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Each year at this time the Bruegel Festivities take place in the heart of the Marolles which is an ancient district of Brussels, situated between the Law Courts of Brussels (Palais de Justice) and the Brussels-South railway station.
The festivities are named after the famous painter Pieter Bruegel nicknamed 'Peasant Bruegel' for his alleged practice of dressing up like a peasant in order to mingle at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre paintings. He died in Brussels on 9 September 1569 and was buried in the Kapellekerk which is in the Marolles.
This historical centre of trading in Brussels, the rue Haute/rue Blaes area contains some three hundred shops. You can find everything here. And even if you don't need anything .
The area now occupied by the Marollen lay, but during the Middle Ages lepers were exiled to this area, and they were cared for by nuns.
Today it's probably the most typical area of Brussels an old working-class neighborhood. The Jeu de Balle is the heart of the neighborhood. Here is a daily flea market. Life starts early in the cafes and restaurants around the square, as the (antique) dealers have their breakfast and close early mornings too.
The Palais de Justice's location is on the Galgenberg (Gallow's hill), where in the Middle Ages convicted criminals were hanged.
I wanted to see the festivities and took this huge lift besides the Palace of Justice which took me down to the "Marolles" district.
It's so easy, because you don't have to drive down hill and into this very busy area where it is nearly impossible to find a parking space.
The lift with the golden cupola of the Justice Palace
In the cabine looking down through an unfortunately dirty window
to the "landing" place of the lift
from where I joined the parade
It was quiet cool and rainy but still people were sitting outside the restaurants and cafés
a Peruvian band
People waiting for the parade
Belgian cartoon figures
a typical "Café"
and dancing folklore groups
the beginning of the parade
Even a Scottish orchestra was present
The first giants arrive
A Spanish soldier (Brussels was once occupied by the Spanishs)
Obelix (whose creators were the Belgian cartoonists René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo) See the hole in his belly that's where the guy who carries him looks outside !
Other giants followed and danced in the streets.
It was a very nice festival, unfortunately the weather wasn't nice, as you can see lots of umbrellas.