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Place Royal

Place Royal (25)

You will observe that Place Royal is a harmoniously symmetrical ensemble with a cobbled floor, surrounded by beautiful, elegant cream-coloured buildings. Although there the zone has a lot of traffic and several tram lines, you can walk around it calmly and enjoy the eight surrounding Neoclassical buildings, and the exceptional Church of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg.

The square was designed along the lines of a project by the French architects Barré and Guimard and, throughout its history, has been given different names. Initially, it was known as the Square of the Court, then as the Square of Lorraine, later it became Imperial Square and, lastly, it was given the name Place Royal, even though no monarch has ever lived in it. 

You will also observe that an equestrian statue presides the centre of the square. This is Godfrey of Bouillon, King of Jerusalem, made by Eugène Simonis in 1848 to replace the previous statue of Charles of Lorraine, which stood here until it was demolished during the French Revolution. 

Moreover, on one side of the square, you can see the remains of the Aula Magna, which belonged to the former Palace of Coudenberg that had previously been built here. These remains were discovered in the excavations of 1995, when an attempt was made to recover the original appearance of the square, after several years of abandonment. 

Observe, also, that from this exceptional site you can enjoy splendid views of the Lower Town, with the extremely high needle of the Town Hall in the centre. 

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