L'Arbre d'Or / Le Cygne / L'Etoile, Brussels

L'Arbre d'Or / Le Cygne / L'Etoile, Brussels

On the south side of Grand Place, beside the Town Hall, L'Arbre d'Or ("Golden Tree") is the only house still owned by a guild – the Brewers'. Look for the equestrian statue of 18th-century aristocrat, Charles of Lorraine on top, but also the gilded emblems of hops and wheat, and the tiny Belgian Brewers Museum (daily: 10am–5pm) on the ground floor.

The Cygne ("Swan") mansion next door takes its name from the swan on its facade and has originally housed the butchers' guild before becoming a tavern where political theorist Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels regularly met during the former's exile in Belgium. Indeed, it was in Brussels, in February 1848, that the two penned "The Communist Manifesto", made up of theories and opinions about the ideal socialist world. Quite appropriately, the Belgian Workers' Party was founded here four decades later, though presently the building shelters one of the city's more exclusive restaurants.

Completing the vista is the Maison de l'Etoile ("The Star") – a 19th-century rebuilding of the city magistrate's medieval home. This house, the smallest on the square, and with the 2nd-narrowest facade, has an arcade gallery in which you'll find a statue of Everard t'Serclaes, depicted in the throes of death, after defending the city from powerful ducal enemies. Many tourists touch (or rather rub) the statue, particularly the arm, as legend has it that it will ensure one's return to Brussels.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Brussels. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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L'Arbre d'Or / Le Cygne / L'Etoile on Map

Sight Name: L'Arbre d'Or / Le Cygne / L'Etoile
Sight Location: Brussels, Belgium (See walking tours in Brussels)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Brussels, Belgium

Create Your Own Walk in Brussels

Create Your Own Walk in Brussels

Creating your own self-guided walk in Brussels is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Brussels Introduction Walking Tour

Brussels Introduction Walking Tour

Brussels is a major European metropolis with a remarkable history and cultural heritage, renowned for its cuisine and gastronomy, as well as for its historical and architectural landmarks, some of which are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. The history of Brussels is closely linked to that of Western Europe, during which the city has evolved from a small rural settlement to an important...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles
Brussels Historical Churches Walking Tour

Brussels Historical Churches Walking Tour

As well as being Belgium’s political and cultural capital, Brussels is the spiritual home of its most significant churches. Historically, the city has been predominantly Roman Catholic, especially since the expulsion of Protestants in the 16th century. The pre-eminent Catholic temple here, located just a couple of minutes from the Grand-Place, is the Brabantine Gothic Cathedral of St. Michael...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Chocolate Tour in Brussels

Chocolate Tour in Brussels

Belgium is considered one of, if not the, best producer of chocolate in the world. The country's capital, Brussels abounds in opportunities to taste more than 2,000 different varieties of this delectable treat. There is a plethora of chocolate shops in the city which offer chocolates of all imaginable shapes, sizes and colors.

Planète Chocolat’s chocolate-making demonstration make a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Mont Des Arts Cultural Walk

Mont Des Arts Cultural Walk

Mont des Arts, meaning "hill of the arts", is one of the most important cultural sites in Brussels. A classic among the city’s vantage points, it offers a fine city garden and restored showcase of architecture, in addition to several great museums.

Start your journey by traveling towards the old part of the city, where you’ll find the BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, greatly admired...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Brussels Beer Tour

Brussels Beer Tour

Belgians are not very prone to boasting, except with things such as chocolate, fries and, evidently, beer. They treat beer the way the French treat wine: for the makers, it's a prized art; for the drinkers, it is something to be savored and discussed. They say that, on average, Belgians drink 150 liters of beer per year per person, and one would often see them sipping it from early in the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
The European Quarter Walking Tour

The European Quarter Walking Tour

Along with Luxembourg and Strasbourg, Brussels is one of the European Union’s de facto capitals. The office blocks of the European Quarter are mainly concentrated along and between two wide boulevards – rue de la Loi and rue Belliard – which Léopold II built to connect his Parc du Cinquantenaire with the city center.

Begin your exploration with the EU’s most symbolic construction, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 Km or 0.8 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Belgian Beer Tour of Brussels

Belgian Beer Tour of Brussels

Belgium is world-renowned for its beers and Brussels is the best city to sample the huge variety of flavors. We'll show you the best places to buy them and to drink them. We'll even show you a family brewery where the liquid gold is produced right in front of your eyes! This tour is meant...
What to Buy in Brussels: 15 Ideas for Travelers

What to Buy in Brussels: 15 Ideas for Travelers

It's no secret that Brussels is not all about JCVD muscles and EU headquarters. Small country as such, Belgium abounds in signature items, such as beer, chocolates and... the peeing boy. All of these have made prime Belgian souvenirs for years. Now you can explore the Brussels gift scene in...