A morning walk around Brussels

Palais de Justice, Brussels © Ricky Yates


As I explained in my previous post, on Wednesday 18th January, I had a very long day-trip to Brussels. Whilst the round table discussion with Lord George Bridges that I was to attend, was not scheduled to begin until 14.00, the only way I could be sure of being there on time, was to take a flight leaving Prague Airport at 06.45, which landed at Brussels Airport at 08.15.

Whilst I have driven around Brussels on the city’s ring road, many times, I have never previously visited the city itself. So I decided to take advantage of a frosty but clear morning, to explore a little on foot.

First I found the correct machine in the airport arrivals area where I could purchase my €4.50 ticket for Bus 12. The bus took me into the centre of Brussels, passing amongst other places, the headquarters of NATO. My bus journey terminated at Place de Luxembourg, the site of the European Parliament building.

European Parliament building, Brussels © Ricky Yates

European Parliament in the languages of the EU © Ricky Yates

After enjoying coffee and croissants at Café Tout Bon, I walked the length of Rue du Luxembourg, then around the grounds of the Palais de Bruxelles, before arriving in Place Royale, overlooked by Eglise Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg.

Eglise Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg, Brussels © Ricky Yates

On the other side of the square, there is this wonderful view across the Jardin du Mont des Arts.

View across the Jardin du Mont des Arts, Brussels © Ricky Yates

Just to the right of this view point are two other interesting buildings. Why the one on the left  is called ‘Old England’ I have no idea! Whilst the one on the right strikes me as a classical example of Flemish architecture.

‘Old England’, Brussels © Ricky Yates

Classic example of Flemish architecture © Ricky Yates

From Place Royale, Rue de la Régence goes all the way to the imposing Palais de Justice, featured in the first photograph of this blog post.

Interior of Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral, Brussels © Ricky Yates

My eventual goal was our Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral and the close-by office of Bishop Robert, my Diocesan Bishop. Fortunately, there is a midweek Holy Communion service each Wednesday at the Pro-Cathedral starting at 12.30, which I was able to attend. Above is a view of the interior.

West window, Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral, Brussels © Ricky Yates

Whilst this is the beautiful, recently installed, new west window.

At the back of the Pro-Cathedral is this simple plaque, commemorating Nurse Edith Cavell, She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides in the First World War, without discrimination and with helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium, for which she was arrested. She was accused of treason, found guilty by a court-martial, sentenced to death and shot by a German firing squad.

Memorial to Nurse Edith Cavell © Ricky Yates

2 comments to A morning walk around Brussels

  • Sean Mccann

    Ricky, it certainly was a long day and a long journey for you with such little return at the end of it all. Your pictures really capture the pale light of a morning after heavy frost, excellent as ever. I can’t help but worry that given the current political outcomes across the world there may be need of further Nurse Cavells and further commemorative plaques to their heroism in the future – hopefully this will not be so. ‘Old England’ seems very strange indeed – I wonder what the ‘back’ story is. Thank you Ricky.

    • Ricky

      Sean – thank you for once more visiting & commenting here. Glad you enjoyed the photos. You are quite right in your description of the light. It was around -3°C all day & many degrees colder when I landed back in Prague!

      I sadly have to concur with your latter remarks regarding Nurse Edith Cavell. It is important to remember that one of the main motivations in forming the EU, was to prevent further European wars, something it has achieved with peaceful coexistence & cooperation between the member states over the past 70 years.