THE SABLON ANTIQUES MARKET - BRUSSELS
THE SABLON ANTIQUES MARKET - BRUSSELS
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About the market

Access Maps

ABOUT THE SABLON ANTIQUE MARKET

1958 – Mr. George Van de Weghe, an antique dealer established near the Place du Sablon, asks to the Sablon Church’s priest to be allowed to display his engravings at the end of the mass every Sunday morning. The priest suggests to bring together several antique dealers and to create a market.

9 OCTOBER 1959 – After several month talks with the City of Brussels, the authorisation is eventually issued. The market is allowed on probation every Sunday morning.

3 APRIL 1960 – Under a radiant sun, seveteen courageous pioneers inaugurate the first Sablon Antique Market. Organised by the “Marché des Antiquaires” association, it directly turns out a success.

10 DECEMBER 1960 – Exhibition “arts and crafts” in the Innovation department store, rue Neuve. The Sablon Antique Market takes part to it under the thema “Craftsmen from the past”.

15 OCTOBER 1961 – The Sablon Antique Market inaugurates “The antique dealers’ nine days”.
During nine days and two nights, President Verbruggen encourages his troops made up by 36 courageous merchants. The Ambassador of China discovers the market on this occasion.

16 FEBRUARY 1964 – Kind Baudouin inaugurates the “International Week of Agriculture”. The Antique Market participates with a very beautiful exhibition: “ The farm through the ages”.

8 FEBRUARY 1969 – On a visit to Brussels, the American Austronaut Frank Borman discovers the antique market. A small “cosmonette”, Nathalie Van de Weghe, the founder’s daughter, welcomes him amongst other VIP’s.

3 DECEMBER 1971 – Mr. André Van den Eynde succeeds Mr. Jean Verbruggen at the head of the association. The market mourns for his dead president.

6 OCTOBER 1984 – Mrs. Isabelle Vandergeeten who has followed after Mr. André Van den Eynde, inaugurates the 25th anniversary of the market. The whole district has become the antique dealers’ activity center.

10 OCTOBER 1997 – A new Board of Administration is appointed. Mr. Robert Conti, Vice-President, is elected as President, succeeding Mrs. Isabelle Vandergeeten.

6 MAY 2000 – The antique market celebrates its fortieth anniversary in a magnificent way. On this occasion, Mayor François-Xavier de Donné de Hamoir is elected Honorary President of the association.

SABLON – HISTORY

At the beginning of the 13th century, a large mashy and sandy area, situated outside of the city wall, was used to dry wool in the open air. The Pré aux Laines (nowadays Rue aux Laines) is one of the first milestones in the development of the future Sablon area.

Lady Baet Soetkens, spinner by profession, travels from Antwerpen to Brussels in order to have her statue of Mary repaired in the so-called Zavelpoel area. This Statue of Mary with healing powers and the Grand Serment des Albalétriers chapel become the symbol of the Sablon.

In 1435, the Sablon Church is built on the site of the chapel, in new gothic style.

In 1516, the first mail service is set up - in the Sablon district - by the Tour and Taxis family.

On 5 June 1568, the Count of Egmont is decapited on the Grand-Place. The Grand Serment des Arbalétriers brings his remains to the Récollets covent.

In 1661, a fountain is erected on the Place du Sablon. In 1751, it is replaced by J.Bergé’s fountain dedicated to Minerve, still on the square nowadays.

From 1800 to 1813, the well-known J.Bergé’s porcelain factory is based at nr 2. rue Ernest Allard. It employs ten workers and five painters.

Numerous markets have clustered on the Place du Grand Sablon over the years: a horse market, followed by a hay market (which gave its name to the “rue de la Paille”), a textile as well as a vegetable market.

However, the square reached its real dimension with the creation of the antique market in 1960 and since that time, it has served as an artistic and cultural center and has been a meeting point not to be missed by antique lovers.

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