De Skieven Architek

De Skieven Architek

The nickname, some claim, is a corruption of  "Chief Architect".  Perhaps it's true.  Perhaps it's also true that many of the men who built the Palace of Justice spoke English, but the people who popularized this name didn't speak English and we're not sure whether Baron Poelaert was addressed as chief architect.

Yes Baron Joseph Poelaert !  The man who designed that huge monstrosity called the Palace of Justice, the largest building of the 19th Century.  Hundreds of people had to be displaced to build this place where there is so much wasted space and so little justice.

Baron Poelaert went nuts and died in an insane asylum on 3 November 1879.

Here on the Vosseplein aka La Place du Jeu de Balles in the old Marolles quarter of Brussels we have a great pub.

Everyone who has lived in Brussels for a little while knows that the Vosseplein (Fox Square) is synonymous with the daily flee market.  "Den Nieuwen â Met", the New Old Market, because in 1873 it was moved here from the "aven â met" the old old market, Place Anneessens.

At 4 in the morning the merchants start laying out their wares and De Skieven Architek opens soon after that for those who want some breakfast, a good cup of coffee or an early pint.

They have a superb beer of the house, also called "de Skieven Architek", specially brewed for them by the Van Steenberge Brewery of Ertvelde.

You can get a great lunch here at a very descent price.  Whether it be with "stoemp" or "French fried"—who came up with this name?— it will be a typical Brussels dish.  Stoemp is mostly potato mash.  And not just for tourists either.  Here you also meet people who were born nearby.

P.S. Sorry to say: the Skieven Architek is no more.  Who knows who or what will take its place ?  Let's hope the Skieven Architek will soon rise from its ashes.

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Most recent update: 21 April 2021