Day 28 - Bruxelles (BE)
And another anglicised name?
Another imaginary line and German turned to French! There are three languages in Belgium - 60% of the population speak Flemish Dutch (in the north), 40% speak French in Wallonia to the south and about 1% speak German in a community to the east of the country. The main language in Bruxelles, the capital, is French.
Bruxelles hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament. It is also the headquarters for NATO.
The Grand-Place (Grand Square) also used in English or Grote Markt (Big Market) is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by opulent Baroque guildhalls of the former Guilds of Brussels and two larger buildings - the Town Hall, and the neo-Gothic King's House or Bread House building, containing the Brussels City Museum. This was a 2-hour whistle-stop tour before our Eurostar train to London at 15.00 hours (check-in 90 minutes beforehand).
We had visited Brussels before and can thoroughly recommend a couple of days in this beautiful city. You can stroll around and see beautiful buildings all around you as well as enjoy the frites, gaufres (waffles), chocolat and bière! How are Belgians so slim???
The Roman Catholic church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg is located in the Royal Quarter of the city.
The Palace of Charles of Lorraine is a neoclassical palace in the Royal Quarter. Its construction started in 1757 to serve as the residence of the Governor of the Austrian Netherlands, Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine.
Le Carillon du Mont des Arts has 24 bells and 12 figurines that represent important historic and folkloric figures of Brussels. The carillon plays two folkloric tunes, one by Gretry, “Où peut-on etre mieux” and the second, a Flemish melody by Peter Benoit, “Beiaardlied”, alternating the song each hour. The Jacquemart bronze clockwork figure stands 2.8 meter high on the top and marks every hour by striking the bell with a hammer.
Home safe and sound by Eurostar! Look out for special offers - we got a 50% reduction for yheir 50th anniversary last year.