The flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle, also known as the “Old Market” (the “Vieux Marché” in French), is located in the heart of the Marolles district in Brussels, and is certainly the most famous flea market in Belgium’s capital city: 450 merchants work there every day of the year from 6 am to 2 pm – this flea market is for professional sellers only – and on the weekends from 6 am to 3 pm.
Built in 1853, along with the nearby rue Blaes, the Place du Jeu de Balle or “Old Market” was originally intended to serve as a playing field for “balle pelote” players (a former version of tennis), a highly prized game in Brussels in the nineteenth century.
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place du jeu de balle Peter Lorre
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In 1873 the town council decided to transfer there the “junk and old clothes market” (“den â met”, which means “old market” in Brussels’ dialect), which then occupied the Anneessens square and, in the words of a local councilor, “had a negative impact on the appearance of new central boulevards”.