As part of the public procurement opened by the Brussels-Capital Region, the CReA-Patrimoine of the Université libre de Bruxelles carried out, from October 2016 to April 2017, an intervention on houses Nos 13 and 14 on the Grand Place de Bruxelles.
This study made it possible to establish in a precise way the general evolution, since the 14th-16th centuries to the present day, of these two buildings located along the Grand-Place and with particularly important dimensions. It also highlighted the presence of old nuclei, including a brick building at the end of the parcel of land of No. 14 and, at the level of No. 13, two houses developing on either side of the road network linking, at the time, the Grand-Place to the Impasse de la Cuve in the heart of the islet. These discoveries demonstrate once again that many remains have been preserved from the French bombings of 1695 and allow us to nuance this current vision of the event history of the city of Brussels. The results also highlight the importance of the post-bombing reconstruction phase and testify once again to the intense densification of the built heritage from the end of the 17th century to the beginning of the 20th. This is shown both in height and on the ground to almost cover the entirety of the plots.
Finally, we should note the numerous redevelopments carried out during the 19th and 20th centuries and intended either for general restorations of the Dukes of Brabant building (roofs, façades, etc.), or for the reorganisation of the internal spaces of the various sectors by the installation of various partitions or by the removal of entire masonries, thus facilitating the circulation between now unified nuclei.
Fig 1. Picture of the facades of nos. 13 and 14 from the Grand Place (© AVB).
Fig. 2. Wall pierced with three niches dated from the 14th -16th centuries.