The Grand Place lies at the very heart of Brussels Old Town, its awe-inspiring stylistic unison making it one of the loveliest squares in the world. Enchanting at any time, it is specially so when lit up in the evening and when filled with the further blush of the Sunday bird market and daily flower markets. First established on a quagmire in the 11th century, the market soon developed to become the city's political, economic and social hub. The barrage by the French on 1695 shaped chaos with its buildings, virtually all of which were consequently reconstructed. The Place has thus conserved its old splendor and its original cheerful blend of Gothic and Baroque.