November 11, 2014
Together with my family we visited the "Autoworld" Exhibition in the Arcade du Cinquantenaire which is a monumental triple arch in the center of the Cinquantenaire park in Brussels. It is topped by a bronze quadriga sculptural group with a woman charioteer, representing Brabant raising the national flag. The sidewalls feature personifications of Belgian provinces: Brabant being represented by the quadriga, East Flanders, West Flanders, Antwerp, Liège, Hainaut, Limburg, Namur and Luxembourg. Twelve spandrels are decorated with allegories of Arts and Industry. This park was created in 1880 and built by King Leopold II to celebrate Belgian's fifty years of independence. Eight statues of women, symbolising the provinces surround it, the two Flanders being represented by a single statue. Inside the building you can visit, the Royal Army and Military History Museum and Autoworld as permanent exhibitions.
The top of the Arcade
and its statues
Looking up the arcade
The aisles are decorated with frescos
On one side you have a wonderful view on the Avenue de Tervueren
and on the other side to Brussels
The Cinquantenaire Arcade is surrounded by a beautiful park, called Park du Cinquantenaire
At the entrance of the Autoworld exhibition an old police car was exposed
We arrived in this enormous hall created by Victor Horta who was a Belgian architect and designer. It is said that he was "undoubtedly the key European Art Nouveau architect." Horta is considered one of the most important names in Art Nouveau architecture.
The stuffed giraffe is momentarily "on holidays" in the Autoworld exhibition, because the African museum is being renovated.
My little grandson was excited to see all these cars and I choose a model which I wished I would have !
There were all kind of cars from the very beginning of the Automobile history
an overview from the second floor
A Royal carriage was also exposed, unfortunately I couldn't find nowhere on the net, when it had been used for the last time !
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
November 11, 2014
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
The abattoir of Brussels Anderlecht, is an outstanding example of industrial architecture of the 19th century.
An overview of the whole complex, where cattle was sold, and also slaughtered.
Fortunately today no animal is sold or slaughtered here anymore. The conditions must have been horrible.
The father of my best friend was the the director of the abattoir and is on this picture. It must date from the 30th.
The construction of the foundations are four meters (13 ft) deep, forming vast vaulted cellars, known today as the Caves of Kuregem, they served for stocking the meat to keep it fresh and also for cultivation of mushrooms. Today it contains a restaurant and event rooms.
The large metal hall built over these cellars measures 100 square meters (1076 square ft), and was designed by the architect Emile Tirou. The roof of the structure is supported by hundreds of cast-iron columns.
How it looked in the past
The main entrance is decorated with two huge cast bronze bulls from the sculptor Isidore Bonheur who did the same bulls at the Abattoir of Paris. Different buildings are built around the hall which opened in 1890. The presence of the slaughterhouse energizes the neighborhood encouraging the creation of many activities, such as tanneries and food companies.
In 1920, the management of the slaughterhouse was taken over by the municipality of Anderlecht. Following major economic problems, the site was sold in 1980 to a cooperative society of traders and slaughterers and was modernized. The great hall was listed in 1988.
Today it is a huge market on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. No animals are sold here anymore but fruits, vegetables, clothes, shoes, leather goods, and other stuff.
There are restaurants and snacks all around
I have never seen so many butcheries on one spot in my whole life, but also fish shops.
On the street opposite the market there again is one butchery after the other ! You have the choice !
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
September 23, 2014
When I was a teenager in the 60th, Brussels was divided into two parts for shopping and going out. The upper part was the posh area and very expensive, and the lower part around the Grand'Place and "La Bourse" was less expensive and therefore more for the middle class.
Today it's more mixed and less exclusive, but still more expensive than the lower part of Brussels. The chicest place was (and is) the Gallery Louise, which was built in 1951 and opened in 1952.
In no time in this gallery fifty stores were opened, it contains two levels of garages, an office building and apartments and in the basement a set of night clubs and discos. The Gallery of almost 23,000 m² (248 square feet) became the exclusive center of upper Brussels.
The building which contains the gallery hadn't changed at all, since the at least 30 years I haven't been there.
The entrance neither
And the rotunda from which lead all the ways through the gallery was the same too.
This was the place where I used to go dancing every Saturday night together with my friends. There was a nice Disco of which I have forgotten the name, but I remember walking down these staircases with high heels ! Now there are still discos but of course they have completely changed and their names too.
The view from the rotunda in all directions
The shops and boutiques are different too, but still rather expensive.
Just opposite the Gallery, where once only houses stood, is now a pedestrian area and the houses are all transformed into restaurants, just one after the other and for every taste !
I had lunch there to finish my walk into the past !
Tuesday, September 09, 2014
September 9, 2014
With the Smurfs taking over New York and Tintin making his mark in Hollywood, Brussels has a lot to be proud of. All the comic strip heroes from Brussels and Belgium were out and about, creating a fantastic atmosphere to celebrate their great success.
Brussels has spent the weekend revelling all its comic strip glory at the Place des Palais and all around the city in particular at the Belgian Comic Strip Centre guided visits and comics exhibitions took place. The Balloon’s Day Parade, comic strip animations, comic strip themed dinner, night time events and the Balloon's Day Parade with its cartoonesque gentle inflatable giants was parading in all their splendour along the streets of Brussels center.
I wanted to see at least a little bit of this event and went to the place in front of the Royal Palace. I just arrived when the parade was ready to start to go through the city.
The police was standing there twiddling their thumbs or chatting in their smart phones. They had nothing to do, but watch the balloons.
It started here
and these were the most famous figures
Here they arrived
seen from the front
and from the back
Even the Atomium was swinging in the air
There were already lots of people waiting for the start.
and the different bands started to play and move
Although I had to take all the pictures out of my car because it was impossible to find a parking space, I have got a nice overview of this event. The last festival had been in 2011, but because of its success it will probably take place each year from now on.