Halloween isn’t as popular here as it is in the USA or at least, not yet! Ingrid and I decided to do something special for this day. Nothing spooky, but something eerie and hauntingly beautiful. We visited and photographed three cemeteries and afterwards experimented with the editing of the pictures.
First up, the official cemetery of Brussels itself:
Next stop: Laeken. This is the municipality where (part of) the royal family lives … and is buried…
Finally, we went to the cemetery of Sint-Gillis, which is not used anymore.
I tried to make a video of our visits to the cemeteries, but the images came out blurry… Ingrid tried to do some magic with some software. Let us know what you think, of both the pictures and the video!
Lars and I finally managed to visit the Christmas market of Brussels today! The weather was quite mild – last year we were literally frozen during our visit.
And there was a new attraction! It is called Iceberg and is an interactive light and sound installation. Or as VisitBrussels (the official touristic website of Brussels) puts it:
On the Place de la Monnaie, from north to south, the installation invites visitors to follow the course of a reinterpreted iceberg, from its virtual descent into polar waters until its complete dissolution in southern seas. The installation offers three skeletons of one same iceberg at three various stages of its existence… Three forms, sizes, distinct luminous spaces and sound atmospheres.
Brussels seems to have a bit of an obsession with peeing. There is the famous Manneken Pis. And there is even a female version, called Jeanneke Pis. And that’s not all. Have a look in the Rue des Chartreux.
At the corner of the street, you will find the Zinneke: a small statue of a mongrel, lifting his leg! The word Zinneke refers to the Zenne, the river flowing through Brussels. It is also a nickname for the people of Brussels.
Anyway, we started the Saint-Géry Walk with peeing and we end it with … peeing. Lars and I hope you enjoyed our walk and we hope that you discovered some interesting places! Starting tomorrow, we will blog about our trip to Berlin!
Brussels is a bilingual city; one of the consequences is that all the street names have a French and a Dutch variant. The funny thing is that the two names are not always the same. So in French we talk about the Marché aux Poissons (Fish Market), whereas in Dutch we refer to the same square as the Sint-Katelijneplein. To be more precise: it’s the square between the Baksteenkaai and the Brandhoutkaai (zoom in on the map to see the street names):
This is actually the square where you have the metro station Sainte-Catherine/Sint-Katelijne. According to Wikipedia,
The station is unique in Brussels for being located in the reclaimed and covered space of an old harbor dock. Because of this, the metro tunnel runs very shallow at this point, making the station one of the few in Brussels that lack an underground mezzanine. Entrances and exits from the station lead up into the middle of the Sainte Catherine square.
This neighborhood is known for its art galleries, seafood shops and restaurants. Not the cheapest ones! The most famous fish shop is called De Noordzee, and although they are not cheap, they do offer a huge variety of fish and seafood at a very high quality. And maybe the square looks a bit familiar; a part of the Christmas market takes place here every year.
Just take the metro to the metro station with the same name: Sainte-Catherine/Sint-Katelijne. The first thing that you see is the Saint-Catherine Church. It was designed by Poelaert in the 2nd half of the 19th century in an eclectic style. By the way, Poelaert is the same architect who also designed the Palais de Justice, one of Brussels biggest buildings. Anyway, you can see one of the towers of the original church, which was built in the 17th century.
The church is now deconsecrated and is closed. There are renovation works going on right now, but we have no idea whether it will be a place of worship again or will be converted into something else.
On a free Wednesday afternoon Lars and I went to another park, Kruidtuin.
My first objective was to photograph the arrival of spring. But there were so many people in the park that I started photographing them as well. To be honest, I like to observe people. And they seem to enjoy spring in different ways. Sitting on a bench. Sunbathing or sitting on the grass. Sitting on stairs and observing girls/boys. Feeding pigeons/ducks. Walking hand in hand.
I chose black and white for these pictures. Have a look at Flickr for more of them!
After our trip to Hungary, Lars and I stayed in Brussels for the rest of the month of April, exploring the center of Brussels and especially photographing the arrival of spring. On a Saturday morning, we went to one of our favorite parks, the Warandepark.
After months of winter, it felt so good, walking around in the sunshine and mild temperatures. And there were not too many people around! The last time we were in this park, everything was white. Now we could see different shades of green everywhere.
I took a lot of pictures, so please have a look at Flickr as well!
If you find yourself in Brussels one day, make sure that you visit the former Coudenberg palace. It’s located right next to the Royal Palace and although it’s less touristic, it is really worth a visit. It really gives you an idea what Brussels looked like centuries ago.
Anyway, while we ventured into the heart of the park, we finally saw more people, enjoying the winter sunshine and the beauty of nature. Every time Lars and I are here, no matter what season it is, it’s hard to realize that we are in the center of one of the busiest town of Belgium!
Photographing the backroads of Europe, exploring beauty and enjoying life at our own pace