Old port: Fish Market

After the commercial and leisure activities of the Quai du Commerce and Quai aux Barques, the port of Brussels at one time stretched right into the heart of the city, with its longest dock representing the furthest extent of the historic port, at the site where St Catherine’s Church stands today. A swing bridge separated Bassin des Barques (‘Boat Dock’) from Bassin des Marchands (‘Merchants Dock’). These long wharfs were the setting for the life of the city: deals were done and there was intense activity. Even today, there are numerous shops, food businesses and restaurants on Quai au Bois à Brûler (‘Firewood Wharf’) and Quai aux Briques (‘Brick Wharf’), adjoining the Fish Market. Port activities carried on here until the early 20th century, when the docks were filled in. St Catherine’s Church was built on the site of St Catherine’s Dock between 1854 and 1874.

Practical information