The Grand Place of Brussels is the central square of Brussels. In it stand the City Hall and the House of the King. Some authors, among them Victor Hugo, considered the most beautiful square in the world. It was inscribed in 1998 on the list of the World Patrimony of the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture – UNESCO
The Grand Place is the geographical, historic and commercial center of Brussels, and the first place to be visited by almost all tourists. This busy cobbled square remains the civic center of the city, passed centuries of its creation, and the best example of the Belgian architecture of the seventeenth century. In the 11th century, open-air markets were built and at the end of the 14th century the City Hall of Brussels, the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall) was built, and merchants added guilds in a mixture of styles. In 1695, two days of intense French bombardment destroyed everything except the Town Hall and two facades of guilds. Traders rebuilt their rooms in styles approved by the City Council, resulting in the harmonious unity of Flemish Renaissance buildings we see today.
12th century: the square already existed; where today is the House of the King existed a wooden building where bread was sold, hence its current name in Dutch: Broodhuis
1402-1459: construction of the Town Hall. In 1401 the first stone was laid and only in 1459 was the construction completed, being considered the most beautiful civic building in Belgium, a status still enjoyed today. Jacques van Thienen was commissioned to design the west wing and the steeple of the building, where he used decorated columns, sculptures, turrets and arcades. The tower and the shaft begun in 1449 by Jan van Ruysbroeck helped to establish his reputation.
1523: the first Protestant martyrs, Henri Voes and Jean Van Eschen, are burned by the Spanish Inquisition
1695: most of the houses, built of wood, were destroyed on 13 August in a bombing by the French troops commanded by Marshal Villeroy
1873: construction of the current King’s House in neo-Gothic style.