Hotel de Ville
Hotel de Ville de Bruxelles - Town Hall of Brussels
The Town Hall is undoubtedly the most imposing building of the Big Square. Not surprising then that it withstood the bombing of 1695 – that is its structure and not it’s interior.
A small bit of history: it was the last Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, who placed the first stone of the building in 1444. The objective was to surpass the magnificence of the Town Hall of Bruges. It’s for you to judge whether his mission was successful! Note that since the 15th century, the town hall of Brussels has been a typical example of the gothic style. Its high tower of 91 meters is even considered to be one of the chief masterpieces of the gothic art. At the summit, you’ll see the weathervane of Saint Michel, patron of the city.
In analysing more closely the architecture, you can see that the right wing and the left wing are of different length. The reason is simple. At the time of the construction of the right wing, it was impossible to continue further as houses were located there.
Another striking detail: the tower and the portal are not symmetrical. Many Brussels never miss an opportunity to recount the following tale: "In realising his error, the architect threw himself from the top of the belfry". The sculptures that you can see above the ground floor are in tribute to all the sovereigns and artists of Brussels.
Make sure you enter into the court of honour, which is accessible to tourists. There you will discover two beautiful fountains, allegories of the two major rivers, Meuse and Scheldt.
And if you go on a Saturday morning, you will perhaps see a young couple of newlyweds appearing on the balcony, making the most of their minute of glory!
Hotel de VIlle de Bruxelles - Town Hall of Brussels
Visits without reservation: (French, Dutch, English): +32(0)2 548 04 47
Open the public: Sign up at the venue 40 minutes before the start of the visit.
Adults: 4 euros per adult, seniors, students, groups: 3 euros chlidren and schools: 2 euros.
Good to know: free for under 18’s at the weekend.