Monday, September 12, 2011

BRUSSELS - Bruegel Festivities

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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

from above

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

the banderole

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.


Martha Z said...

It looks like great fun. Too bad the weather did not cooperate. I like the mix of buildings, some old and some new but all seem to blend together nicely.

Sylvia K said...

Oh, yes, it does look like great fun -- in spite of the weather! Really colorful. You got some really great captures, Gattina! Hope you have a good week!


Kay L. Davies said...

An interesting glimpse into the world of Brussels, my friend.
I was particularly happy to see the Scottish pipe band, because I don't think a parade is complete without bagpipes!
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Carver said...

I enjoyed the tour and the festival looks like it was great fun. Good that the weather didn't seem to dampen the spirits.

Indrani said...

Wow! The huge dolls. I like the top view of the place. Very rarely one gets the chance to take shots from top.

Anonymous said...

What fun! Luckily the rain didn't dampen people's spirits.

diane b said...

Wonderful buildings and costumes. A fun day for all except for the weather, what a shame.

Linens and Royals said...

I love parades, thank you for showing me a very different one and a glimpse of a very interesting part of Brussels.

eileeninmd said...

Thanks for the neat tour of Brussels. I love the giants in the parade. What fun! Wonderful photos and post. Have a great day!

eileeninmd said...

Thanks for the neat tour of Brussels. I love the giants in the parade. What fun! Wonderful photos and post. Have a great day!

jabblog said...

After so much preparation it's a shame when it rains - but obviously it wasn't enough to dampen spirits.

Lifecruiser Travel said...

It's always fun with festivals! Love the lift up there - and the parade since we seldom have parades over here in Sweden. Looks like I would have had a lot to take photos of... It's a pity when the weather gods not are in festival mood though, crying the streets wet....

Jackie said...

A fun festival, the giant Spanish soldier made me think of character Don Quixote, I imagine he would have looked like that sitting on his horse and tilting at windmills, a little eccentric!

I like the Scots pipers too, and love to hear the bagpipes played. It is a pity it rained on the parade but I bet everyone enjoyed it very much anyway.

Great sequence of photo's.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for the interesting and colourful tour of Brussels. Thanks to Bruegel we know how people were dressed, what their traditions were, and how they lived.
Thanks for your meaningful comment on my blog.

Unknown said...

Entertaining post despite the rain threat. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Loree said...

it looks like a really nice district and the festival also seems very interesting.

A Lady's Life said...

i love a good parade and this one looked like fun

Sandra Carlier said...

I remember the place with the country law! What a beautiful parade! Sad that the weather wasn't at the rendez vous cause I imagine all the work to create the giants!!! I would want to be there! I had no time to play at our world! Sad! Plus I am exhausted!the pupils and the weather! It looks like we are in august! I need fresh climate now!!!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I feel like I've been to the festival too -- thank you for sharing. That outdoor lift (elevator as we'd call it) is the largest one I've ever seen. I had to smile at the Peruvian Band -- those guys are everywhere ;>) (We have seen similar bands in many many cities).

I think all of your pictures are great -- wouldn't have noticed that the elevator windows were dirty (and can't imagine how they'd keep them clean anyway).

Loved it all! Thank you. (And the history about the painter and his way of mixing with the 'peasants' for authenticity was mostinteresting.)l


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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