Monday, January 16, 2012

BRUSSELS - Marolles and Fleamarket

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It had been a long time I haven't been in the "Marolles" district, the oldest part of Brussels. I wanted to go to the most famous flea market of Brussels which is located in this area. The easiest way to get there is to take the lift besides the massive Palais de Justice (Justice Palace) which was built on the Galgenberg (Gallow hill), where in the Middle Ages convicted criminals were hanged. Before this lift was built it was quiet an adventure to get to the Marolles by car.

I couldn't take a picture of the whole palace because it's permanently cleaned and repaired and always on another part and it looks quiet ugly with all the scaffolds. Therefore I show you an old postcard picture how it should look like !

The neighbourhood got its name from the 17th-century Marian Colentes nuns, later shortened to Mari-Cole and finally to Marolles.

Today, the Marolles pays tribute to its rich past with streets named for the tanners (rue des Tanneurs),chimney-sweeps (Ramoneuers ) and goldsmiths (Orfèvres). This is also one of the few places where you can still hear the Brussels dialect which the Frenchs call " the Belgian accent" which is completely wrong as it is only spoken in Brussels and unfortunately dies out.

The most famous and oldest flea market of Brussels is located in the heart of the Marolles. I was quiet surprised to find so many tourists there.

the right part of the Justice Palace, lots of cars are already parked there because people take the lift down the hill. This is only possible on weekends ! Otherwise there is no parking space on the streets.

The view opposite the Palais de Justice

The elevator

and the entrance

when you are down the hill you have this view up to the palace

from the way to the elevator you have a wonderful view all over Brussels. It was a little smoggy this morning otherwise you can even see the Atomium which is quiet far away.

The elevator has windows all around so I took this picture out of a scratched window

it seems quiet high when you look down

When I arrived I heard a Jazz orchestra playing in the street

on the way to the flea market there is already one Pub, Tavern, Café, or restaurant side by side

you have a large choice of drinks ! Wine, beer, stronger drinks etc.

arriving on the place "Jeu de Balles" which means Ball Game.

and then the crowded flea market, where you find everything from junk to real antiques.

Even bikes

or clothes

or glasses and sunglasses, I even saw once a basket full of false teeth.

and all around the place the cafés, taverns, pubs etc.

But there are also small art galleries

Despite the cold weather 0° (32 F) people were sitting outside in the sun.

clothes, beer and sandwiches

second hand shops

and of course the stall with the hot snails, hot dogs, or sausages

and further it goes if you are still thirsty or hungry

and when I went back to the lift, I saw this old lady sitting in front of her house and selling "antiques"

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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