The Grand Place was built in the 11th century as the centre of Brussels. The Guildhalls were home to a number of Guilds who had power over the trade in and outside the city. In fact they were respsonsible for various wars and unrest across the land. The square was destroyed in 1696 by the French during a bombardement. The Guilds rebuilt the squre exactl as it was before in just 5 years.