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.
Pedestrian shopping streets. Rue Grétry is an extension of Rue des Bouchers and has many restaurants. In Rue des Fripiers, many shops and the main entrance to the Galerie du Centre (architect Collin, 1951-1952).
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.
Nearby the Grand Place, a section of the main commercial axis of the old city which has hosted numerous public markets over the centuries. Now a busy pedestrian shopping street with many boutiques. Small dead-ends including the Impasse des Cadeaux and the Impasse Sainte-Petronille.
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.
On the edge of the area known as the Ilot Sacré, this street continues in the Rue de l'Evêque towards De Brouckère and in the Rue d'Arenberg towards the Boulevard de l'Impératrice. Some buildings were created by renowned architects of the beginning of the 20th century such as Adrien Blomme or Paul Hamesse. Numerous shops and Horeca establishments. North entrance to the Galeries Royales.
Close to the Grand Place, it is part of the Ilot Sacré area. Known under the nickname "Pitta street", for the many kebab shops that can be found there. Many houses date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
District of the old port of Brussels, active from the 16th century to the 1920s. This district has many restaurants, cafés and food shops, and hosts the annual “Winter Wonders.” Part of the old docks has also been transformed into a public park.
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
Formerly the fish market, an unofficial name that finds an echo today in the many seafood restaurants. Anspach fountain (eclectic style, 1897). Large esplanade, basin, metro station.
See Le Cheval Marin