Bruxelles Port de Mer - ASBL

Association of Merchants and Residents of the Fish Market and St. Catherine (stcath)

St. Catherine's Square, its history

In Brussels, the place Sainte-Catherine is very dear to Brussels. A place to go out and socialize, this place is famous for its restaurants, its Christmas market, its church and its many interesting addresses. Place Sainte-Catherine has a great heritage and a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Over time, it has undergone many transformations to become today this peaceful place and adapted to tourism. We can not speak of the place without mentioning its history. Through these few lines, let's try to fly over the history of Place Sainte-Catherine in Brussels.

Genesis and current situation of the place
Place Sainte-Catherine has a distant maritime past that dates back to the prosperous era of the first port of Brussels. The layout of Place Sainte-Catherine dates back to the end of the 19th century. It was home to the great basin of the port of Sainte-Catherine which was filled in 1853. From 1884, a fish market was inaugurated and today still there are many restaurants and fish restaurants. sea ​​food.

In 1870 began the development work with the absorption or demolition of neighboring buildings. Among the added buildings, we have the old Salt Quay where some old houses have been preserved, as well as the Black Tower and St. Catherine's Church. Place de Grue, rue de Laeken and Place du Samedi were annexed to Sainte-Catherine around 1910. The former platform for the Sentences was almost completely destroyed. Today, the Place Sainte-Catherine is a real place of tourism and relaxation in the city center of Brussels.

It is dominated by the church which divides it in two parts, the one located in front of the church and the one just last. From 2003, it underwent profound changes with the widening of the central square and sidewalks, the tightening of the roadway, the development of a parking area, the removal of roads between the church and the place and amenities of Sainte-Catherine Street. The square now takes its place in the place of the Old Grain Market, continues with the church, the quays at Bricks and Bois à Brûler to come out on the rue de Laeken and rue de l'Evêque.

A rich heritage
Place Sainte-Catherine has a large number of buildings that tell its glorious story. It includes the Church of St. Catherine of Brussels, built between 1854 and 1874, first by Joseph Poelaert and then by his disciple Wynand Janssens. In addition to the church, there is the Black Tower which is a medieval tower located between the walls of a hotel. This one was classified in 1937 and is the vestige of the first wall of enclosure of the city which dates from the 13th century.

The Pachéco Institute is also a remnant of the past of the place. Formerly called Hospice Pachéco, it is composed of a charming interior garden. The square also has many houses that escaped the bombardment of 1695 and open areas that still keep track of the past such as the district of the old wharves. In Sainte-Catherine, there are various restaurants and bars to go out during the holidays and shops where to go shopping and have Christmas gift ideas such as the Christmas market place Sainte-Catherine.