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Photographer's Note

At the Market Place, opposite the Town Hall, stands another of the remarkable historical Buildings of Brussels. The beautiful neo-gothic building with its many decorative statues is the "Maison du Roi" in French or "Broodhuis" in Dutch. It now harbours the historical City Museum.

The Dutch name "Broodhuis" (i.e. bread house) clearly shows what the origins of this building were. In the beginning of the 13th century a wooden construction stood here. It was used by the bakers to sell their bread. In 1405 a stone building replaced the original wooden bread hall. When during the early 15th century the bakers turned to selling their products from house to house, the ancient bread hall began to be used more and more for administrative purposes by the Duke of Brabant, hence the French name "Maison du Roi". During the reign of emperor Charles V, the King's House was rebuild in flamboyant Gothic style from 1515 until 1536. In one of the rooms of the building the counts of Egmont and Hoorne spent their last night before their execution by order of Filip II of Spain on the Grand-Place on June the 5th 1568.

After the French bombardment of 1695 the building was restored as far as necessary to keep it from collapsing. In the following centuries it was used for different purposes (e. g. as "Maison du Peuple - the people's house, after the French revolutionists had taken over power in the country at the end of the 18th century).

In 1860 the mayor of Brussels, JULES ANSPACH, had convinced the city authorities to buy the old King's House which was then in a sorry state. The entire building had to be build up from scratch. The restoration was done in the then fashionable neo-gothic style. The architect JAMAER was clearly influenced by the early 16th century town hall of the City of Oudenaarde. On June the 2nd 1887 the King's House became the City Museum of Brussels On exhibition are original statues of the town hall, paintings, wall tapestries and different artifacts which have a relation to the history of the city.

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Additional Photos by Daniel Draghici (dkmurphys) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3770 W: 83 N: 5600] (45859)
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