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Artistic Fir Trees in Place du Grand Sablon, Brussels

I was delighted to come upon this enchanting forest of artistic trees in Brussels’ Place du Grand Sablon. The beautiful, creative objects were designed by students at Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts, La Cambre, Brussels’ visual arts school, and each tree was sponsored by a local retailer. Each sculpture is so original. I took photos […]

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Illuminated Borse

Plaisirs d’hiver, or Winter Wonders, Brussels

The Brussels Christmas Market is one of the largest in Europe. Over 250 stands spread over 2 kilometers vie for your attention and your wallet. Since it is one of the well-regarded markets, I had high hopes but was disappointed with the offerings. Some of the usual suspects are here: jewelry, scarves, Christmas ornaments, candles […]

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Brussels Nativity Scene

Christmas in Brussels

The Electronic Fir is the best fake Christmas tree I’ve ever seen! If you’re going to forgo the real thing, you might as well go big. The 24-meter tall light installation that currently adorns Brussels’ Grand Place was created by Paris-based architects Pier Schneider and Francois Wunschel. The structure’s steel frame is covered with wood […]

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Brussels Parade-9

Saint Nicholas Parade, Brussels

En route to the Brussels Christmas Market, we happened upon the staging area of what turned out to be a very entertaining parade. The stiltwalkers hanging out on second-story window ledges caught my attention, even before the giant cartoon heads and the oompah band (which, in this part of Europe, is called a bunch of […]

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Brussels Antoine-1

Maison Antoine

For over 3 years, Maison Antoine has been serving up some of the best frites in Brussels. A few € gets you a generous cone of double-fried frites, and for a little bit more you can chose a variety of dips. This step is a must. My favorite is the poivre, which I get on […]

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Brussels Belga

Belga Queen Brussels

This is one of those places that tries to be fashionable and forgets to make memorable food. The setting is a 19th century bank building with stained glass ceilings and marble columns. There’s an inviting oyster bar and expensive beer and cocktail bar. The former bank vaults in the cellar houses a cigar lounge and […]

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Brussels Magritte1

Musée Magritte

Since Magritte is one of Belgium’s most beloved artists, it is only fitting that an entire wing of the Musée Royaux des Beaux-Arts should be dedicated to his work. Since it opened in 2009, the Musée Magritte houses the largest collection of the surrealist’s paintings and drawings. It’s fascinating to walk through Magritte’s career and […]

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Brussels Beaux Art

Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique

This mid-sized gallery offers a great overview of regional art. The collection spans from the 15th to the 20th centuries and focuses on local superstars such as Bruegel, van der Weyden, Jordaens, Rubens. The modern collection is impressive, with 19th and 20th century work by Belgian artists mixed in with pieces by Seurat, Dali and […]

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Brussels St Michael-2

Cathédrale des Sts-Michel & Gudule

When we saw this Roman Catholic church, I had to look twice to make sure we weren’t in Paris, for Cathédrale des Sts-Michel & Gudule is a smaller, slightly modified version of Notre Dame de Paris. When this grand church was founded in 1047, the relics of martyr Saint Gudula (previously housed in a different, […]

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Brussels Claires

Église Notre-Dame des Riches Claires

This is not a particularly notable church, but when we walked by and popped inside, I was struck by the beauty. This church was constructed in the 17th century in the Flemish Renaissance style.

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