Tuesday, March 23, 2010

BRUSSELS - St. Gilles

In the center of Brussels a lot of the beautiful manors and old historical houses have been demolished in the 60th to make space for ugly modern glass boxes. Fortunately there are some municipalities which have been spared and have kept their original look. One of them is St. Gilles.

It is one of the nineteen municipalities in Brussels. Particular architectural delights are found in the dozen or more Art Nouveau houses . Several of those houses have been recognized as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2000.

Saint-Gilles is also known as one of the centers of artistic and student life in Brussels. Today, Saint-Gilles is one of the densest municipalities of the Brussels. Half of the population are foreign nationalities, the majority are Morrocans, followed by Spanishs, Portugueses, Italians, Greeks and also Britts.

So lets do a little walk through St. Gilles

Beautiful iron balconees everywhere

The imposing town hall, built between 1900 and 1904, looks larger than it is, and bears a splendid resemblance to a French château with Venetian overtones.

a memorial for fallen soldiers in WW II

Spring arrived and the first people are sitting outside the cafés

another very stylish house

and now, believe it or not, we arrive at the prison !

The prison of Saint-Gilles, was built between 1878 and 1884, in Tudor style, and looks rather like a medieval castle or a fort with its towers and gates. It is the largest prison in Brussels. The reputation of this prison is not very good because it is very old fashioned inside and houses too many inmates.

There were some women standing outside the door, probably waiting for a husband, a brother or a father.

The carved wooden door is quiet impressive

Just in front of the prison is a little parc and houses

It must be interesting to live just in front of a jail !

(St.Gilles for those who wants to know more about its history).


Bill said...

These are pretty houses. Even the prison looks great but probably only from the outside.

My name is Riet said...

Beautiful Gattina. I love those wonderful looking old houses.
Have a nice day

Loree said...

St Gilles is beautiful Gattina. I also like the look of the prison - very medieval looking.

Wolynski said...

What a great neighborhood - glad they preserved it.

I wonder if that prison still has functioning dungeons?

LadyFi said...

Lovely houses.. and I just can't believe that castle is actually a prison!

Victoria Tsavdaridou said...

Great post, as always, Full of information!!!!

Randi said...

This is beautiful series of photos. I have been to Brussels many, many times and I love this city. You are showing a wonderful part of the city. I love old buildings!

Rajesh said...

I am glad at least some historical buildings survived the demolition drive. Wonderful architecture. Nobody will be able to guess it is a prison.

Maribeth said...

What a wonderful post, full of beautiful buildings!

Janis said...

Love all the old buildings...beautiful designs. The prison is very interesting...very gothic..too nice to be a prison. BTW I will be hosting FM on March 29...come on over n sign up on friday.

Pat said...

Beautiful architecture in St. Gilles...even the prison is beautiful!

Sylvia K said...

I love the architecture in St. Gilles! And, yes, even the prison is beautiful! Love that magnificent door! But I don't think I'd want to live across the street from it! Terrific captures and such an interesting post! Hope you have a great week, Gattina!


Melli said...

Ohhhhhhh I POSITIVELY LOVE St. Gilles! How beautiful! I wish they would take down ALL those wires that criss cross the sky and mess up the pictures! Other than THAT it is perfect!

Noel Morata said...


what an incredible place. i loved the city tour and those amazing buildings including the jail, thank you for showing us a little bit of your world for tuesday...

have a good remainder of the week.

Lifecruiser said...

Awesome architecture examples! I love them all, but of course I favorite the jail! I wanna live there! *giggles*

SandyCarlson said...

Stunning shots.

Oman said...

these are truly amazing shots. you must have smile on your face when taking these because the outcome are truly heartfelt. great shots. thanks for sharing.


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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