Brussels, Grand Place

Brussels is a nice walking city. There are wide boulevards and sidewalks. It’s not terribly hilly either. Our hotel is about 1.5 miles from the museums and old part of the city. Since nearly all the museums are closed today, we walked to the Cathedrale des Sts-Michel-et-Gudule. I think it’s amusing that two saints have to share one cathedral. A gothic church begun in 1226, it only became a cathedral in 1961. Our friend Emperor Charles V donated the superb stained glass windows. That guy must have been trying to hedge his bets on heaven in a big way. Nearly every church we’ve been in has windows donated by him. The stone work is very white and many of the glass panes are clear. This makes for beautiful shadows and distinctive scroll work. This church also had an art show going. It seemed the works were somehow related to the cathedral, architectural drawings, religious scenes.
Next, we walked to an area called the Grand-Place. It is very appropriately named for it is very grand. There is a lot to take in when you first enter. It is a plaza of cobblestones surrounded by large public buildings dating mostly from the 1690s, but tbe town hall was built in the early 1400s. Ornamental gables, medieval banners and guilded facades in an array of architectural styles house restaurants, shops and government offices. This area is near the famous Mannique Pis (Pissing Boy). Of course we couldn’t miss this. It is much smaller than I knew. And he has hundreds of changing costumes. Today he was wearing a graduation outfit. The area was bustling. And there were waffle shops everywhere. Lunch time!
After overdosing on waffels with strawberries, cream and chocolate we headed to the hotel for a rest. That night we ate at a French/Belgium restaurant recommended by the concierge. Then back to the hotel to see a movie.



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