La Grand-Place, Brussels

La Grand-Place, Brussels

La Grand-Place in Brussels is a remarkably homogeneous body of public and private buildings, dating mainly from the late 17th century. The architecture provides a vivid illustration of the level of social and cultural life of the period in this important political and commercial centre.

La Grand-Place de Bruxelles

La Grand-Place de Bruxelles est un ensemble remarquablement homogène de bâtiments publics et privés, datant principalement de la fin du XVIIe siècle, dont l’architecture résume et illustre de manière vivace la qualité sociale et culturelle de cet important centre politique et commercial.

الساحة الكبرى في بروكسل

تضم ساحة الغراند بلاس في بروكسل مجموعة متجانسة على نحو رائع من المباني العامة والخاصة التي ترقى بشكل رئيس إلى أواخر القرن السابع عشر وتتميّز بهندستها المعمارية التي تختصر وتجسّد بشكل حيوي النوعية الإجتماعية والثقافية الخاصة بهذا المركز السياسي والتجاري المهم.

source: UNESCO/ERI

布鲁塞尔大广场

布鲁塞尔大广场是一处卓越的公共和私人建筑混合建筑群,大部分建筑建于17世纪晚期。这些建筑生动诠释了布鲁赛尔这一重要政治、商业中心的社会和文化生活水平。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Площадь Ла-Гранд-Плас в Брюсселе

Площадь Ла-Гранд-Плас в Брюсселе – это выдающийся целостный комплекс общественных и частных зданий, датируемых, главным образом, концом XVII в. Их архитектура ярко иллюстрирует уровень социальной и культурной жизни Брюсселя как важного политического и торгового центра Европы того времени.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Plaza Mayor de Bruselas

La Plaza Mayor de Bruselas es un conjunto extraordinariamente homogéneo de edificios públicos y privados que datan en su mayorí­a del siglo XVII. Su arquitectura es un excelente compendio y una viva ilustración del nivel alcanzado en este periodo por la vida social y cultural en este importante centro polí­tico y comercial.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ブリュッセルのグラン-プラス

source: NFUAJ

Grote Markt in Brussel

De Grote Markt in Brussel is een opmerkelijk homogeen geheel van publieke en privégebouwen, grotendeels daterend uit de laat-17e eeuw. De gebouwen aan het plein laten een eclectische en zeer succesvolle vermenging zien van architecturale en artistieke stijlen. De eerste schriftelijke verwijzing naar de Nedermarckt – de oorspronkelijke naam – dateert uit 1174. De huidige naam kwam in gebruik in het laatste kwart van de 18e eeuw. De soort en kwaliteit van de architectuur rond de Grote Markt samen met de functie als publieke open ruimte, illustreren de ontwikkeling en prestaties van een zeer succesvolle Noord-Europese handelsstad op het hoogtepunt van haar welvaart.

Source: unesco.nl

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Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ii): The Grand-Place is an outstanding example of the eclectic and highly successful blending of architectural and artistic styles that characterizes the culture and society of this region.

Criterion (iv): Through the nature and quality of its architecture and of its outstanding quality as a public open space, the Grand-Place illustrates in an exceptional way the evolution and achievements of a highly successful mercantile city of northern Europe at the height of its prosperity.

Long Description

The Grand-Place is an outstanding example of the eclectic and highly successful blending of architectural and artistic styles that characterizes the culture and society of this region. Through the nature and quality of its architecture and of its outstanding quality as a public open space, it illustrates in an exceptional way the evolution and achievements of a highly successful mercantile city of northern Europe at the height of its prosperity.

The earliest written reference to the Nedermarckt (Lower Market), as it was originally known, dates from 1174. The present name came into use in the last quarter of the 18th century.

It is located on former marshland on the right bank of the River Senne, to the east of the castellum, a defensive outwork of the castle built around 977 by Charles of France, Duke of Lower Lotharingia. The marsh was drained in the 12th century. The present rectangular outline of the Grand'Place has developed over the centuries as a result of successive enlargements and other modifications, and did not take up its definitive form until after 1695. It has, however, always had seven streets running into it. In the 13th and 14th centuries the market-place was surrounded by haphazardly disposed steenen (the stone-built Cloth, Bread, and Meat Halls or Markets) and timber-framed houses, separated by yards, gardens, or ambiti (passages serving as fire-breaks). During the 15th century the houses on the south side were replaced by the east and west wings of the City Hall (1401-44) and its bell tower (1449). A new Bread Hall was built on the north side in 1405.

The Bread Hall was demolished in 1512-13 and replaced by a large building that was given the name 'the King's House' (La Maison du Roi). During the course of the 16th century many of the houses were rebuilt with new facades in Renaissance or Baroque style. On 14 August 1695 Louis XIV of France ordered Marshal Villeroy to bombard the city as a reprisal following the destruction of French coastal towns and ports by Dutch and English warships. Despite the severity of the bombardment, reconstruction was rapid, thanks to the action taken by the City authorities and the generous support of other towns and provinces. In a remarkable ordinance promulgated in 1697 by the City Magistrate, all proposals for the reconstruction of facades had to be submitted to the authorities for approval, so as to preserve the harmony of the square. In four years the Grand-Place had been completely restored to its original layout and appearance..

The Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), which covers most of the south side of the Grand'Place, consists of a group of buildings around a rectangular internal courtyard. The part facing on to the square is from the 15th century, consisting of two L-shaped buildings. The entire facade is decorated with statues dating from the 19th century. The southern part of the complex is a restrained classical building that closes the U-shaped plan of the Gothic structures, built in the 18th century. Facing the City Hall across the square is its other main feature, the Maison du Roi (King's House), now used as the City Museum. In 1873 the City Council decided that its state of conservation was so bad that it should be demolished and rebuilt. The reconstruction was based on the original. The result is a three-storey brick building with an arcaded facade, saddleback roof and centrally placed tower with lantern.

Each of the houses around the Grand'Place, which vary considerably in size, has its own name: Les Ducs de Brabant, Le Roi de l'Espagne, Le Cornet, Le Cygne, the Maison des Brasseurs, Le Cerf, La Maison des Tailleurs. The degree of conservation of original features inside the houses around the Grand'Place is somewhat variable. In some cases almost no changes have been made since the early 18th century, whereas in others there has been radical conversion and modernization. In a number of cases the ground floors have been converted for use as shops, restaurants, or cafes.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

The earliest written reference to the Nedermarckt (Lower Market), as it was originally known, dates from 1174. The present name came into use in the last quarter of the 18th century.

It is located on what was marshland on the right bank of the river Senne, to the east of the castellum, a defensive outwork of the castle built around 977 by Charles of France, Duke of Lower Lotharingia. It was bounded to the north by the Spiegelbeek stream and on the south and east by a sandbank, and sloped down from east to west, as the names of some of the houses testify (No 6 La Montagne, Nos 10 and 18 La Colline). The marsh was drained in the 12th century (or perhaps slightly earlier).

The present rectangular outline of the Grand-Place has developed over the centuries as a result of successive enlargements and other modifications, and did not take up its definitive form until after 1695. It has, however, always had seven streets running into it. In the 13th and 14th centuries the market-place was surrounded by haphazardly disposed steenen (the stone-built Cloth, Bread, and Meat Halls or Markets) and timber-framed houses, separated by yards, gardens, or ambiti (passages serving as fire-breaks).

In the second half of the 14th century an enormous Cloth Hall was erected on the south side of the square. In 1396 the city authorities expropriated a large number of buildings on the north side in order to extend and straighten it. During the 15th century the houses on the south side were replaced by the east and west wings of the City Hall (1401-44) and its bell-tower (1449). A new Bread Hall was built on the north side in 1405. In 1441 the irregularly aligned houses on the east side were demolished and replaced by six contiguous buildings on the same alignment. From around this time the houses around the square were systematically taken over by the corporations and the guilds that had since the 1420s played a role in the city government and were committed to the improvement of the Grand-Place. The Bread Hall was demolished in 1512-13 and replaced by a large building that was given the name of the King's House (La Maison du Roi). During the course of the 16th century many of the houses were rebuilt with new facades in Renaissance or Baroque style.

On 14 August 1695 Louis XIV of France ordered Marshal Villeroy to bombard the City of Brussels as a reprisal following the destruction of French coastal towns and ports by Dutch and English warships. Since the Dutch and English troops were on campaign at Namur, a French army of 70,000 men was able to place its considerable artillery on the Scheut heights, from where 3000 bombs and 1200 incendiary shells rained down on the heart of the city. By the evening of 15 August only the City Hall, the King's House, and a few house walls were still standing in the Grand-Place.

Despite the severity of the bombardment, reconstruction was rapid, thanks to the action taken by the City authorities and the generous support of other towns and provinces. In a remarkable ordinance promulgated in 1697 by the City Magistrate, all proposals for the reconstruction of facades had to be submitted to the authorities for approval, so as to preserve the harmony of the square. In four years the Grand-Place had been completely restored to its original layout and appearance. The opportunity was taken at the same time to widen and straighten several of the streets leading into the square. The Cloth Hall, which had been reduced to ruins, was replaced shortly afterwards by the south wing of the City Hall.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation