Going underground and comics around in Brussels

So our first stop on our little world trip visiting family was Brussels, the capital of EU. It took some times getting there due to strike, but more than 24h delayed we did arrive. Unfortunately it meant we didn’t get around to go to Bruges, a place we had been told was worth going. However there was enough to keep us busy in Brussels.

The first place we went was not only going to take us back in time, but down under Brussels. Coudenberg is an old ruin of a palace that dates back from the 11th – 18th century (where it was destroyed in a fire in 1731). It was build up the Coudenberg Hill, and after the fire it was pulled down and the ground flattened out making way for the new royal district, as we know it today. Because it was built on a slope, and earth added on top of it to level it out, some of it has been excavated and stabilised, so you can now go down at visit it.

Coudenberg - Down under the city of Brussels
Coudenberg – Down under the city of Brussels

Walking down the bustle of traffic outside is muffled and you are transported into halls, chapels and roads that once was full of life. You can walk along the sloping street of rue Isabelle, where the Brontës sisters apparently lived at some point. While you can’t spend hours and hours there (at least we couldn’t. We found the ruins the most interesting, though there is also an exhibition showing some of the many things found during the excavation), it is definitely an interesting break from the Brussels we know now, to dive underneath the ground for a while.

After that it was on to a museum, but not just any kind of museum. Belgium is known for their comics, Hergé being in the foreground with his Tintin, including speechbubbles in his comics. So we went to the Museum of Original Figures (MOOF), where we found other characters that we remember from our childhood. Figures of Spirou, Lucky Luke and the Smurfs where there along side Tintin. This is

Tintin Figure at MOOF
Tintin Figure at MOOF

definitely a place for someone interested in comics, or anyone who isn’t a big fan on the traditional kind of museums. You could read about how Tintin evolved, and how colour comics were made.

After that we of course had to go and see Place Royale, with the Town Hall and other buildings surrounding it. On a chilly March day, we didn’t stay too long. Instead we walked on to see both Manneken Pis and Janneken Pis, which are just some of those things that you have to see when in Brussels. However, they are not very big or that interesting. If you’re lucky and are there in connection with some sort of festivity, you can see Manneken Pis dressed up (was told there is a sort of little ceremony).

Just walking around, you will find murals on the wall. If you just feel like walking around, that is a great thing to walking around looking for. There are even maps that show you how to do a tour.

Comic mural on a wall in Brussels
Comic mural on a wall in Brussels

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