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16/50.- Brussels, Place Royale

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The Place Royale sports an equestrian statue of Godefroy de Bouillon, who led one of the Crusades to the Holy Land. On the left, a wing of the Royal Palace. In the distance, on the left, the towers of the Brussels Synagogue and, on the right, the Fine Arts Museum, which hosts famous paintings by Brueghel and Rubens. In the background, the impressive tower of the Brussels Courts of Justice, in scaffoldings at the time of the photograph, as part of a five-year renovation plan. The picture is crisscrossed by tramway cables, although trams in Brussels are increasingly being replaced by buses. The scenery has changed quite a lot over the centuries. Underneath the square, archaeologists have unearthed the Aula Magna, the ceremonial hall where Emperor Charles V was enthroned at the age of 15. Also underground, one can now walk the remnants of the Rue Isabelle, described in Charlotte Bronte’s “The Professor”.

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