128 Route 10. BRUSSELS. Lower Town:
In the centre of the old town and unaffected by modern improve-
ments lies the quaint rand’ Place, or market-place (Pl. D, 3).
It is one of the finest medieval squares in existence and, whether
seen by daylight, when lighted up at night, or by moonlight, pro-
duces a striking effect. In connection alike with tournaments and
festal processions (Ommeganck, comp. p. 140) and with political
events this square has played an important part in the history of
the land from the 44th or 15th cent. down to the Revolution of
1830. In the spring of 1568 twenty-five nobles were beheaded here
by order of the Duke of Alva, and in the following June Lamoral,
Count Egmont, and Philip de Montmorency, Count Hoorn, also
perished here (comp. pp. 103 and 76). In Sept. 1749 the same fate
overtook Guildmaster Frans Anneessens, for presuming to defend
the privileges of the city and the guilds against the encroachments
of the Austrian governor.
The *Hoétel de Ville (Stadhuis; Pl. D, 3) is by far the most in-
teresting edifice in Brussels, and one of the noblest and most beautiful
buildings of the kind in the Netherlands. It is of irregular quadran-
gular form, 66 yds. in length and 55 yds. in depth, and encloses a
court. The principal facade towards the market-place is in the
Gothic style, the E. half having been begun in 1402, the W. in 1444,
The graceful*Tower, 370 ft. in height, which was originally intended
to form the N.W. angle of the building, was completed in 1454.
The original architects were Jacob van Thienen (1405) and Jan van
Ruysbroeck (1448); a statue of the latter adorns the first niche in the
tower. Probably somd@of the niches in the facade were intended
to be purely decorative; at all events, the original sculptures having
been ruined by the French Sansculottes of 1793 and their Belgian
allies, the fagade now seems somewhat overladen by the multitude
of modern statues of Dukes of Brabant and other celebrities with
which it has been adorned, though smoke and the weather have
contributed to soften this effect. The open spire terminates in a
gilded metal figure of the Archangel Michael, 16 ft. in height, which
serves as a vane. This was executed in the first instance by Martin
van Rode in 1454, but has since been several times renewed, the
last time in 1897. The back of the Hotel de Ville and the wing on
the Rue de la Téte-d’Or date from the beginning of the 18th cent.,
the original edifices having been destroyed by the bombardment of
the French in 1695. In the court are two fountains of the 18th
cent., each adorned with a river-god (Scheldt and Meuse), that on
the left by De Kinder, that on the right by P. D. Plumier.
Tickets (p. 96) admitting visitors to view the InreRior of the Hétel
de Ville are issued in the corridor of the N. wing, to the right in the
court. Visitors, who receive also a printed description of the building,
then ascend the staircase to the principal floor.
First Froor. In the Vestibule are several full-length portraits of former
Sovereigns, among whom are Maria Theresa, Francis IJ., Joseph II.,
Charles VI., Charles II. of Spain, ete. (all painted in the 18th cent.).
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K 29612:[a,1,11], Collectie Stad Antwerpen, Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience
Baedeker, Karl, Belgium and Holland, including the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg: handbook for travellers, K 29612:[a,1,11], Collectie Stad Antwerpen, Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience