This elegant Brussels shopping arcade was inaugurated in 1847 by Belgium’s first king, Leopold I. It would be established as one of Europe’s first commercial shopping galleries – and certainly one of the most beautiful.
If you haven’t noticed from my posts, I have a bit of a weakness for stunning European shopping galleries. See my earlier posts on the Ferstel Passage in Vienna, the spectacular art deco galleries in Turin, and Milan’s beautiful gallery all decked out for the holidays .
Brussels’ jaw-dropping Galeries Saint-Hubert rates up there with the best – and perhaps even better because it is filled with something this chocolate lover always enjoys.
Belgium is known for its wonderful chocolate, and here in the elegant shops of the Saint-Hubert Gallery, all the major brands vie for attention with their sinful displays. You’ll find them all here: Godiva, Neuhaus, Marconi, Mary … and the (scrumptious) list goes on and on.
However, quality chocolate comes with a big price tag – those gorgeous jewel-boxes of chocolate pralines seemed to set me back amounts similar to what I might have spent on actual jewels…
Well worth it, however…
If you can tear yourself awau from the tempting chocolates, enjoy the neo-Renaissance style created by architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer. The ceilings are lined in glass, allowing more light to filter into the galleries. Some of the literary greats spent time here – including Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas.
My son and I meant to get back to the cinema housed in the gallery, but we didn’t manage during our stay. We did, however, find time for many walks in this beautiful space, a few leisurely coffees at the cafes scattered around the galleries and, of course, plenty of wallet-busting chocolate shopping.
Don’t miss out on the spectacular Saint Hubert Gallery (and its chocolate!) on your next visit to Brussels.