Bruxelles, beer, chocolates and fries

Dear readers,

For the bored ones, or the chocolate and beer lovers, here a post for you 🙂

Capital of Belgium is cheap to visit from many European capitals due to the low fare companies landing at Brussels airport. I personally think that this airport is one of the smartest i have ever been at. Apart from that, as North-West European country, Belgium and Bruxelles have something to show you 🙂

We visited for just two full days. I am sure that you can spend more time in Bruxelles if you visited museums, but since we only saw few cathedrals and ate waffles, the two days appeared to be enough 😀 The weather was cloudy and it rained few times, but apart from that we had pretty good walks around. Since we arrived late and it was December, first thing i wanted to see was the Grand Place, or the main square where the Municipal building is. It was beautiful as at night there was music and illuminations lightning show which lightened up all buildings at the square in different colours.

I will start with telling you about the Grand Place. It is part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1998. The Bruxelles Town Hall whose 96 meter tall tower reaps the skyline was built between 1401 and 1455 and it made the Grand Place the seat of municipal power. The second largest building right against the Town Hall was built by the Duke as a symbol of ducal power, he named it the King’s House.Over time, wealthy merchants and powerful guilds built their houses around the edges of the square. The more gold on the facades of each of there houses, the better.

Grand Place of Brussels

The King’s House where no king ever lived

If you are up for fancy shopping or just admiring shopping arcades’ architecture, you can take a glimpse of the below – The Royal Gallery of Saint Hubert, built between 1846-1847.

Since we arrived late all the shops were closed, but the decoration was nice, in line with my Christmas spirit.

On our way back to hotel we noticed the cathedral below, and this magnificent building we visited as a first thing on the next day.

Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula

This Roman Catholic church is free to visit and it is worth the time spent. It was built in Gothic style and it was completed by the year of 1519. What a wonderful building and what an architecture gem still standing nowadays, i kept being amazed. With two front towers of 64 meters each and massive 109 meters long hall, you will feel like a small human inside.

After showing you Grand Palace at night, here above a panorama of it during the day. The famous flowers’ carpet is also created here during the summer. I am sure it is nice to see, as well.

We tried the Belgium waffles in one traditional waffles’s bakery right next to the Town Hall and took a walk around the city. Next cathedral we visited was the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon. It is not because we are deeply religious, but it is due to our mania for Gothic architecture. This Catholic church was fully completed in 15th century at the historical quarter of Bruxelles -Sablon.

Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon

This little garden above, called Place du Petit Sablon with the two bold statues at the back, is a nice stop for a rest. The two noble man are the counts Egmont and Hoorn, who were city leaders beheaded at the Grand Palace in 1568 for defying Spanish rule.

On our way to the royal palace we saw the place where the former palace of Bruxelles was. It vanished during 18th century due to fire to make space for the Royal Quarter Brussels has today. There are still remains of the old palace underground, which you can visit on a tour, we skipped it as we had more to see of the city.

Coudenberg-Former Palace of Bruxelles

The square in front of The Musical Instruments Museum

Chocolate recharge of course 🙂

Before i leave you wondering which thing i liked the most, i will finish this post with Koekelberg Basilica. One of the biggest buildings i have seen of such character. The National Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic church inspired by Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. The construction took 64 years to complete finally in 1969 and it is finished to be one of the ten largest Roman Catholic churches by area in the wold.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Bruxelles

The Green copper dome rises 89 meters above the ground, and guess what, you can walk around it 🙂 The church is also located on a hill so the views from its top are wonderful 🙂

On top of Basilica of Sacred Heart, Bruxelles

A little about the size, this basilica can room 3500 people at the same time, its length is almost 165 meters and its width is almost 108 meters. The style is Art Deco and it is the largest building ever built in this style.

Basilica’s interior

I hope you liked Bruxelles, and if you got bored by churches and cathedrals, go for beers and waffles 🙂 Cheers and stayed tuned for Swiss glamour and German hot-wine 😀