Thursday, July 18, 2013

Random Bits of Brussels

Here are some sights in Brussels that didn't merit their own post but are interesting enough to get at least a paragraph here!

Several of the shopping areas feature covered arcades. One we went through often (since it was near our hotel) was the Passage du Nord, which is a passage that went north! We liked the statues along the walls and appreciated protection from the rain.

Passage du Nord

One theater we only saw from the outside is the revered Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, which has great opera and ballet companies, or so our guide book says. The outside is quite impressive in its Neo-Classical grandeur. It was built in 1819, after Napoleon had been defeated and Belgium was put under Dutch rule. After a performance in 1830, a crowd took to the streets and began the Revolution of 1830, when Belgium won its independence.

Theatre Royale de la Monnaie

The plaza also has a water sculpture/fountain, which J enjoyed.

What to do here?

Further afield, we discovered a fountain near St. Nicholas church. The fountain had three boys pointing off into the distance. L and J (on their own pedestals) tried to recreate the moment.

Fountain with imitators


One street had the most unusual paint job I'd ever seen.

A leopard can't change its spots, can a building?

We walked by the Bourse Museum which has a very interesting exhibit on Leonardo daVinci. I'm bummed that we never made it in, but the kids just aren't into Leonardo yet (not even as a Ninja Turtle!).

Bourse Museum, Brussels

One church we couldn't get into was St. Catherine's. Every time we went by, it was locked. The plaza in front of the church used to be the fish market but is now full of restaurants that serve excellent fish dishes.

Eglise Ste-Catherine

Down the street from here and near our apartment, we found a bagpiper fountain. We had no signs to explain it to us (not even in Dutch), but the children appreciated it nonetheless.

Bagpipers of the Beguinage?

Close up

Another fountain in the middle of town was a favorite for L.

The proverbial man with a dog?

L on the far side of the fountain

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