One of the things I love about Northern Europe, as opposed to say, Spain and Italy, is that the main plazas of the cities revolve around civil rather than religious structures. That is certainly the case of the Grand Place in Brussels, where the square features the huge decorated buildings that were the headquarters of the various commercial guilds, along with the city hall and the “King's House.” These are the facades of three of these guild halls.
The square originally served as a market place and was full of stalls where artisans and brokers traded commodities and manufactured goods. Today, there are still stalls set up on a regular basis. Since it was early spring while we were there, the square was full of flower vendors.
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