Brussels – A Monster-Friendly City

Hello there Beastie friends! Apologies if I’m a little later than usual – today I ventured out of the Beastie Towers isolation bubble to get groceries and that takes a whole lot longer than it used to! So I thought, how about we quit quarantine for a while, and go travelling?

Not Beastie Towers - CrawCrafts Beasties
This doesn’t look like Beastie Towers!

Anyone who saw this post a couple of months back will already know that Explorer Beastie and I were lucky enough to spend some time in Belgium before flights started being cancelled and borders were closed. Our trip started out in Brussels… And look who met us there!
With Garcia Beastie in Brussels - CrawCrafts BeastiesHey, Garcia Beastie! Great, let’s go and explore!

Out Around Brussels

We’ll start our grand monster tour in the Grand Place (or Grote Markt, “Grand Market”, in Dutch), the central square of Brussels. Look at these buildings!
Explorer Beastie in the Grand Place, Brussels - CrawCrafts Beasties

The square has been the heart of the city since the 15th century… Although much of what you’ll see here today is the result of a comprehensive reconstruction that took place in the late 1600s, after a pretty comprehensive destruction at the hands of the French army in 1695. In the past, many of the buildings were either private houses or owned by tradesmens’ guilds. We were able to spot the House of the Corporation of Tailors – it’s the building to the right of the fancy gold one in the photo below.

North East of the Grand Place, Brussels - CrawCrafts BeastiesYou can also see the King’s House (NB no king has ever actually lived here!)…
The King's House, Brussels - CrawCrafts Beasties…And, on the other side of the square, the Town Hall.
Town Hall, Brussels - CrawCrafts BeastiesThis served as a makeshift hospital during the First World War, and it was our first indicator that Brussels loves its monsters. Check out the statuary and gargoyles!
Gargoyles, Brussels Hotel de Ville - CrawCrafts BeastiesWait, did we lose Explorer Beastie? No, there he is – having a staring contest with one of the locals.Staring Contest - CrawCrafts Beasties Come on! We have to go and check out one of the city’s less tasteful landmarks.

Tourist Tat - CrawCrafts BeastiesWe had a pretty hard time trying to decipher the appeal of the Mannekin Pis, but here we are…
Mannekin Pis, Brussels - CrawCrafts BeastiesOK, well… That’s done.

But look – cool stuff on the other side of the street!
Bikes don't go that way! CrawCrafts BeastiesA building with multicoloured bikes going up the front? Yes please! And some early signs of the approaching spring, too.
First Signs of Spring in Brussels - CrawCrafts BeastiesYou might not have to wear your woolly jacket much longer, Explorer Beastie!

City Walls

Turns out there’s a lot of other interesting stuff on the walls of Brussels.
Street Art, Brussels - CrawCrafts Beasties

And some of the walls are interesting in their own right. This is one of only a handful of surviving parts of the original city walls, still standing after 800-odd years!
Old City Walls, Brussels - CrawCrafts Beasties

More Local Monsters

Well, we did say this was a monster-friendly city! The boys just had to pose with this guy.
Brussels Monster - CrawCrafts BeastiesYes, they really are everywhere! Check out this winged lion on the side of the Palais de Justice.
Mythological monsters in Brussels - CrawCrafts Beasties

I was really curious about this building, because it’s so massive and over the top! And also because, when we were there, we couldn’t see it clearly through all the scaffolding around it.
Palais de Justice, Brussels - CrawCrafts BeastiesAs I later found out, the scaffolding is actually a bit of a running joke among the locals. Repairs to the building have been going on for the last three decades, and even the most optimistic estimates put the completion date as sometime in 2028! Maybe we’ll get to see it on our next trip, eh?

Rain Stops Play

You can perhaps tell from the raindrop-spattered picture above that the weather was starting to turn against us a little. You’d be right.

Rain Stops Play - CrawCrafts Beasties

And although we did find some more monsters to admire…
Local monsters - CrawCrafts Beasties… The shelter we’d hoped to find in the galleries of the Mont des Arts and the Musical Instruments Museum was denied to us! It was a Monday, and both were closed.
Brussels Museums - CrawCrafts BeastiesI’d definitely check out the Museum of Musical Instruments on a future visit though – the building is so cool! I’d like to use it as a blueprint for the next Beastie Towers refurb.

Still, all was not lost. There’s always the pub!
Cheers! CrawCrafts BeastiesI hope you’re planning to share that with me, Beasties!


13 thoughts on “Brussels – A Monster-Friendly City

    1. Thanks, Simon! I’m glad we got a chance to travel before everything got closed down. Cheers for joining us on our adventure 😊

  1. I love the bikes going up the walls. Who on earth thought that one up? And, more interestingly, WHY?!

    1. I’m not sure… On either count! It’s not like that building had a bike shop inside or anything. But I’m glad they did – it’s always fun to stumble on these curiosities when you travel! Cheers for joining us en route, Queen Bee 😊

    1. It was! It was only a short break, so we just had a day to try to see as much as possible… But it’s absolutely given me a taste for more. Hopefully we’ll be able to get back there someday to see the rest! Cheers for coming along 😊

  2. With those cloudy skies, I think the pub was the smartest choice of the day :)) We have a bike shop here in Portland that has bikes along the roof (and maybe the sides? I can’t remember, it’s been so long since I’ve left my neighborhood). I wonder if they stole the idea from the Belgians?

    1. Or maybe the Belgians stole it from you? Or maybe every city has a building with bikes on it? More investigation required here, I think… Once we can all leave our neighbourhoods! Cheers for joining us on our tour, Tammie 😊

  3. I so enjoyed Belgium when I visited. We spent only a short time in Brussels (I did not realize they had so many monsters there!) and spent most of our time in Antwerp. We also visited Waterloo. I enjoyed your photos and stories! Oh yes remember when we could leave our bubbles and venture beyond just getting groceries! I am so itching to travel now!

    1. Right? I reckon the whole world will be heading to the airport when the restrictions finally end! Cheers for joining us on our monster-riddled walk around Brussels… Antwerp will feature in a future post so you can tell us if we missed anything!

      1. Oh good – looking forward to that post, I have fond memories of sitting in a pub in the main square area visiting with the golden retriever that also hung out at this partially outdoor pub!

        1. Oh, that sounds like heaven! I’ll have to save that for my next trip… Outdoor pub is a bit of a hard sell in Belgium in late February πŸ˜‚

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