The Place de la Bourse is one of the most important squares of Brussels.
The large boulevards at the intersection of which it is located, as well as the eponymous building for the stock market, were built around 1870 as part of the redevelopment of the city, which aimed at the beautification and modernization of the city similar as in Paris at the same time. The imposing palace in Neo-renaissance / Second Empire style responded to the need to create a hub for booming commerce. Today the building is used for temporary exhibitions.
At the time of the older picture, the pedestrians still dominated the street, even though the first trams were already driving and were soon to replace the horse-drawn carriages. The place has always been a traffic junction; in 1957, no less than 32 tram lines were to run around the Bourse! Today, these are partially replaced by the underground metros, which makes the place more friendly again for pedestrians.
Today, almost all major rallies and events take place here; as the big assembly after the terror attacks of March 2016.