Halles St Gery interior bar

©Analia Glogowski/Lonely Planet

Halles St-Géry


In 1881 this superb neo-Renaissance brick-and-wrought-iron meat market was built around a curious pyramidal monument-fountain (itself built to replace a medieval Gothic church demolished in 1799 by the anti-religious French regime). The monument marks ‘kilometre zero’ – the point from which all distances in Belgium are measured. The market lay derelict for much of the 1980s but has since been beautifully renovated and is now a combined bar-café, club and exhibition space.

Black steel gates beside the bistro Le Lion St-Géry lead into a private courtyard in which one branch of the mostly covered Senne River has been uncovered, along with a reconstructed historical mooring point. The stream is bridged by the vaulted 1811 brick, neo-Gothic Au Lion d’Or building. The courtyard also offers interesting views of the bulb-spired Église Notre-Dame des Riches Claires.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Brussels attractions

1. Au Lion d'Or

0.05 MILES

The vaulted 1811 brick, neo-Gothic Au Lion d’Or building bridges a branch of the Senne River.

2. Église Notre-Dame des Riches Claires

0.07 MILES

From a public courtyard off Place St-Géry (go through the black steel gates next to the bistro La Lion St Géry), there's a view of Église Notre Dame des…

3. Zinneke

0.09 MILES

In the old Bruxellois dialect, zinneke means ‘a person of mixed origins’, which sums up the city’s inhabitants to this day. Hence Flemish sculptor Tom…

4. Bruxella 1238

0.13 MILES

Bruxella 1238 is the scanty remains of a Franciscan convent that was bombarded into ruins in 1695. Most of the site is visible by peeping through the…

5. Broussaille

0.13 MILES

Painted in 1991 by Frank Pé, Broussaille was the city's first giant mural and depicts a young couple arm in arm. This strip is located in Brussels' gay…

6. Bourse

0.14 MILES

The Bourse is Belgium’s 1873 stock-exchange building. It's closed to visitors, but you can enjoy its grandiose neoclassical facade, which is brilliantly…

7. Tibet & Duchâteau

0.14 MILES

This mural very effectively depicts a life-sized figure teetering towards a trompe l’œil window.

8. Église St-Nicolas

0.19 MILES

Near the Bourse, this pint-sized church is as old as Brussels itself. What really makes it notable is its virtual invisibility – the exterior is almost…