写真

Photographer's Note

This is Place de Brouck鑽e in the heart of Brussels. It is claimed to be one of the most prestigious squares of Brussels. It might still be a hub of city life, but it has certainly lost much of its former prominence. I would say that unscrupulous urban planning in the 1970s has reduced this square to a shadow of its former self.

At Place de Brouck鑽e Boulevard Anspach, the main artery of downtown Brussels, is forming a Y crossroad that is continued to the north by Boulevard Emile Jacqmain and Boulevard Adolphe Max.

Boulevard Anspach is named after Jules Anspach (1829-1879), mayor of Brussels. In 1871 Ansprach decided to endow Brussels with a city centre dignified a capital. A Hausmannian model was used for massive changes of the city centre and included the covering of the Senne River. In its basic form central Brussels is still Anspach's creation.

In the past there was an impressive fountain with a high oblisk with a statue of Saint Michel at the top, called Fontaine Anspach, in Place de Brouck鑽e. The fountain was part of the inauguration of the square in 1897. However, the fountain was dismantled and removed in 1973 during the construction of the m騁ro station of Place de Brouck鑽e. The components were separated into two parts and rebuilt in 1981 at each end of the nearby Square des Blind駸. There were also beautiful ornate lamp posts in the square. These lamp posts were probably removed in 1973 as well.

In close proximity to Place de Brouck鑽e in Boulevard Emile Jacqmain there was the magnificent Th鰾tre de l'Alhambra. This theatre was once Brussels' largest theatre with 2,000 seats and famous for its operettas. The theatre building e was constructed in 1874. It had four statures on the balustrade that were drama, tragedy comedy and dance. Th鰾tre de l'Alhambra was demolished in 1973.

Place de Brouck鑽e is also the home of the famous Hotel Metropole. This hotel was built in 1895 and was the first luxury hotels in Brussels. It was also the first hotel with electricity and central heating. The hotel reception and lobby are richly decorated with Corinthian columns, gilded details, and chandeliers. Today it is the only 19th century hotel in Brussels still in operation. It is a five star hotel. However the rooms range from range from luxurious to mediocre and in reviews you often see people saying that is not five star by any standards. Despite its five stars the hotel is far from being ranked among the very best in Brussels.

The building with the Coca Cola advertisement once was a hotel as well, Hotel Continental. There has been Coca cola advertisement atop of the former hotel building for more than 50 years. Many people consider the sign iconic and part of the history of Place de Brouck鑽e.

But the sign has not remained the same during all these years. The present sign is from September 2011 when a neon sign was replaced by an energy saving LED-sign. In 2011 there were some plans to replace the Coca Cola advertisement with messages of general interest. However, this did not happen. Maybe it had something to do with that the beverage company pays the city of Brussels 10,000 EUR per month for the advertising. If the Coca Cola advertisement will stay may be reconsidered in 2014.

Question is if a removal of the famous and eye-catching Coca Cola advertisement would not put another nail in the coffin of the glory of Place de Brouck鑽e.

However, it should not be denied that there also some promising signs. Young wealthier households are moving in, in the area and this has resulted in numerous of renovations. This might also result in more investments and efforts to reduce the space for cars. But it is probably to hope for too much that Place de Brouck鑽e would revert to its past glory. The damages inflicted in the 1970s are probably too big.

ikeharel, saxo042, holmertz, danos, jhm has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: ulf eriksson (UlfE) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2516 W: 81 N: 3653] (14641)
  • Genre: 場所
  • Medium: カラー
  • Date Taken: 2013-02-19
  • Categories: Architecture
  • Exposure: f/5.0, 1/80 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2013-12-21 1:19
Viewed: 1612
Points: 18
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Additional Photos by ulf eriksson (UlfE) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2516 W: 81 N: 3653] (14641)
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