Among me in Brussels this afternoon were various buildings that told a history I was unaware existed. Structures that stand tall, detailed, and beautifully decorated telling a story of a country’s history. To some, the history of this country may seem brief, although small, Brussels has a history to tell that sets it apart from many. To begin, each building tells its own story, and provides explanation for seemingly random adornments fastened on the front of houses. For example, historic city center, buildings that were thought to be one giant residence with multiple doors, turned out to be multiple family homes belonging to prominent individuals. La Grande Place is just that, a grand place to stand and observe the historic architecture of the city. I learned that building homes was more of a competition to show off wealth and accomplishments. This struck me as interesting because we often look at the external structure of a building and do not realize it tells a story.
Buildings are not the only things that tell of Brussels history and construction. For one,the cobblestone that lines the streets and the sidewalks not only gives your legs a workout, but it adds to the architectural experience. In the older parts of the city you experience the harshness of the cobblestone roads and the difficulty of making your way around them. In areas of the city that are “newer” you wi ll notice that cobblestone no longer exists and the streets are smoothly paved. This is an interesting way to determine the old from the new and find your way around the city.
Lastly, I must discuss my dinner last night, because as we all know I am a lover of all foods! In Brussels of all places I never would have guessed I would be sitting down to eat a delicious Thai dinner. Talk about beautiful interior! Dimly lit and painted in rich deep purples. The bar consisted of a lighted counter top with slow changing neons lining the back wall. Created the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing dinner. I was served a small white pot of steaming hot green curry. Green Curry, my favorite! Chicken mixed with thin slices of bamboo shoot, Thai egg plant, and softly cooked green beans. It was accompanied with a bowl of white basmati rice. The perfect way to end your night.
This experience proves that in a city surrounded by French, Dutch, and German speakers, you can always find a place that gives new perspective! Brussels, though tiny, is full of cultural pockets that tell of its diversity.