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Grote Markt / Grand-Place

The central market square of Brussels is called the Grote Markt in Dutch and the Grand Place in French. It is surrounded by guild houses, the town hall and the King's House (Dutch: Broodhuis, French: Maison du Roi). The market square is the most important tourist destination in Brussels.

The town hall was constructed between 1402 and 1455. The original architect was probably Jacob Van Thienen. The gothic tower was designed by architect Jan Van Ruysbroeck. At the top of the tower there's a statue of St. Michael, the patron of Brussels.

The King's House was in the 13th century a wooden building were the bakers sold their bread. It was replaced in the 15th century by a stone building for the administration of the duke of Brabant. In the 18th century the building was restored in neo-gothic style.

On August the 13th 1695 most buildings around the square were destroyed by French troops led by De Villeroy as retaliation for the lost battle of Namur. Only the town hall remained standing. The houses around the square were rebuilt by the guilds in baroque style. One of the houses was owned by the brewers' guild, and is now the home of a brewers' museum.