The Ommegang Pageant in Brussels
Witness History at the Ommegang Pageant
July 3-5, 2012
Don't miss this colorful medieval festival taking place every year on Brussels Grand' Place. Brussels' Ommegang Pageant is an historical evocation of the festival held in 1549 for Charles the Fifth, his son Don Philip, infant of Spain and Duke of Brabant, and his sisters, Eleanor of Austria, Queen of France and Mary of Hungary.
The first mention of the Ommegang dates from 1359 when the procession was initially religious in nature. Today the Ommegang of Brussels has entirely lost its religious character. And although the event is mainly folkloric, the whole performance is most importantly an expression of riches and glamour, one in which the population of Brussels takes pride and delight.
Before the procession starts, the Grand' Place has already been taken over by the audience. When the procession of the courts ends, the Royal guests take their places on the viewing stand and a flag procession and horse parade gets underway. Then come the representatives of the crafts and the Crossbow men who surround their patron Notre Dame du Sablon, the statue of the Virgin that has been escorted from the Sablon Church. Finally everyone settles down, together with the many visitors from all over the world, to enjoy the games and entertainment.
The procession starts at the Sablon Church and goes to Grand Place. 600 people are in the cortege, every one can go along there way and watch. For the spectacle at the Grand Place (there are 1400 performers) you will need to buy a ticket.
The festival accommodates 3,000 seating places.
For more information or booking on the Ommegang Pageant, please visit www.ommegang.be.