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Maurice Greer’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 05 Jul 2009

Location: Brussels, Belgium

MapThis morning we drove into Brussels, parked and walked into “Place Grote Markt” the main square in the old city. We were in awe when we saw the spectacular buildings surrounding this square. The most dominant is the Hotel de Ville with its intricately decorated gothic façade and tall tower. Other buildings, all built in the late 1660s, are also decorated with statues and decorations of stone, copper and gold (paint). We walked up to the Palace which has a French appearance and then to the cathedral, another highly decorated building. We have observed that the pulpits in the cathedrals in Belgium are highly decorated wood carvings and this one appeared to have been carved from one huge tree trunk. Later we walked out to the Palace of Justice building which was closed when we got there and undergoing a much needed restoration. We noticed that the area close by has some very scruffy apartment buildings and we were glad to get back towards the old city centre. We went back to our car and drove out some distance to see the European Parliament. This is a modern complex with large curving buildings clad in glass and marble, very different from the old architecture we’ve been admiring in Europe, but it has its appeal and certainly would be a nice complex to work in.