Right in the heart of Brussels Old Town, the city’s main plaza (known as Grand Place) is one of the best preserved in
Europe. Much of the square’s rich and beautiful character is due to the (like nothing else in the world) (related to the beautiful design and construction of buildings, etc.) of its rich and beautiful Gildehuizen ((organization of people) houses) with their beautiful gables, pilasters, and balustrades, beautifully carved stonework, and rich gold decoration. Most were built between 1696 and 1700 in the (historic period 1600-1750)/(fancily decorated) style but with some Flemish influences. The history of the Grand Place dates back much earlier though. It was first established in the 11th century and changed (and got better) soon after, to become the political and money-based center for the city.
The most recognizable building on the square is the Hotel de Ville (Town Hall), built in 1402 with the plan/purpose of taking the attention away from the Stadhuis in the fighting city of Bruges. Inside are (more than two, but not a lot of) beautiful rooms. Among the most impressive are the Maximilian Room hung with Brussels fabrics; the large (group of people who advise or govern)Room with an excellent ceiling by Victor Janssens and fabrics to his designs; the great banqueting hall and the Marriage Room, both beautifully panelled; and the Escalier d’Honneur with large wall paintings illustrating the history of Brussels