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Place du Petit Sablon

Place du Petit Sablon (34)

If you are looking for a peaceful place within the city, then you have found it. In fact, the Place du Petit Sablon is a small, quiet and, above all, very well looked after place. It was designed in 1890 by the architect Henri Beyaert on the site that had formerly been occupied by the cemetery of the hospital of Saint Jean. 

You will notice that the garden of the square is surrounded by a wrought iron railing, in art nouveau style, by Paul Hankar, which is sustained on small Neolithic columns crowned by 48 statues. Each of these bronze statues represents one of the city’s old medieval guilds and up to 20 different sculptors worked on them.

The harmonious square complex is presided by a fountain that was built in memory of the counts of Egmont and Hornes. It was these counts who prompted the uprising of the Netherlands against the tyranny of the Spanish Crown. They were beheaded in the Grand-Place in 1568. It was in the Grand-Place, to be precise, that this sculpture from 1864 of the martyrs was initially sited, before it was moved once and for all to the Place du Petit Sablon.

Here, you will also see a series of twelve statues that surround the fountain, which represent great Belgian politicians or humanists from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 

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