HALLES SAINT-GERY WAS A COVERED MARKET BUILT AROUND A PYRAMID:
In Place Saint-Gery, west of the Brussels Stock Exchange, is the Halles Saint-Gery, a covered market hall that was built in the 19th century. Halles Saint-Gery no longer functions as a covered market, but the building and the site on which it stands are historically significant. In the middle of the hall is an odd sight – a towering obelisk from which all distances in Belgium are measured. Another good reason for visiting the area is for its lively café scene.
A Historic Site
Halles Saint-Gery occupies a site where the early Saint Gaugericus Church once existed. This church was believed to have hosted the relics of Saint Gudula (a patron saint of Brussels), before they were transferred in the middle of the 11th century. A Gothic church replaced Saint Gaugericus in the Middle Ages, but this church was demolished during the French regime between 1798 and 1801.
The site was later turned into a public square and an obelisk fountain was erected in the middle of the square. This 1767 obelisk was transported here from the main courtyard of the Abbey of Grimbergen. Several markets sprung up on the square and in 1881 it was decided to build a covered market hall. The market hall had to be built around the obelisk which explains the odd presence of the obelisk in Halles Saint-Gery.
Halles Saint-Gery functioned as a market hall up till World War II, but after the war the hall became neglected. It was finally closed in February 1977.
Halles Saint-Gery is a heritage listed building today. Since April 1999, the building has been home to two associations charged with preserving the heritage and environment of Brussels. Many exhibitions are held here covering topics such as the Houses of the People, Brussels 1,000 Years of History, photographic exhibition of monuments, etc.
There are deck chairs and sofas on the ground floor where you can rest your tired feet or enjoy a quiet read, or have a drink at the café.
The revitalized Saint-Gery neighborhood has become a very popular café area and it has the highest concentration of outdoor tables per square meter in the Belgian capital. The relaxed atmosphere of the area is most welcoming and makes it one of the busiest places in town. It’s definitely worth visiting Place Saint-Gery for its café scene.
Les Halles Saint-Géry
23, Place Saint Géry
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