Brussels 2013 - The Grand Place (Old Town Square)
Brussels is the capital of Belgium and also the de facto capital of the European Union. It is also the largest city in Belgium with a population of 1.2 million. The Brussels Old Town Square - the Grand Place - is reputed to be one of the most beautiful in Europe - as the city was spared from the bombings during the 2nd World War. Most of the buildings have survived the centuries in very good condition, and they are indeed very architecturally impressive.
The Grand Place is surrounded by guildhalls - buildings that belong to various business associations of different trades. Like Wall Street barons of today - these guilds were controlled by some of the most powerful businessmen of the day.
Besides the guild halls, the two most impressive buildings in the Square are the Town Hall and the "King's House" which is now a museum. Both are handsome examples of the Gothic style.
In the centre of the Square are a few kiosks where you can buy actual paintings or prints. Some of them are very good.