The 5 strangest urban details in Brussels

1) Berlin Wall

Three concrete sections of the Berlin Wall have finally ended up in Brussels. One section was placed in the Léopold Park in 2009, while a second section stands outside the visitors’ entrance to the European Parliament. A third section, sprayed with a portrait of John F. Kennedy, was placed in front of the Berlaymont to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

piece of Berlin Wall in Brussels

Parc Léopold/European Parliament/Berlaymont Building

2) Marolles lift

Two modern lifts take you in a few seconds from the Marolles to the Palais de Justice. You get fantastic views from the top, especially at night. The lifts are free.

Marolles Lift

Place Poelaert/Square Brueghel

3) Lamppost Museum

A curious collection of 15 old Brussels lampposts stands in front of a row of traditional town houses in northern Brussels. They were placed here in 2004 by two local artists to create a lamppost museum. It is a strange street to walk down after dark.

Lamppost Museum

Rue Emile Delva 75-97

4) Street signs

All street signs in Brussels are in two languages, French and Dutch. But some streets in central Brussels are also named in the local Brussels dialect, while a cluster of 30 streets near Grand-Place are also named bilingually after comic book characters. So the Rue des Sables (Zandstraat in Dutch) is also the Rue Schtroumpf (Smurfstraat in Dutch). No wonder taxi drivers get lost.

street sign of the rue Sables or rue Schtroumpf in Brussels

Rue des Sables

5) Ostrich Sculptures

No one can explain the 12 ostrich sculptures that stand in the Parc Léopold next to the European Parliament. Seven have their heads buried in the sand, while the other five are standing up. The birds were put up as a reminder that the park was originally a zoo, founded back in 1850 but closed in 1877, leaving just two square entrance pavilions on Rue Belliard.

at: Parc Léopold

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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Brussels reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Brussel's best-kept secrets.

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