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Sightseeing/ Attractions
Brussels Connect > Guide > Sightseeing/ Attractions

The Grand Place

The Grand-Place is the main tourist attraction of Brussels. It was build as a merchant’s market in the 13th century and still now it is visited by thousands of people who like to spend some time wandering around and admiring the beautiful buildings. You can sit down on one of the many terraces having a good Belgian beer. The Grand Place is been called the most beautiful market square in Europe and maybe in the whole world. French-speakers refer to it as the 'Grand-Place', whereas in Dutch it is called 'de Grote Markt'. The square is completely enclosed by tall Flemish Renaissance buildings like the King’s house, the Town hall and the lovely Guild houses. The daily commerce of the Grand Place consists of a colourful flower market and on Sundays a bird market. Impressive as it is by day, it is even more beautiful at night with the lights spotting the buildings. Between April and September the town square and its buildings are illuminated at night with classical music on the background. There are two sessions of approximately 15 minutes each night (between 21.30 h and 23.15 h, depending on the sunset). Concerts and musical happenings are organized all through the year on the square. The most famous events that take place here are the historical procession called the Ommegang (July) and the biennial flower carpet in august every two years (2006, 2008 etc.). The Ommegang is the oldest historical evocation in Brussels. This extraordinary spectacle takes place the first Thursday of July. The Grand Place is the centre of the city and can not be missed; it’s near the central station.


Manneken Pis

Manneken Pis is the symbol of Belgium and a good representation of Belgian humor. It’s a tiny statue of a little boy who’s peeing on street. In Belgium everybody gets a fine while doing that, but he’s getting away with it. So, don’t try to copy him! Manneken Pis was cast in bronze in 1619 by Jerome Duquesnoy but was unfortunately destroyed. Another was cast to replace it in 1630. The replacement was also attacked, this time by the English and the French, but if the Belgium’s want a peeing boy in their capital even the they can’t stop that. During high season, visitors from around the world gather to see the little, peeing statue that changes his wardrobe every time. The world famous statue can be seen every day and night at the corner of Eikstraat/Stoofstraat near the Grand Place.


Brupark

“Vrolijk Belgie” or “merry Belgium” was build for the world exhibition in 1958. It’s near by the atomium and during the exhibition it was a favourite with it’s collection of 'antique' bars. It was meant to illustrate Belgium’s high quality of life. After the exhibition everything, apart from the Atomium, was torn down, but Merry Belgium is back and now they call it Brupark. This park is located around the Atomium and houses a giant Kinepolis cinema, the swimmer's paradise Oceadium and the popular mini Europe. Brupark’s village can be visited all year round. The bars and restaurants have big terraces and there’s also a playground, a Cyber Café and a beautiful Venetian carousel.


Atomium
Eeuwfeestlaan/Boulevard du Centenaire
Heyzel/Heysel: metro 1ª

This unique structure is located at the Eeuwfeestlaan and Boulevard du Centenaire near famous places of interest such as Brupark, Oceade, Mini Europe and Brussels' Exhibition Park. Engineer André Waterkeyn designed this building for the 1958 World Exhibition and it is an iron atom. Normally you won´t see an atom, because it's the smallest thing I know. It had to be anlarged 165 billion times. It became nine massive irons who's spheres are representing the nine Belgian provinces and are held together by iron corridors. The construction is 102m high and weighs no less than 2,400 tons. The lift will costs you € 5,- and brings you to the top. It’s gives a nice few over the city. There's also an exhibition of the Atomium in comics from 1958 to the present, and a film on the building's construction.

Price:    Adults € 6,- 
             Children, schools and seniors 65+, € 4,-



Mini-Europe

Mini-Europe is just like it’s called a miniature version of Europe with all the highlights of Europe. If you’ve never have seen the Big Ben or Tour de Eiffel just go to this place because you can see it all, just in once. You can even let the Vesuvius erupt if you want. For a lot of attractions you can puss a button and see something happen. It’s funny but also educative. Mini-Europe also has the ‘Spirit of Europe,’ a place full of interactive multimedia games, where you can find brochures about the European Union. A few days (usually Saturday and Sunday) in July and August, their will be musical fireworks at Mini-Europe.

Opening hours:
from 19-03-2005 till 30-06-2005  and September it’s open from 9:30 till 18:00, but in summer season (July and August) it will be open till 20:00.
Oktober, November and December it will be open from 10:00 till 18:00.

You can see on www.minieurope.com for more details like opening hours and prices. The price is around € 11, 80- for an adult and € 8, 80 for a child.

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