Brussels: The city of Victor Horta, La-Grand Place, & chocolate

BrusselsWe used Brussels as our jumping off point for other day trips while in Belgium this spring break and spent a totally of an evening and a very full day in Brussels itself. My favorite part was actually the eclectic architecture, every street was different from the last and the buildings were so unique but it all worked together well. Of course we didn’t “see it all” but I was satisfied with our progress.

La Grand-Place

IMG_1828IMG_5683IMG_1838IMG_5698IMG_5679This town square is a UNESCO Site and the location of the famous biennial flowered carpet. The most striking thing about it was the style and variety of the square-facing buildings. This felt like a cohesion of schizophrenic designs and I especially loved the gold decor on some of the exteriors.

According to UNESCO, “it stands as an exceptional and highly successful example of an eclectic blending of architectural and artistic styles of Western culture, which illustrates the vitality of this important political and commercial centre.”

Chocolate and Cocoa Museum

IMG_5704IMG_1839This museum is right off La Grand-Place and worth it if you like chocolate. It’s small but has a nice chocolate making demonstration with free samples!!! 🙂 Upstairs is a history of chocolate making.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-4:30pm
Cost: 6€ per person
Address: Rue de la Tête d’or 9

Read more about my travel style this trip HERE.

Manekin Pis

IMG_5727This little statue is known as a symbol of Brussels but I thought it was exceedingly stupid and it wasn’t so close I would have by passed it immediately. There are two stories behind the statue of a kid peeing into a fountain, one true and the other fantasy (let’s see if you can figure it out):

  1. This is the historic site where boys could sell their urine to tanners (people who worked with leather)
  2. A heroic little kid diffused a bomb by peeing on it

Victor Horta Museum & Houses around Brussels

IMG_1864IMG_1865IMG_1869Various houses designed by the famous Art Nouveau architect and designer Victor Horta are part of a city-wide UNESCO Site. We walked quiet far to find the houses (William was not impressed) and ended up around 4pm at his house-museum. The price was steep in my opinion but I really wanted to see inside, no photos allowed inside unfortunately. Thankfully Will remembered to bring his school ID so he got in for cheap.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 2:00pm-5:30pm (you’ll probably wait outside they front door for a bit because they only allow a group in at a time)
Cost: 10€
Address: 25 Rue Américaine (FYI this place was nowhere to be found on any tourist map and we walked for days trying to find it. Plan accordingly ahead of time)

Read more about the food of Belgium & the Netherlands HERE.

Atomium

atomium_320_by_240_ccby20_flickr_mike_cattell
(via)

Although we didn’t visit because it was a good 25-minutes via tram from the city and Will was too stubborn to buy tickets (and we actually had a decent view from our apartment), this is certainly a symbol of Brussels.

The Atomium was the main pavilion and icon of the World Fair of Brussels in 1958. It expresses the idea of peace among all the nations, faith in progress and a vision of the future of a modern and technological world.

JMF

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Brussels: The city of Victor Horta, La-Grand Place, & chocolate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s