Tuesday, 19 March 2013


The Marolles is an ancient district of Brussels. During the Middle Ages, lepers were exiled to this area in a leper house.The heart of the Marolles district is situated south of the Law court  The name 'marolle' is a reference to the sisters maricolles  a  religious order which was present in the district from 1660 till 1715.

In this district at the place of the leper house,   is now the Saint Pierre hospital and the administration of the CPAS (Public Welfare Center) of the city. 

The Marolles are known for their social authenticity. Before the modern industrialization, the work was concentrated in the lower part of the city, near the river. It is there that we find the street names which evoke the craft industry of the Middle Ages.

Today the Marolles are famous for it's Flea and antiques market and the old Brussels'cafés. There are lots of art exhibitions here, and it's also a meeting point for artist.  Folklore shows are often taking place here.

Just besides the "Palais de Justice" (Justice palace) is a huge lift which takes you down to the Marolles, as the palace sits on a hill.

It's quiet an experience itself to be in this elevetor from where you have a wonderful view over whole Brussels.

Looking down, there is the little place where we arrive.

There are lots of little restaurants and bars here

The heart of Brussels, here the locals, at least the old once still speak a very special dialect which is a mixture between French and Flemish words.

Men are sitting in the old cafés and play cards on Sunday morning

The Flea market is very special, there are real antiques to buy but also a lot of junk. I have been told that once a man bought a black clock for his mantle piece and when he tried to clean it, the black color suddenly went off and underneath was pure gold ! Somebody must have painted it in black to hide it during WW I or II ! He really did a bargain !


  1. Wow that was some buy.
    I like flea markets esp for old books.

    Interesting story about it being a place for lepers.

    How times change.

  2. I'm going to a flea market on Saturday and will look for a black clock.
    You have a wonderful history, thanks for sharing it. I think you should have been a teacher or at least a tour guide.

  3. I remember visiting that market. I really enjoyed wandering around and then had a delicious meal in one of the restaurants in the square. Thanks for the memories.

  4. Hi Gattina .. what a wonderful place to live - the photos are excellent .. cheers Hilary

  5. What a great place, to live and visit. Love the clock story. Thanks for sharing. Have a happy day!

  6. Wonderful photographs, wonderful places. I am greeting

  7. Great tour!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  8. This was a great tour. Thank you!

  9. What wonderful architecture!

  10. I only ever heard about Marolles during one of our interminably boring guided tours through Brussels (our guide was excrutiatingly boring, half of my passengers were asleep and I was fighting it!), but have never seen it.

    One day, one day...

  11. That is a buy. I stayed in Brussels in my 20's. I remember it being full of nice people.

  12. What an intriguing place. i think I like Les Marolles.


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