Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bruxelles 1997 / Brussels 1997

On a Saturday morning I took the train to visit Brussels, not far from Rotterdam.

I did no research before (as I do now), so I walked from the railway station to the center. The first thing I saw was kind of unexpected: the statue of Don Quichote and Sancho Panza. And then, another statue, representing the former politican and mayor of the city, Charles Buls.

So I arrived in Grote Markt or the Great Place, the historical center of the town. It is dominated by the Town Hall building (constructed during 1402-1448) and its tower of 96 m high. A group of beautiful medieval houses, ornated with golden statues, complete the aseemble. It is representaive for the 17th century Flemish architecture. In Grote Markt there are always florists, selling flowers. I heard loud military music, and hurried along with others to see a pictoresque and colorful parade of some wars veterans.

Near the square, shops with Flemish tapestry and lace. I found also the famous Manneken Pis statue, a small bronze one, produced in 1619 by Jerome Duquesnoy. The collection of the costumes may be seen in the City Museum, hosted in the King's House (Broodhuis), Grote Markt.

A short stop for gurmands is the Rue des Bouchers, where a lot of restaurants specialize in seafood.

Brussels is a town of the Art Nouveau style, with its important representative, Horta. He has a dedicated museum in the city but I had no time to visit it. I went then to see (outside0 The Royal Palace and other landmark, The Palace of Justice.

Brussel is an interesting city, worth of a longer visit. So, I believe I have to go there again, sometime.

Intr-o zi de sambata, am luat un tren de dimineata din Rotterdam si m-am dus sa ma plimb putin prin Bruxelles. Nu ma documentasem in prealabil, asa cum fac acum, nici nu aveam habar ca as putea merge si la Bruxelles. De la gara, am luat-o pe jos, spre centru. Da, centrul acela emblematic pentru Bruxelles, cu piata cu cladiri vechi si plina de flori.

Am ajuns curand intr-o mica piata, unde m-a intampinat...statuia lui Don Quichote si Sancho Panza, ultimul lucru la care m-as fi asteptat in acest spatiu flamand.
 In piata urmatoare, statuia fostului primar al orasului, politicianul Charles Buls sau Karel Buls.
Apoi, pe o straduta mai mica, unde m-am oprit sa privesc pentru prima data o statuie vie si "am gustat" cu ochii vestita ciocolata belgiana din vitrinele magazinelor, ajung in centrul emblematic al Bruxelles-ului, Piata Mare sau Grote Markt. Capitala belgiana fiind un oras bilingv, unde se vorbeste oficial franceza si flamanda, piata se numeste  si la Grand Place.
Piata este predominata de cladirea Primariei, construita intre 1402-1448 si avand acum o fatada in stil gotic. Turnul sau se ridica la 96 m. Ca silueta, mie imi aminteste de Primaria din Viena.
In partea opusa ei se afla Casa Regelui (Bruudhuis), o cladire dantelata din secolul al XVI-lea, care acum adaposteste Muzeul orasului. Aici este prezentata si colectia de haine croite de-a lungul timpului pentru celebrul Manneken Pis.

Intregul centru istoric este o colectie de case in stilul flamand al secolului al XVII-lea, bogat ornate si decorate, multe dintre ele, cu statui aurite.
In Piata Mare gasesti aproape intotdeauna, mi s-a spus, un colt in care se vand flori.
In timp ce ma invarteam pe acolo, aud deodata muzica militara, de fanfara si lumea se buluceste spre o strada care da in piata. Asist si eu la o parada a veteranilor nu stiu caror razboaie, foarte colorata.
In magazinele pentru turisti din jurul pietei abunda tapiseria si dantela flamanda.
Desigur ca nu puteam parasi zona fara a vedea celebrul Mannekin Pis. M-a dezamagit. Ma steptam, nu stiu de ce, sa fie mai mare. E de fapt o mica statuie din bronz, sculptata in 1619 de catre Jerome Duquesnoy, imbracata mereu in alte costume. Sculptura a fost furata in 1817 si inlocuita apoi cu o copie. "Manneken" este un cuvant olandez, care inseamna "omulet".
Manneken Pis
Ma intorc pe o alta strada si dau peste celebra - din punct de vedere culinar - Rue des Bouchers, in nordul Pietei Mari. Aici, pe 3-4 stradute, mai bine de 70 de restaurante specializate mai ales pe fructe de mare, si-au scos mesele pe trotuar si circuli chiar printre ele.
 Rue des Bouchers
Mai am ceva timp, asa ca ma indrept spre alte directii. Stiu ca Bruxelles e si un oras al Art Nouveau-ului, prin reprezentantul sau, Horta. Nu am insa timp ca sa vizitez muzeul. Observ doar in treacat una dintre cladirile celebre, ilustrativa pentru acest stil.
casa Old England, Art Nouveau
Printr-un parc ingrijit ma indrept spre Piata Regala, pentru a vedea, din exterior, Palatul Regal. In piata, o mica bisericuta cu o fatada din sec. al XVIII-lea si mounumentul cruciatului Godfrey de Bouillon.
 Biserica Sf.Jacques-sur-Coudenburg, Piata Regala
 Palatul Regal
fatada
Mai departe, langa monumentala biserica gotica Notre Dame du Sablon, in piateta cu acelasi nume poposesc putin in Parcul Petit Sablon, impodobit cu numeroase statui reprezentand ghildele mestesugaresti.
 Biserica Notre Dame du Sablon
Curand im apare in fata alta cladire emblematica, Palatul de Justitie, aflat in renovare. De pe o terasa din apropiere, admir panorama orasului.
 intrarea in Palatul de Justitie
Ma grabesc din nou spre gara intunecoasa si neprietenoasa (atunci, in 1997 - poate s-a schimbat intre timp), pentru a ma intoarce la Rotterdam. Am vazut doar o mica parte din acest oras cu 1 milion de locuitori. Mai sunt multe lucruri de vazut.





18 comments:

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

Magnificent colours, architecture and variety to the post.

Duncan D. Horne - the Kuantan blogger said...

You're very fortunate to have visited so many places. Nice pictures!

Duncan In Kuantan

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks, J_on_tour! They are vintage photos which I photographed again with a digital camera.

Traveling Hawk said...

Thanks, Duncan! A great number of countries, in Europe, I have seen by means of my job.

黄清华 Wong Ching Wah said...

Such beautiful places you have visited ! like the classic looks and fewer modern architecture ! something I always wish to travel to Europe !!

Traveling Hawk said...

I wish you to be able to travel to Europe, to see our towns, Woong!

VP said...

Not a great fan of Bruxelles, but it is always nice to see it again...

Traveling Hawk said...

It seems we have the same tastes...

Life Ramblings said...

i love Belgium and your photos bring back wonderful memories. there's so much to see there with plenty of great photo ops.

Traveling Hawk said...

I only saw this but I would like to visit Antwerp and Bruges.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

The beautiful heart of Europe!!!

Traveling Hawk said...

thanks again for the visit, Phivos!

magda said...

My dear friend
Very beautiful and distinctive photographs!!!!
Last April I was there and you will see many photos of Brussels,to the next post ...
Thrilled with my husband from the beauty and vibrancy of this city!
Many greetings and kisses

Francisca said...

Thanks for this tour of the town of my birth! Manneke Pis dressed up? LOL! I've been back a few times, but never with a good camera. So maybe we can do a photo walk together here one day...? :-) Or in Timişoara?

Traveling Hawk said...

Mine was only a brief visit, Magda, so I am curious to see your photos.

Traveling Hawk said...

I would be delighted to be your guide in my hometown, Timisoara, Francisca!

Masaj erotic Oradea said...

Very beautiful and distinctive photographs!!!!

Traveling Hawk said...

Multumesc pentru apreciere!