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Hidden gems in Brussels
01.04.2024

Brussels, the capital of Belgium, the heart of Europe and a jewel to be discovered.

I'm sure you're already crazy about the Grand Place, wandering the streets until you find the Manneken Pis, enjoying the good weather in the Cinquantenaire Park, buying chocolate in the Royal Galleries Saint Hubert and drinking some Belgian craft beers in Delirium.

But what would you say if we offered to go one step further? Discover a Brussels that few have seen, that the masses of tourists don't know about and that is waiting silently for you to discover.

We are talking about the most central part of Brussels, although if you are willing to move around, you can discover places like Bloemenwerf, the Dieweg cemetery or Parc des Étangs where the street art of Anderlecht is located.

 

Hidden Gems in Brussels

Everard t’Serclaes

We start with something that is in plain sight, but hidden. The reason is that it is next to a great place to visit, but one that sometimes gets all the attention. We are referring to the statue of Everard t'Serclaes.

Everard t'Serclaes was a citizen who fought in the War of Succession of the Duchy of Brabant in the 14th century and became a defender and symbol of freedom. Remember to touch the statue to attract good luck. Just look at the most worn area to know exactly where you should do it.

An essential piece of the city's history right at one of the exits of the Grand Place.

 

The crypt of the Cathedral

This is a similar case to the previous one. The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula in Brussels, also known as the Brussels Cathedral, is a stop that is difficult to avoid. However, it is not always possible to enjoy everything it has to offer. Let's go down into the crypt to discover it.

With an interesting story about its construction and continuous expansion throughout its centuries of history, it hides in its foundations the greatest of its secrets. For one euro you can enter the crypt and see its original Romanesque pillars and walls.

 

Black Tower

Speaking of majestic places, made of stone and history, about ten minutes' walk from the Grand Place, there is a tower that, although it seems to have been born in the middle of a place that does not belong there because it is hidden, in reality it is just the opposite. I got there before anyone else.

This building was part of the old wall that protected the city, dating from the 13th century. Just a few steps away from the Santa Catalina Church, its long history has served it to have a number of functions; from the defence of the city to accommodation and even a tavern.

 

Carillon du Mont des Arts

Recommending a visit to Mont des Arts is nothing new. Its gardens, breathtaking views and buildings are a must for anyone who spends at least a few hours in the Belgian capital.

However, the golden clock on the wall of the Dynasty Palace may be overlooked by many. It is an immense golden clock, 7.80 metres in diameter, with a carillon and twelve golden beams emanating from it, which are directed towards twelve figures.

These figures are approximately one metre high and are placed inside individual cavities. They represent well-known and respected people of the city, such as the painter Pierre Paul Rubens.

 

Invader Street Art

This initiative, created by an artist in Paris who defines himself as an Unidentified Free Artist (UFA), started his "Space Invaders" project in 1998. Since then, he has conquered cities in many countries, including Brussels.

His unmistakable trademark is that of the well-known spaceship from the classic video game from which he took his name; Space Invaders, which is drawn on tiles that the anonymous artist sticks to the walls of the city. Can you find the 42 ships that are hidden, actually in plain sight, all over the city?

 

Audrey Hepburn

In the southern part of Brussels, in the Ixelles area, you will find in one of those places that if you find by chance, you could not believe your luck, but that if you are a fan of classic cinema you must know, the birthplace of the actress and model Audrey Hepburn.

48 Rue Keyenveld now houses a block of houses, but you know there's something special about it because there's always a fan of the actress around taking photos.

 

Erasmus

We continue with famous homes, in this case that of the writer and thinker Desiderius Erasmus. Yes, that's right, the one from the student exchange programme. You should take a look at his home for several reasons.

Firstly, because it is a 16th century house, and whoever lived there, it is in itself something interesting to visit.

Secondly, you should go and pay your respects if you benefited from an Erasmus scholarship and thank him for it.

And thirdly, if you are a Renaissance scholar, you will be well aware of the importance of Erasmus and it is well worth a visit and you will find it most interesting.

 

L’impasse Saint-Nicolas

You're just three minutes away from taking a trip back in time. But it's not just any journey, this journey is better than you can imagine, because you'll end up in a bar from more than three centuries ago. Are you coming?

The entrance to the Impasse Saint-Nicolas is a clear promise of what it is going to happen; beauty. A cobbled alleyway from another era, which will lead you to one of the most charming bars and considered one of the oldest in the country; "Aux Bon Vieux Temps". There is no place like it and it has a completely unique atmosphere.

 

 

 

 

Done