I left Neuwied early in the morning and drove to Brussels where Stephan met me and showed me how to get to the parking lot in the center of an old city trying to renovate itself. I then had the whole day to explore this beautiful city, while my poor Stephan had to go back to his conference.

First order of business:  La Grand Place - Grote Markt

The heart of Brussels and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an amazing place to visit.  One can spend hours trying to take in the architecture on all four sides of the square.  Here are some examples:

Hôtel de Ville/Stadhuis (City Hall [above])

Maison du Roi or Broodhuis (King's House) or (Breadhouse)  [below]

A visit to Old Masters Museum

And a few of my favorites:  David's 'La Mort de Marat', Bosch's Temptation of St. Anthony [despite a signature it is a copy.  The original is in the National Museum of ancient Art in Lisbon , and one version of Jordeans' Le roi boit [the king drinks] - note the amazing hygiene practiced on the right hand side of the painting.

... and of course with tons of Rubens' work, it was a feast for one's eyes.

Dinner at 'Aux Armes de Bruxelles'

Next came the Cathedral and various churches

 Cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule  [The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula] [below]


Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg  [below]

Church of St. John the Baptist at the Béguinage - Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste au Béguinage [below, left]                    &  Ste Catherine [below, right]

Church of St Mary Magdalene [Madeleine] and the Chapel of St. Anne are attached as a result of restoration s in 1950's. [below]

Église Notre-Dame de Laeken (Our Lady of Laeken)  [below]


Musée de la Ville de Bruxelles where the original 'Manneken Pis' resides.  The little statue of the pipi boy was rescued from over reaching tourists and a replica was put in its place. The museum is very rich with history as well as telling the history of the city.


Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie  - Koninklijke Muntschouwburg 

Here are some more observations including the royal palace, La bourse/stock exchange, La Pharmacie Anglaise and so on...



And finally, last but not least after a 50 year lapse I revisited the Atomium! 

onto :  Bruges and Antwerp

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