Under the cobblestones of the Brussels Grand-Place


It was of course inconceivable to start digging, so a non-invasive technique, namely ground-penetrating radar and electrostatic prospecting, was used to explore the underground. These new techniques have enabled the creation of three-dimensional mapping for the structures and objects buried under the historic heart of Brussels.

These methods have brought about a plethora of surprises. Some of the most interesting have been the location of various stone houses staggered between the 12th century and the end of the 14th century and the bedrock of a Gothic fountain built in 1302 located between the King's House and the Town Hall.

'This data complements the few written and iconographic sources that have been preserved in archives. This gives a new sense, a sort of origin in this space for which we had practically no data,' explains François Blary, Professor in Art History and Medieval Archaeology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB).