This building is also part of the decor surrounding the Grand-Place. It is actually the second largest building on the square and it has a gothic architecture that gives us chills.
Called the Maison du Roi (King’s house) in French, it has a completely different name in Dutch, Broodhuis (Bread hall). Two different concepts but both linked to the past. Indeed, like other constructions on this site, it was a commercial place. Here was the bakery, the bread market where people, in the 13th century, came to stock up. The wooden building has over time been solidified, sold, neglected, enhanced, demolished, redesigned, modified, rebuilt, destroyed, patched up and restored. This current architectural beauty is possibly more representative of the first constructions than the previous one. The building in front of you was redesigned at the end of the 19th century to its original style.
The bakers left this place to sell directly at home. The Duke of Brabant became the owner of the premises and made it his administrative center and not his home. The Duke became King and the site was then called Maison du Roi. In French, the name remained thus.
This site was the last night of Counts Egmont and Hoorn before their executions for treason in the Grand-Place the following day. We can therefore say that the Maison du Roi was also a prison. Formerly, a fountain was in front of this building but has been moved to the Place du Petit Sablon.
Today, and since 1887, there is the Museum of the City of Brussels where objects, sculptures, tapestries and paintings related to the history of the city are presented at this place. There is preciously preserved an older version of the Manneken Pis and the original version of the statue of Saint-Michel, the one that adorned the tower of the town hall of the city just in front of the museum.
A ticket to this museum also gives you access to the GardeRobe of Manneken Pis located at 19 rue du Chêne. Take the opportunity to discover the many costumes (he has more than 800) of the most famous statuette in Brussels.
If you are on the premises on the first Sunday of the month, inform yourself as the access could be free.
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