Grand Place
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Ommegang—Brussels' Dramatic Historic Medieval Pageant
Brussels’ Grand Place is home to many festivals of all different themes: flowers, beer, international cultures, music, and seasonal holidays. But one festival, the Ommegang, full of colour and pageantry, has been taking place here since 1549. The name Ommegang means "to walk around" and, in this case, commemorates the first official visit of Emperor Charles V to Brussels. Guests of honour, guild members, soldiers, and performers all paraded into the square to pay their respects (and show off just a little). Today the Ommegang is a theatrical representation of this historic event, filled with music, colour, dancers, stilt-walkers, and equestrians, all culminating in a fireworks display. The highlight, for me, was the flag throwers, whose colourful banners soared higher and higher into the night sky. Breath-taking! Ommegang takes places every summer in early July. Various other medieval themed activities, such as jousting, coincide in various locations around the city.
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