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Ommegang, Brussels folklore procession


Ommegang, Brussels folklore procession

What is the origin of Ommegang?

The word Ommegang means "to walk around" in Dutch and comes from the Latin "circumambulatio". Originally, it was the most important lustration procession in the city of Brussels, which took place once a year on the Sunday before Pentecost.

Since 1930, the Ommegang has been a historical re-enactment of the festival held in Brussels in 1549 (on 2 June) by the Brussels Magistrate in honour of Emperor Charles V, who came to Brussels to present his son, the future Philip II.

When does the Ommegang take place?

This great historical procession in Brussels, which takes place every year, is one of the most important events in the history and culture of the country. The Brussels Ommegang was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in December 2019. The 2023 edition will be held on Wednesday 28 June and Friday 30 June 2023.

What are the festivities of the Ommegang?

The Ommegang offers three events during the two days of festivities with a show, a crossbow shooting competition and the famous procession.

Show

More than 1,200 participants are on hand to immerse you in a bygone historical period and to bring its unique atmosphere to life. Every year, the Grand Place in Brussels is transformed into a real spectacle, recalling one of the most important events in the city's history. Under the direction of Giles Daoust, the staging, sound and visual effects have been completely modernised, with an emphasis on lighting, fireworks and music, to give you even more folklore and magic.

How to get to the Grand-Place?

Blue route: hop off at stop 1 Gare Centrale / Centraal Station

Red route: hop off at stop 1 Gare Centrale / Centraal Station (RedLine departure)

Crossbow competition

The event is organised in collaboration with the former Grand Royal and Noble Oath of the Crossbowmen of Notre-Dame du Sablon and the Crossbowmen of the Grand Royal Oath and Saint George.

At 7.20 pm, the two Crossbowmen's Oaths will set out to re-enact the historical procession and head for the esplanade of the Sablon church.

At 7.30 p.m., a crossbow competition will take place, followed by the awarding of the Golden Arrow to the winner in front of the esplanade. The winner will enter the Grand Place during the Ommegang parade with the golden arrow!

How to get to the esplanade of the Sablon church?

Blue route: hop off at stop 1 Gare Centrale / Centraal Station

Red route: hop off at stop 7 Sablon / Zavel

Procession of the Ommegang

The Ommegang pre-cortege will start at 20:40 from the Parc Royal, also known as the Parc de Bruxelles. It will cross several streets of Brussels and join the various oath groups (crossbowmen, archers, harquebusiers and fencers) at the Sablon.

The historical procession will start at the Sablon at 8.50 pm and will go through several streets of the capital to arrive at the Grand-Place of Brussels.

The carriage of Charles V will leave Place Royale at 8.15 pm. After a stop at the church of Notre-Dame du Sablon, the carriage will resume its journey at the head of the procession.

How to get to the start of the pre-cortege?

Blue route: hop off at stop 1 Gare Centrale / Centraal Station

Red route: hop off at stop 6 Place Royale / Koningsplein

How do I get to the start of the procession?

Blue route: hop off at stop 1 Central Station / Centraal Station

Red route: hop off at stop 7 Sablon / Zavel

 

To continue your discovery of Brussels' neighbourhoods, discover the Tootwalk functionality of the Tootbus application. You can explore the city on foot with three free guided tours.