The Black Tower is one of the best-preserved remains of Brussels' first city walls. It can still be seen from place Sainte-Catherine, behind the church of the same name, surrounded by later buildings. In the 13th century, the city's fortifications - 4km of walls - protected the centre of Brussels and the main centres of the medieval city, covering a total area of approximately 80 hectares. A second, larger wall was built the following century. Several remains of the first wall can still be seen inside the city, including on rue des Alexiens and Boulevard de l'Empereur. The main Brussels river, the Senne, left the city at the Black Tower. The tower was spared over the centuries, despite major urban developments such as the enlargement of the port in the 16th century, the construction of the Quai aux Semences in the 17th century and the modernisation of the city centre at the end of the 19th century.
Location: Place Sainte-Catherine, 1000 Brussels