Brussels Landmarks and Monuments
(Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium)
Of all the landmarks in Brussels, it is perhaps the Grand Place (Grote Markt) where you will find the best selection of monuments to Belgium's past, such as the 15th-century Town Hall (Stadhuis). Another prominent landmark in Brussels is the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral, which is otherwise known as the Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule and regularly hosts concerts, due to its exceptional acoustics.
Without doubt two of the most unusual and unexpected landmarks in Brussels, the Chinese Pavilion and Japanese Tower can be found within the Royal Park, towards the northern corner, although for many, the urinating boy statue known as the Manneken Pis is always one to photograph. Also look out for the splendid Royal Palace (Palais Royal), which stands on the Place de Palais and enjoys excellent views across the southerly side of the nearby Parc de Bruxelles.
Grand Place (Grote Markt)
Address: Grote Markt, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
The city's famous central market square, the Grote Markt is surrounded by stunning architecture and period guild houses. Brussels Town Hall (Stadhuis / Maison Communale) presides over the market square and is one of the main landmarks, dating back as far as 1402 and boasts an ornate Gothic-style tower, standing at almost 100 metres / 328 feet in height. Other grandiose structures and monuments surrounding the Grote Markt square include the King's House (Maison du Roi), which is today home to an important collection of art works and local Belgian artefacts.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral (Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule)
Address: Parvis St. Gudule, Treurenberg Hill, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 02 217 8345
Brussels Cathedral is of great historical significance in Belgium and known to have been founded during the middle of the 11th century. During the 13th century, the St. Michael and Gudula Cathedral was thoroughly revamped and many Gothic features were added. The south bell tower boasts almost 50 bells, which regularly ring without fail on Sundays.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, donations suggested
Egmont Palace (Egmontpaleis / Palais d'Egmont)
Address: Wolstraat, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Dating back to the 16th century, the Egmontpaleis (Egmont Palace) is an imposing local landmark in central Brussels and where the Belgian government regularly convenes and meets with many international leaders. The building itself stands in a good state of repair and was thoroughly renovated during the 18th century. Close by, the Egmont Park is worth a look and home to a number of prominent statues.
Open hours: daily - exterior only
Chinese Pavillion and Japanese Tower
Address: 44 Van Praetlaan, Brussels, BE-1020, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 02 268 1608
King Leopold II was so enamoured with oriental architecture that he wanted to create his very own versions, one from China and the other from Japan. Both the exotic structures of the Chinese Pavillion and Japanese Tower were completed at the very beginning of the 20th century, more than 100 years ago, and although quite out of context with the city, are very much loved by the locals.
Open hours: Tuesday to Friday - 09:30 to 17:00, Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
De Beurs / Bourse de Bruxelles / Stock Exchange
Address: Place de la Bourse, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 02 509 1211
The Belgian Stock Exchange (Euronext Brussels) presides over the bustling Place de la Bourse and this magnificent neo-classical landmark was built in the early 1870s. The ornate cream façade of the Bourse de Bruxelles boasts many highly detailed sculptures and friezes, while the enormous columns stand proudly at the top of the steps and make this building looks more like a palace than an actual Stock Exchange.
Open hours: daily guided tours by prior arrangement
Address: Rue de l'Etuve, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Always sought out my tourists, who come to photograph this famous and iconic landmark, the Manneken Pis is a surprisingly small bronze statue of a boy urinating into a pool, originally cast almost 400 years ago. The statue is often rather humorous, since its wardrobe seems to change frequently and he is always dressed in a different outfit, of which he has more than 600, including a Santa suit for Christmas. At special times, bring a glass, as the Manneken Pis statue occasionally even sprinkles beer!
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Royal Palace / National Palace (Palais Royal)
Address: Place de Palais, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 02 551 2020
Often referred to as the Royal Palace of Brussels, this regal building itself was constructed towards the end of the 18th century, although the present façade was added many years later, in the early 1900s, on instruction by King Leopold II. The Royal Palace is no longer used as a royal residence, as the Belgian monarchy now live in the suburbs, within the Royal Castle of Laeken. Also of interest, the magnificent Victorian greenhouses are almost as impressive as the palace itself.
Open hours: late July to mid-September, Tuesday to Sunday - 10:00 to 17:00
Palais de Justice
Address: Place Poelaert, Brussels, BE-1000, Belgium, BE
Tel: +32 02 508 6578
This immense law court stands high above the districts of Marolles and has long been an important symbol of law and order in Brussels. Construction began during the late 1860s and the design itself was actually based upon the architecture of Egyptian temples. Finally completed in 1883, the Palais de Justice immediately became the biggest building on the planet at that time.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 15:00