The Grand place, which means "Big Square" in French, is the main attraction of Brussels. Here you can see very beautiful houses in the Flemish Baroque style, as well as the wonderful Town Hall and the Royal House.
The Market Square on the site of dried marshes was formed in Brussels in the 12th century. In the 13th century, a Bread House was built (bread was stored in its premises). In the 15th century, a Gothic City Hall with a high 96-meter tower was erected.
The modern look of the Grand Place, impressive for its beauty, was formed after the bombing of Brussels, which occurred during the 9-year war of the Augsburg League. France fought against the Grand Alliance of several European monarchs for the Palatinate succession. On August 13, 1685, the 70,000-strong army of king Louis XIV laid siege to Brussels. The market square was destroyed by cannon and mortar fire. The city Hall of Brussels was the main target, but it has been preserved.
Within 5 years, merchant guilds built their houses in the Flemish Baroque style on the Grand Place. Thus the architectural ensemble of one of the most beautiful squares in Europe was formed. Since 1971, a flower carpet of 22 x 77 meters has been created on the Grand place every August.
The Bread House is the oldest building on the Grand Place. It was built in the 13th century and renovated in the Gothic style in the 17th century. The Duke of Brabant began to give receptions here and it was called the Royal house. Since 1887, the Museum of Brussels, dedicated to the history of the city, has been located here.
The merchant guilds` houses are located close to each other at the end of the Grand Place. They all have their own names: the King of Spain, the Wolf, the Fox, the Swan, the Golden tree. On the opposite side of the merchant guilds is the House of the Dukes of Brabant. Dukes did not live here, but the facade of the building is decorated with 19 busts of Dukes of Brabant, which gave the name to this house. In other places of the square, you can also admire the houses of merchant guilds.