Stock Exchange, Auto World & Arcade du Cinquantenaire (Brussels - Belgium)

As soon as I reached Brussels and walked to the Grand Place, on my way I spotted this spectacular building. So I stopped to photograph it. As I walked around to see its sides, something more intriguing caught my attention. The huge building is Brussels Stock Exchange which is unofficially called Bourse. 

The ruins is of Recollets Convent upon which Bourse was built in 1873 by architect Leon Suys. This is very similar to the Pantheon in Paris, but very ornate. In 1874 it was inaugurated by King Leopold II. 

While the ruins of Recollets Convent is open as a convent (though I didn't get to visit), the Stock Exchange is still an office and is accessible only by pre-booked guided tour.

Another place I went to was the Arcade du Cinquantenaire which is very similar to London's Wellington Arch or Paris' Arc de Triomphe. Very similar to London this too has a quadriga sculpture atop with a woman charioteer. Like most other architecture of the era, incl Grand Place, this too was built under Leopold II. It was designed by Gedeon Bordiau, & Charles Girault. 

On either sides are huge, curved colonnade (sequence of pillars with a roof atop) on either sides. The most spectacular thing was that it was had wall on one side which was filled with mosaic work made by Jean Delville in 1912-32. I couldn't go up there to see it up & close, but got to see it only from the ground.


Very close to this, in the same complex is the Autoworld Museum. It has several several automobiles from late 19th C till date. There's also a setup of lorry, car & bike mechanic shed of the yester years. Its a must visit for every automobile enthusiast. 

Esp when I saw the 1958 Cadillac I couldn't stop drooling!! This one was infact from the fleet of King Boudouin. There was a special exhibition of Alpine cars when I visited, displaying cars since 1950s till date. Esp Alpine M63 is just a dream! There were also the F1 cars incl Renault Alpine. 
That's a Cadillac S63 convertible of 1959. Just spectacular. Errrmmmm... Does anyone want to gift it to me???
Apart from cars there were also scooters, incl Vespa of 1957. There was a 1953 Solex, a 49cc bike, which was the Belgian equivalent of our TVS 50.
As I mentioned in the earlier post, for any traveller, the best way to explore Belgium easily is by getting the Brussels Card & Transport Card which gives free entry to 37 points of interest and discounted entry in many others. Though the Brussels Card includes free rides in Hop-in Hop-off service, I prefer the public transport with buses, metro & tram, so I got an extra 1 day Transport Card. However Metro connectivity isn't that good as buses & trams.

To Get There:
Stock Exchange: Nearest tram/bus stop: Bourse; Nearest metro station: De Brouckere
Arch & Auto World: Nearest tram/bus stop: Gaulois, Chevalerie; Nearest metro station: Merode
Entry ticket to Autoworld: €10; Free entry with Brussels Card

P.S: I was invited by VisitBrussels to experience the city for review purposehowever the opinions are my own and this post does not to advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali N

An ardent traveler by passion. I am a wanderlust.. Read more about me here.

14 comments:

  1. Love the sculpture and the patina on it

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  2. I am just touring around the Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. I enjoy seeing those luxuries which I couldn't find or have in my life. It feels good to have a virtual travel around the globe especially in the highly urbanized city of Brussels.

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  3. I am also drooling over the Cadillac! Imagine what a great photoshoot we can do with it ;) You should make your photographs bigger.... The architecture is so beautiful, it deserves to take more space on my screen!

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  4. Great experience. I think going to ruins is a good thing because it reminds us of past civilizations. There are so many things in the past which are great and could be a good source to base our present and future decisions upon.

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  5. I love seeing the vintage cars over there. It's nice to appreciate the heritage and every intricate detail of their stock exchange.

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  6. The Belgian stock exchange building is so elegant that it looks like that is already the royal palace. Those vintage cars at the end looks so good! They really do not make cars the same anymore.

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  7. Seeing those old buildings, the ruins, and the classic cars really had me in awe! It makes me want to go there now! I hope to visit this place someday. It has plenty of character. :-)

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  8. I love ruins! And I love cars! It must be so exciting to live in a country where every corner seems like a picture perfect painting. I hope to visit Belgium someday. :)

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  9. My Hubby had been to this place and was telling me about its beauty. Your photo with the Cadillac is awesome.

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  10. This building reminded me very much about Singapore's Parliament (somehow). Autoworld is a place most guys will love to visit as there are so many vintage cars. I know my idol Jimmy Lin will most probably like this place alot~

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  11. I can tell you had a lot of fun. I really should make an effort to go to an auto show as I love cars too.

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  12. I love that vintage car, me and my hubby love to collect the vintage stuff. Beautiful photos and you have enjoyed the place.

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  13. I can see you are into your cars more than me, I'm impressed how knowledgeable you are about them. The Brussels stock exchange is a impressive building with impressive history, I was recently in Brussels, I hope I photographed it too, I will be jealous if not!

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