The Brussels stock exchange!

And here is another one just mentioned briefly in previous posts but its an area we love to walk in Brussels. Therefore, here is my rendition of the Bourse de Bruxelles or Stock Exchange of Brussels!

The Bourse or stock exchange of Brussels on Boulevard Anspach/Place de la Bourse was built between 1868 and 1873,part of the city’s sanitation and beautification program, the vaulting of the Senne river and the creation of the boulevards in the center. This imposing edifice fulfils the essential need of the time to create a center in which to do business then in expansion. This monument, which combines grandeur and fantasy, occupies the site of the former butter market, itself located on the remains of the former Récollets convent. The eclectic building combines borrowings from the Neo-Renaissance and Second Empire styles in an abundance of ornaments and sculptures by renowned artists including Auguste Rodin.

Bru Bourse front dec12

The interior pediment includes caryatids symbolising Protection, Trade, Art and Victory. The two monumental lion sculptures on each side of the main entrance’s staircase with one with its head facing up, the other curved back represent the two stock market trends akin to the famous “bull and bear” metaphor, as well as the Belgian Nation. The dome on the pendant, and the pediment or the colonnade of the main facade. On a square plan, the dome is supported by four monumental piles backed by coupled Corinthian columns and capped by a circular lantern with a herringbone. A remarkable stuccoed program decorates the dome itself as well as the double arches, the pendants and the cradles which are traversed by an abundant network of floral garlands, foliage elements and stylized motifs.

bru Bourse jan13

The site is served by the Bourse premetro station. The station originally was built to run streetcars underground before eventually being converted into a heavy metro. The first line was inaugurated on December 20, 1969 and linked the Schuman station to De Brouckère. In the 1970s, three other lines were created: the north-south axis (Gare du Midi-Gare du Nord), the large belt (Boileau-Diamant) and the small belt (Louise-Rogier). In 1976, the Schuman-De Brouckère section served by trams, lines 25 39 and 44 was converted into a heavy metro, giving way to lines 1 and 1B and used since April 2009 by lines 1 and 5 connecting the city center to Auderghem and Woluwe-Saint-Lambert. The small beltway used by the trams 2 18 19 32 101 102 and 103 was converted into a heavy metro on October 2, 1988 giving way to the line 2 to which the line 6 has been added, since April 2009. The north-south axis is still operated pre-metro by lines,3 4 and the nightime 32 line.

In the Place de la Bourse square is one of the city’s key points. For example, in 1957, no less than 32 tram lines circulated around the Bourse or Stock Exchange. Even today, almost all major events take place in this square . On the side of the Place de la Bourse,you have the Bourse or Brussels stock exchange building. The Place de la Bourse lies at the conjunction of Boulevard Anspach with several smaller streets on its such as  Rue Paul Devaux/Paul Devauxstraat, Rue Auguste Orts/Auguste Ortsstraat, and Rue Jules Van Praet/Jules Van Praetstraat. Additionally, two sides streets, running along each side of the Stock Exchange building, lead into it from the south-east; Rue Henri Maus/Henri Mausstraat and Rue de la Bourse/Beursstraat.

There is a whole new arrangement there now as part of the city push towards less cars in town, yet parking for me always remain easy.  A parking for 500 bicycles is provided on level -1 of the fully renovated Bourse metro station. The unique perspective from Rue Auguste Orts street will be enhanced by a water mirror placed on the ground. It will be both a fountain to let the children play, but also a place to enjoy a little coolness in summer. This former automotive hub will become a collection of small places where to spend time together.

The city of Brussels tourist office on the Bourse

However, again, times are changing even on the Bourse and glad I saw before the changes. Now, the former Brussels stock exchange building is to undergo renovation work, with the upper two floors converted into a beer museum due to open in 2023. The lower floors will house a walk-through gallery with a restaurant, shops and exhibition spaces, which will be open to public free of charge. Already, 104 Belgian brewers have so far agreed to participate in the museum project! Ok so now all under one roof, great looking forward to the completion, stay tune!

And now I feel better telling you about this wonderful building in Brussels with perspectives for even better uses and a continue architectural tradition of Brussels. Hope you enjoy the post, and thanks again for reading me!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “The Brussels stock exchange!”

  1. With trades processed on computers, all stock market buildings have to reinvent themselves with a new life. These descriptions make me want to come back and visit Brussels again.

    Liked by 1 person

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