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Ilot Sacré - Unesco zone

With its pedestrian streets and numerous small cul-de-sacs, the so-called "Ilot sacré" district is the historical heart of Brussels around the UNESCO-protected Grand Place. This area of the city is pedestrian only. The zone is limited by rue de la Fourche, rue de la Montagne, rue de l’Ecuyer-Arenberg and Marché aux Herbes-Grasmarkt. The narrow street structure dates back to the Middle Ages. Most of the buildings date from the 18th and 19th centuries, in a style reminiscent of (neo)Baroque, neo-Renaissance or turn-of-the-century industrial architecture.

Quartier Bourse/Saint-Nicolas - Kiekenmarkt/Beurs/Sint-Niklaaskerk

The Marché aux Poulets (chicken market) is an extension of the Marché aux Herbes (herbs market), so it is also a pedestrian shopping street. The architecture ranges from (neo)Renaissance ensembles to Fin-de-Siècle buildings and 20th century styles. The houses on the Rue de Tabora on the even side are adjacent to the Church of St. Nicholas. This Romanesque church, a stone's throw from the Bourse, was repaired and even rebuilt several times until the 1950s.

(Petite) Rue des Bouchers, rue des Dominicains – (Korte) Beenhouwersstraat, Predikantenstraat

These narrow pedestrian streets near the Grand Place are part of the area known as Ilot Sacré. They are home to a large number of restaurants, among which “Chez Léon” (since 1961) and “Aux Armes de Bruxelles”. There is also the statue of Jeanneke Pis, the female counterpart of Manneken Pis.

Quai au Foin et Quai aux Pierres de Taille - Arduinkaai en Hooikaai

Former commercial dock where a pond near the Flemish theatre, the KVS, recalls the port activity. On some of the once industrial facades, beams that allowed goods to be lifted to the floors by means of a pulley are still visible. Some bourgeois mansions also bear witness to the once flourishing character of maritime trade in this district.

See the KVS


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