About the market
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.
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.