The Hôtel de Ville of Brussels!

And behold, written many posts on one of my favorite cities, Brussels, and surprise not to have a post on this emblematic building in a historical square ! I like to give credit when due and write this post on the Hôtel de Ville de Bruxelles or the City Hall of Brussels, which is in the Grand Place (see post),

I have been many times that I can count here by car, and by train, My train was from Paris Nord to Brussels Midi station, By car, I have done many routes from Versailles (78), from Pluvigner (56) and from Caudry (59), The best roads from my neck of the woods was the A29 to A28, back on A29, A16 briefly A29 again, and the A1 by the TGV Peronne station to get on the A2 by Cambrai, and then on the A7 to Brussels RO ring road exit 13 and into the N8 Chaussée de Ninove to city center Brussels ! Easy well posted ok, While in Brussels have taken the bus, tramway and metro !

The Grand Place or Central square is bordered by corporation houses, the Hôtel de Ville, and the house of the king. A wonderful place written already in my blog, This post is a bit historical and memorable of the many trips there with the family since 1991 !!  The Hôtel de Ville or City/Town Hall of Brussels is a Gothic and Classical style building located on the Grand-Place.It constitutes the only medieval vestige of the Grand-Place and is considered a masterpiece of civil Gothic architecture and, more particularly, Brabant Gothic.

The City/Town Hall is made up of two stylistically very different parts: the Gothic-style city hall built in the 15C along the Grand-Place with a return along the rue Charles Buls; and a Classical style extension built in the 18C, consisting of three wings arranged in a U at the rear of the Gothic building, along the rue de l’Amigo, the rue de la Tête d’or and the Rue Charles Buls. The left wing and the base of the tower were built from 1401 to 1421 to replace the old aldermen’s house, and the right wing, the first stone of which was laid by Charles the Bold, was built from 1444 to 1449 ; the upper part and the spire of the tower was done from 1449 to 1455.

Bru hotel de ville front dec12

The Hôtel de Ville underwent numerous restoration campaigns throughout the 19C. It was during this period that most of the city hall statues were made. Between 1844 and 1902 were executed more than one hundred and fifty stone statues of Caen and Echaillon quarries, The tower never fulfilled the role of belfry which explains its light and purely ornamental structure not allowing it to support heavy communal bells and to have a watch service ,The spire is surmounted by the statue of Saint Michael, Saint patron of the city of Brussels, slaying the dragon, The base of the tower is pierced with an ogival portal surmounted by a tympanum depicting Saint Michael surrounded by Saint Sebastian, Saint Christopher, Saint George and Saint Géry who, according to legend, erected a chapel which would be at the origin of the city ​​of Brussels.

Bru hotel de ville belltower dec12

On either side of the portal stand the statues of the four Cardinal Virtues: Prudentia (Prudence) and Justitia (Justice) on the left, Fortitudo (Strength) and Temperantia (Temperance) on the right. The statues of the Virtues are supported by very expressive historiated cul-de-lamps. The tympanum, statues and cul-de-lamps do not date from the Gothic period but from restorations from the 19C.  The main facade of the City Hall consists of two asymmetrical wings flanking the tower and terminated by corner turrets. Each wing is made up of arcades, a balcony, of two floors pierced with large mullioned windows and is surmounted by a high saddle-style roof pierced with numerous hipped dormers. The base of the facade is decorated with a gallery of arcades. These arches are strongly asymmetrical ; the left wing has eleven arches while the right wing has only six.

Bru hotel de ville grand place dec12

The construction of the right wing involved the demolition in 1444 of three houses called in French “Maison de l’Estrapade”, “Maison de la Cave aux Moines”. and Maison du Maure, The “Maison de l’Estrapade” and its two neighbors no longer exist but their memory is preserved in the west gallery of the city hall. The gallery in the left wing houses a flight of steps made up of a staircase, a stone balustrade pierced with quatrefoil patterns and two columns each surmounted by a seated lion bearing the arms of Brussels (Saint Michael slaying the dragon). The various facades of the Gothic City Hall are adorned with countless very expressive gargoyles depicting human beings, animals or fantastic creatures.

The city of Brussels with tourist information offices:

The Brussels tourist office on the City/Town Hall

The historical archives of the city of Brussels

There you go folks, a dandy monument in pretty  Brussels that I am glad to finally have in my blog with a post of its own. Go see the Hôtel de Ville de Bruxelles, wonderful! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

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

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