The Grand-Place is the central square of the Belgian capital Brussels and one of its landmarks. With its Gothic town hall and its closed Baroque façade, it is considered one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.
BRUSSELS, THE GRANDE PLACE.
The Grande Place, or principal market-place of Brussels, is situated in the centre of the city. It is enclosed by large and handsome buildings of various styles of architecture. The Hôtel de Ville occupies the chief part of the south-west side of the Place; but this edifice, beautiful as it is, having been already frequently delineated, the view of the Square, from the north-west side, has been given in preference. Part of the façade of the Hôtel de Ville is seen on the right, and beyond it are some remarkable houses belonging to different trading companies:- that of the brewers’ company is the most highly ornamented: adjoining- it is that of the butchers’ company, also richly ornamented.
On the left-hand is a fine gothic edifice, called the Maison du Roi, or Brood-huis, said to have been founded as early as the year 1000. It was however restored in the year 1618. The Maison du Roi was made use of as a town-hall till the completion of the noble Hôtel de Ville opposite, in the year 1618. The south-east end of the Place, occupying the centre of the view, is formed by a uniform range of building erected in the year 1698 : —it is now divided into private houses.
Source: Select views of some of the principal cities of Europe by Robert Batty. London: Moon, Boys, and Graves, 1832.