Louvain, Le Vieux Marché

This is a typical central market. Since it's called the "Old Market," there is probably another market of similar size elsewhere in the city. From the sheer size, it is evident, however, that this market was still very important at the time this photograph was made.

Markets tend to be untidy places. In well-run cities, the market square is thoroughly cleaned at the end of the day. The large market in Amsterdam, the Albert Cuypmarkt, is transformed twice a day. If you were to walk through the street in the evening, it would appear to be a normal street. The following morning, however, a great length of the street is turned into a market, with hundreds of market stall appearing. The street is thronging with shoppers until late in the afternoon, when the stalls are gradually packed up and taken in. By dinner time, peace reigns again. This cycle is typical of markets.

This square is slightly unusual in that the buildings are rather low - one would expect four- and five-story buildings, whereas we see mainly three-story buildings.

Notice that the ground floors are all a dark color, whereas most of the upper stories are light colored. Does anyone know why this is?

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