City of Brussels

It was supposed to be a rainy day in Brussels but instead God granted us a clear blue sky morning and afternoon.

Our memories of that day start with the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Koekelberg. I have to say it really impressed us. It is not just the size that caught our attention, but also the elegance of its art deco design, just beautiful!

This basilica is ranked fifth among the world´s largest churches, just after the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro Ivory Coast, St. Peter´s in Rome, St. Paul´s in London and Florence´s Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore.

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Front facade
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Interior

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Following the Basilica we went to see the Manneken Pis, the famous fountain of the little boy urinating into a basin . I had previously warned everyone that it was small and a little overrated. Still I think my children expected something more exciting for there was no reaction at all when they saw it… nothing, haha.  I remembered it small, but not that small!

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The best memory we have of Brussels is the time spent at La Grand Place. It is breathtaking! There is just not enough time to observe and admire the details and beauty of each building surrounding the square.

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A view of the Grand Place

The square balances a combination of architectural styles. The City Hall and Maison du Roi have Gothic design and are located one in front of the other. While the rest of the building´s facades are Baroque/Renaissance style.

It was obvious that an open space like this would bring pigeons to its grounds. So part of the experience, as always, involved E and P chasing the birds around. This time, A decided to take pictures along with Dad. During that trip she started to show interest in photography. Nowadays she is taking some workshops and she is getting good at it.

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City Hall
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Maison du Roi
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Guild houses and La Maison des Ducs de Brabant

From there we walked to the Royal Palace making a few stops along the way. The Musical Instrument Museum was worth visiting. We also enjoyed taking some photos of Place Royale´s layout buildings.

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Musical Instrument Museum
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Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg, Neoclassical architecture.

The Royal Palace was not open to public visits, I´m not sure if they have guided tours during other months, so we didn´t stay long. We did admire its grandeur from the distance and its impeccable grounds.

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Royal Palace from the entrance gates

We couldn´t leave Brussels without visiting the Atomium building. The kids loved it! I explained to them that it was built as the main Pavillion for the World Fair and now it is a popular tourist attraction and landmark.

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Every angle of the Atomium gives an interesting cool view.

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There is a sculpture that stands beneath the Atomium. The monument is called Rockgrowth and we liked it. Red stainless steel arms grow from its center, different lengths, and each end has a mirror. We had fun taking pictures of us reflected on one of the arms. Here´s one of Dad, the official family photographer.

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We ended that day tired but pleased. A mixture of incredible sights and family bonding. An amazing day. That is what we remember of our little time spent in Brussles.

 

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