Brouckère, Place de/de Brouckèreplein

Brouckère, Place de/de Brouckèreplein
   A central nerve center of Brussels, the place de Brouckère is by tradition considered the city's Times Square because of the lighted billboards installed on roofs around the intersection during the inter-war years.
   Following their construction, the boulevards Adolphe Max and Jules Anspach were separated by the church of the Augustins and by residences contiguous to the church at the rue Fossé aux Loups. City officials sought to link the two avenues so as to create a direct thoroughfare to connect the Gare du Nord with the Gare du Midi; however, opposition to demolishing the church arose. Debate ensued for 20 years during which time the former church served as a central post office. Plans were broached to build a street on either side of the obstructing edifice, but the decision was made to demolish it in 1893. The baroque façade, designed by Jacques Francart (1583-1652), was preserved and reconstructed as the west front of the church of the Trinité in Saint-Gilles.
   The place de Brouckère was named for Belgian statesman and burgomaster of Brussels Charles de Brouckère. As the point of convergence of three main boulevards, it has always been a heavily trafficked intersection, drawing lively crowds to surrounding cafés and cinemas. It was featured in a song by Jacques Brel and remains one of the busiest locales in Brussels.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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