, with the tower off-centre, probably due to space constraints. Legend has it, disputably, that on witnessing the finished asymmetry, the architect leapt to his death from atop the tower, and his body fell exactly at the midpoint in front of the building, thereby achieving in death what he couldn’t in life. The facade is decorated with numerous statues representing nobles, saints, and allegorical figures, and looks stunning in the night time illumination.

The other important building on the square is the Broodhuis (Breadhouse) housing the Museum of the City of Brussels, which traces the development of the city from its origins to the present day. It also has a Dressing Room displaying the more than 800 outfits of Brussels’ loved ketje Manneken Pis, including those of a cosmonaut, Elvis Presley and Nelson Mandela.

Everard t’Serclaes is revered as one of Brussels’ heroes, having protected the city from the Flemings’ invasion in the 14th century, and the monument honoring him is one of the greatest works by artist Julien Dillens. Inaugurated in 1902, this wall installation on Charles Buls street was listed as a monument in 2002. This brass relief has been corroded over the years from the original black reclining figure, and the polychromy changing with the current dark parts being gilded earlier. It is believed that touching the figure from head to toe brings good luck and ensures the visitor will return to the city.

The Grand Place still has some commercial establishments and guildhalls. One of the buildings in the south corner of the square was once owned by the brewers' guild, and now houses the Museum of the Belgian Brewers in its basement.

The area around Grand Place is busy, with the Brussels Stock Exchange, Manneken Pis, and Musee du Chocolat in the vicinity. Have a gaufre de Liège-Luikse wafel here (Belgian waffle with caramelized sugar) as a treat.



About Grand Place

 Brussels, Belgium

 +32 2 279 22 11

Grand Place and Nearby Attractions on Map

Nearby Attractions km / mile
Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis(0.3 km)
Just a short walk from the Grand Place-Grote Markt is the Manneken Pis, a small bronze statue thought to represent the 'irreverent spirit' of Brussels.

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula(0.5 km)
National church of Belgium where royal weddings and funerals take place.


Coudenberg(0.7 km)
The Coudenberg Hill is an archaeological site with the remnants of a grand fortified palace from the 12th century.

Great Synagogue of Europe

Great Synagogue of Europe(0.9 km)

La Monnaie

La Monnaie(0.4 km)

Academy Palace

Academy Palace(1 km)

Monument Everard 't Serclaes
Schaerbeek Museum of Belgian Beer

20 Grand Place Tickets and Tours in Brussels

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