We arrived at Brussels at nine in the morning. The Stadt-house, near the market place, is, for the carving in freestone, a most laborious and finished piece, well worthy observation. The flesh-shambles1 are also built of stone. I was pleased with certain small engines, by which a girl, or boy, was able to draw up, or let down, great bridges, which in divers parts of this city crossed the channel for the benefit of passengers. The walls of this town are very entire, and full of towers at competent distances. The cathedral is built upon a very high and exceeding steep ascent, to which we mounted by fair steps of stone. Hence I walked to a convent of English Nuns, with whom I sat discoursing most part of the afternoon.

Antique map of Brussel – Bruxelles by Braun & Hogenberg (1572)

(Evelyn may have made an error with the dates between 6th – 8th October.  He skips from the 5th to the 7th and then includes the 8th twice.  It’s possible that this day refers to the 6th October -GS)


  1. The term “flesh-shambles” likely refers to the shelves used to display wares at the market’ the phrase is probably from the Anglo-Saxon Fleshammels (literally ‘flesh-shelves’), the word for the shelves that butchers used to display their meat. -GS