In an earlier article Angelo wrote that one of his favourite places in Belgium is Brussels. And now that he’s going to live here soon, he likes to go out for long walks and discover new places. That is how Angelo got to know ‘the Sablon’ about two months ago. He immediately fell in love with this beautiful neighbourhood.
“It’s good people that make good places”
The Sablon is situated not far from the old town. It lays between Mont des Arts and the Justice Palace (Place Poelaert). Originally it was a sandy plain of very little importance. The name also comes from the French and literally means ‘finely ground sand’.
In the 15th century, the district grew enormously after the Duke of Burgundy ordered the construction of a street from his palace to the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon. In the following century, many prominent noblemen settled here. As a result, by the 17th century the Sablon had become one of the most aristocratic and prosperous districts of Brussels. Today you can still find many of those influences and the neighbourhood is still one of the most beautiful in Brussels.
I like neighborhoods with lots of different things to do. I often go here for a drink with friends or colleagues after work on a cosy terrace. That is exactly why I am a big fan of the Sablon. In this article I take you on a trip to my favourite places:
What to see?
Just about every district in Brussels has some very nice buildings and tourist attractions. One of the most striking houses to be seen here, is the Egmont Palace that shows what the Sablon looked like in its primetime of glory.
In front of the palace is the park ‘Little Sablon’ with its 48 surrounding statues on a pillar. Each statue representing of one or more historical professions, such the tiler, the clockmaker, the plumber, … Most prominent building of the Sablon is the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon. This Roman Catholic church was patronised by the nobility and wealthy citizens of Brussels during the 15th century.
On the opposite side of the Church the park, you will find a Minerva fountain. The fountain stands in the middle of the Grand Sablon square and is surrounded by antique shops, couturiers, restaurants and chocolatiers.
What to do?
As already mentioned, you will find a lot of luxury and antique shops on the Sablon. In the weekends you can also visit the antiques market on the main square. Since last spring the new lifestyle hotspot ‘Balthasar Brussels’ opened here.
Balthasar Brussels houses dozens of designers, artists and other creative minds under one roof. In the form of a pop-up gallery you can discover new talents here every two weeks or so. On Thursday evening there is also a fantastic late night shopping. There are also many special events on the agenda here, such as Brussels Fashion Week (October 2020).
Where to eat?
One of the places where you can find Cindy and me very often is Crème Brussels. Here you eat the most delicious açai bowls of Brussels. They are freshly made and full of fruits and granola. Another thing that you have to try is their Sourdough toast with Peanut Butter.
On days when I like to eat less healthy, you’ll also find me at Coco Donuts. Not only do they have the best donuts in Brussels, they also have the biggest! The choices you have on different fillings and toppings are to keep your mouth watering and your mind exploding. I never know what to choose, because there are so many and they all are so yummy.
A cozy terrace can be done at POP-UP Sablon. Here we often come to sit after work to drink a nice glass of wine. They also serve delicious snacks.
My voyage of exploration through Brussels has only just begun, so I am convinced that I will discover many new things. Do you have a favourite spot in Brussels? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.