Saturday, June 18, 2011

Brussels: The Cathedral

A very impressive building. When we first arrived a service was going on so we came back a few hours later.  You can find out more of the history of the church here  The pictures don't due justice to the true size of the place.

The sculpture below is honoring John I, Duke of Brabant

Brussels: The sights

Brussels is a very compact city which allowed us to see many of the sites quite easily.  No more than a day trip is necessary to take in much of Brussels.

We stayed about 200 ft from the Grand Place which is the central square of Brussels and dates back to the 10th Century.  The buildings which you can see below date back to the 14, 15, and 16 hundreds.

We also witnessed a "panty" burning, not sure what the occasion or purpose behind it was.  It was all going well until a young man in his late teens or early twenties came running in and stomped it out.  A ruggity chug ensued.

Post Grand Place we headed over to the Mannekin Pis.  The Mannekin Pis is a small bronze fountain sculpture depicting a naked little boy urinating into the fountain's basin. It was designed by Jerome Duquesnoy and put in place in 1618 or 1619. 

While we knew the statue was small we did not think the location of the statue would be so quaint.

On our second day in Brussels we stopped by again and this time he was dressed up which is tradition.  There is an entire museum dedicated to his outfits that are donated from throughout the world.

We also visited the Parc du Cinquantenaire including its triumphal arch that was modeled after the one in Paris.

While at the arch we found our new tailgating ride.

A view of the city

 And finally the Royal Palace

Brussels: The Flea Market

The second day we were in Brussels we headed to the local Flea Market to see what all the fuss was about.

There was a Native American section

And an Africa section

You could get a "new" pair of glasses

Or you could say yes to the dress

Become a war hero...

Or get the latest word processor

Can I interest you in a new Mac or flat screen television?

But the creme de la creme was this fine piece of musical history .... Jermaine Jackson, Culture Club, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Queen, Wham and all on one album!

Our final piece to piece of nostalgia comes not from the flea market, but a hipster clothing store.

This boombox may not mean much to you, but when my brother received it for his 13th birthday in the mid eightees he thought he was as hip as the clothing store.