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Photographer's Note

This picture was taken at Marolles, an ancient district of Brussels..

The rough-and-tumble Marolles, anchored by Notre Dame de la Chapelle and the massive Palais de Justice, is one of Brussels' most vibrant neighborhoods.
Excluded from the confines of the 13th century city wall, this feisty part of town has always been inhabited by the fringes of society.
The neighbourhood gets its name from the 17th-century Marian Colentes nuns, later shortened to Mari-Cole and finally to Marolles.
Much of the area was gutted when the Palais de Justice was built in the 19th century. Area residents got their own back when the hated architect of the project, Joseph Poelaert, died in a mental institution in 1879, some say as a result of a curse from a Marolles witch.
In the late 1960s Marolles residents protested plans for expanding the Palais, convincing authorities that resources were better spent on renovating dwellings and other historical buildings.

Today, the Marolles pays tribute to its rich past with streets named for the tanners (rue des Tanneurs), Ramoneuers (chimney-sweeps) and goldsmiths (Orfθvres). This is also one of the few places where you can still hear the bruxellois dialect.
Sadly, the home of the Marolles' most famous resident, 16th century painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder, at Rue Haute 132, is not open the public, though at least there's a small plaque in his honour. He's buried at the Roman-Gothic Notre Dame de la Chapelle, not of one of the city's most notable landmarks but one with an interesting history nevertheless.

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