Friday, December 21, 2007



Sunday I took the train to Brussels to see the Christmas tree on Grand'Place and the Christmas market. It is very hard to find a parking space in the city center that's why I prefered to take the train. On week-ends it is very cheap, from Waterloo to Brussels only 3.80 € for a return ticket. The Central station as the word says is just a few meters from the Grand'Place away. For those who don't know where Waterloo is located, it is just 15 km away from Brussels and almost considered as a suburb.

First thing I saw was this hotel, just in front of the station and also the crowd which moved towards the Grand'Place.

All around the central station the beautiful old houses had been demolished in the 60th and replaced by these ugly glass buildings. Here is one which fortunately survived.

Walking futher I thought that whole Belgium plus tourists had the same idea as I ! The streets were crowded !

A little Christmas market was just before the Grand'Place. The buildings behind had all been rebuilt in the 90th by copying the old style, to hide the disaster they had done in the 60th

One of the Galleries around the Grand'Place

This door had been put up as an entry to the Grand place's Christmas decoration

The first thing I saw was the Nativity scene in human size figures. I was a little disappointed because usually on Sundays there are real persons in it.

But at least there was one real sheep, the goats, chicken, and donkies were missing

A british group of young Santas

One of the Restaurants

and another

now I saw the tree too


It was only decorated with blue balls and looked a little poor

compared to the tree of last year (above)

People were already sitting there waiting for the traditional Christmas"Sound and Light" and the lights on the Christmas tree. Everybody was wondering why it hadn't started yet because it was 4.30 and quite dark.

There also were some street performers

The Christmas market started just behind the Grand'Place with an information stand

Of course the German Glühwein (hot wine) was not missing

and Manneken Piss, Brussels symbol neither

all along the streets between the Grand'Place and "La Bourse" is the Christmas market


Christmas decorations and many other things to buy


and then I walked by the Saint who brings you luck and happiness if you touch his arm and hand and also for the health of your pet if you touch the little dog who sleeps at his feet.

There are a lot of Brussels' lace stores around the Grand'Place

and one of the best Hotels, just behind
I then returned to the Grand'Place to take a picture of the lightened tree, but there still was nothing and it was 5 by now. I had to catch my train so I went back to the station. And there again a lot of people had the same idea as I, it was full ! Even more then during a week day. I hardly found a seat in the train.



Anonymous said...

This looks like a wonderful xmas market - maybe better than mine! Yes, I went to one Sunday too and I'm in the middle of writing it, but I must go out and do some grocery shopping for xmas first!

So, I just linked to your post and will come back later to really scan it through!

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Thanks for the tour. The city looks very nice. I don't know if Toronto has a Christmas market or not. There a a couple of downtown "farmers" markets in Toronto (Saint Lawrence market and Kennsington Market) that are very good year round. I suspect they add Christmas stuff this time of year. Urban living has much to recommend it. I have lived there a couple of times before I retreated to the country.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that was a big xmas tree, but as you did show us last years tree too, I must agree that it looks a bit sparely decorated. Very strange that they didn't inform people about the sound&light of the tree. Must have been a disappointment when it's expected.

Many lovely old xmas stalls. I like that.

Oh, and those laces is fabulous. You don't see that often nowadays.

It's very interesting to see different xmas markets indeed :-)

TorAa said...

Bruxelles is one of my few preferred Captitals to Visit.

Guess the 5 others?

Anonymous said...

What a lovely guided tour Gattina - You know I love Brussels and have been there a lot of time.

You know I visited Grand'Place a few weeks ago and they was about to build that big decoration then and the tree was up but not finished decorated. Thanks for taking me with to see the result!

Wishing you a lovely Yuletide!

RennyBA's Terella

Anonymous said...

Wonderfull atmosphere at Christmas Market in Brussel! Just as we were there! Bruxelle semble être une ville très interessante à découvrir et elle fait honneur à l'Europe en tant que capitale européenne! Bravo pour ce reportage! Pourquoi le sapin était il sobre cette année? Le maire de la ville doit être un peu inquiet pour la vie politique de la Belgique...Mais nous aussi on a de quoi s'inquiéter avec notre petit nain.

Toni said...

How fun to view these photos. I especially enjoyed the nativity.

Anonymous said...

What a shame they didn't have everything lit up in time for you, but nevertheless, your pictures were excellent and you really can feel the atmosphere. A lovely post, and I have added the link to my Christmas market post as well.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Just dropping by to wish to you and your family a HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR.

I come back soon to enjoy your beautiful photos!

Gledwood said...

They do have Christmas markets in this country but I don't recall seeing anything like that in London. (Norwich, yes. And Wales. But never London.)... Maybe London is too busy putting up its huge festive Oxford Street/ Regent Street lights and clawing as much cash off shoppers as possible!!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Fabulous pictures Gattina....Christmas brightens everything up, doesm't it? All the displays and lights, etc....Lovely!
Thanks for this tour. But I'm wondering where Amsterdam is??? Or do I have it wrong?

TopChamp said...

looks lovely!


About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are 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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