One of our favorite spots to visit during the holiday season in Brussels was the town square area. It’s an area filled with cafes and shops, though we knew where to eat just off the square where it was much less expensive. While the tourists bought their chocolates and tapestries (what one buys in Brussels) from the big fancy shops, we knew a few steps off the square were wonderful shops with much more reasonable prices, and often better quality goods!
Still, everyone loves to go see the little peeing boy statue. I won’t go into the story of a father that lost his son, and found him on this street corner peeing and put up this statue. It’s not a big statue, it’s actually right next to the most tacky of tourist shops (filled with made in China souvenirs). The area in front is usually crowded with tourists that have been told the Manneken Pis is a “must see”. I have to admit it really is a lot of fun, and of course everyone has to pose for a photograph with Brussels’ most famous statue.
The fun thing is that the little boy has a wardrobe any super model would jealous of. There is even an exhibit of his outfits over the years at the town museum on the town square. It’s well worth the price of admission. However, our favorite outfit always was peeing Santa.
The girls really enjoyed the visiting the town square, there would be an ice skating rink set up. There would also be a large life size nativity scene. Giant evergreen trees would be decorated and every store would have garlands. There were also Laplanders that would have reindeer, for Pere Noel‘s magical ride.
Winters in Brussels could be cold, but were rarely snowy. For our family from New Hampshire, adjusting to the mild winters of Brussels was quite easy.
Drivers however seemed to have much difficulty with any amount of snow in Brussels. This is the view from our balcony. We lived on a fairly sloped street, and during even the mildest dusting we would rush to the balcony to watch the cars sliding down the road. New Hampshire drivers seem to understand the concept that when it is slippery you need to brake more gently, and sooner than you normally would.
It should be noted in the winter we never parked our car on the street, but would use the parking garage that was around the corner. That way we could enjoy the “let’s guess how many parked cars will be hit” game.
Here is a video of the girls and myself visiting the most famous wee boy in Belgium, only this is before he had his Santa costume on! He always seemed to be the last to be “decorated” for the holidays.
- Christmas in Brussels, Part One (twodifferentgirls.com)
- Victor Hugo Walk in Brussels – The Grand-Place and the Town Hall (cosytravels.wordpress.com)
- The Challenge of Thanksgiving in Brussels (jessinbelgium.wordpress.com)
Once you’ve completed your visit of the square, stop for a moment in front of the town hall, one of the square’s Gothic buildings. It was built in two stages, whence the legend of the architect throwing himself off the top of the tower after having noticed that the two wings of the building were asymmetrical. Inside, you discover some of the beautiful 17th and 18th century tapestries which made the weavers of Brussels famous.
Fantastic sharing !!Brussels is very a lovely place to visit