Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren

28 January 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  6 minutes

© EmDee/cc-by-sa-3.0

© EmDee/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Royal Museum for Central Africa or RMCA (Dutch: Koninklijk Museum voor Midden-Afrika or KMMA; French: Musée royal de l’Afrique centrale or MRAC; German: Königliches Museum für Zentralafrika or KMZA), also officially known as the AfricaMuseum, is an ethnography and natural history museum situated in Tervuren in Flemish Brabant, Belgium, just outside Brussels. It was built to showcase King Leopold II’s Congo Free State in the International Exposition of 1897.   read more…

Belgian Comic Strip Center in Brussels

10 January 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  7 minutes

© TADOR/cc-by-sa-3.0

© TADOR/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Belgian Comic Strip Center (French: Centre belge de la Bande dessinée; Dutch: Belgisch Stripcentrum) is a museum in Brussels, Belgium, dedicated to Belgian comics. It is located at 20, rue des Sables/Zandstraat, in an Art Nouveau building designed by Victor Horta, and can be accessed from Brussels-Congress railway station and Brussels Central Station. The building was designed in 1905 by the world-famous architect Victor Horta, in Art Nouveau style, and served as a textile department store, the Magasins Waucquez. After Waucquez’s death in 1920, the building began to languish away, and in 1970, the firm closed its doors. Jean Delhaye, a former aide of Horta, saved the building from demolition, and by 16 October 1975, it was designated as a protected monument. Still, the building was in bad shape and victim to a lot of vandalism.   read more…

Manneken Pis in Brussels

3 January 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

© C.Suthorn/cc-by-sa-4.0

© C.Suthorn/cc-by-sa-4.0

Manneken Pis (Dutch for ‘Little Pissing Man’) is a landmark 55.5 cm (21.9 in) bronze fountain sculpture in central Brussels, Belgium, depicting a puer mingens; a naked little boy urinating into the fountain’s basin. Though its existence is attested as early as the 15th century, it was designed in its current form by the Brabantine sculptor Jérôme Duquesnoy the Elder and put in place in 1618 or 1619.   read more…

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in Brussels

17 December 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - William Murphy/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – William Murphy/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries (French: Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Dutch: Koninklijke Sint-Hubertusgalerijen) is an ensemble of three glazed shopping arcades in central Brussels, Belgium. It consists of the Galerie du Roi or Koningsgalerij (“King’s Gallery”), the Galerie de la Reine or Koninginnegalerij (“Queen’s Gallery”) and the Galerie des Princes or Prinsengalerij (“Princes’ Gallery”). The galleries were designed and built by the architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer between 1846 and 1847, and precede other famous 19th-century European shopping arcades, such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and The Passage in Saint Petersburg. Like them, they have twin regular facades with distant origins in Vasari‘s long narrow street-like courtyard of the Uffizi in Florence, with glazed arched shopfronts separated by pilasters and two upper floors, all in an Italianate Cinquecento style, under an arched glass-paned roof with a delicate cast-iron framework. The complex was designated a historic monument in 1986.   read more…

Palace of Laeken in Brussels

31 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Chemical Engineer/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chemical Engineer/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palace of Laeken or Castle of Laeken is the official residence of the King of the Belgians and the Belgian Royal Family. It lies in the Brussels-Capital Region, 5 km (3 mi) north of the city centre, in Laeken (part of the City of Brussels), and sits in a large private park called the Royal Domain of Laeken. The palace was built between 1782 and 1784 for the Governors of the Habsburg Netherlands, and was originally named the Palace of Schonenberg. It was partly destroyed by fire in 1890, after which it was rebuilt and extended. Significant modifications were undertaken at the beginning of the 20th century during the reign of King Leopold II. Nowadays, it is often referred to as the Royal Palace of Laeken or Royal Castle of Laeken. The Palace of Laeken should not be confused with the Royal Palace of Brussels, in central Brussels, which is the official palace (not residence) of the King of the Belgians and from which state affairs are handled. It is served by Stuyvenbergh metro station on line 6 of the Brussels Metro.   read more…

Atomium in Brussels

25 October 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - Christian K./cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Christian K./cc-by-2.0

The Atomium is a landmark building in Brussels, Belgium, originally constructed for the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair (Expo ’58). It is located on the Heysel/Heizel Plateau in Laeken (northern part of the City of Brussels), where the exhibition took place. Nowadays, it is the city’s most popular tourist attraction, and serves as a museum, an art centre and a cultural place.   read more…

Sablon in Brussels

24 August 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

Rue de Rollebeek © Michel wal/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rue de Rollebeek © Michel wal/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Sablon or Zavel (Dutch) is a neighbourhood and hill in the historic upper town of Brussels in Belgium. At its heart are the twin squares of the larger Grand Sablon (“Large Sablon”) square in the northwest and the smaller Petit Sablon (“Small Sablon”) square and garden in the southeast, divided by the Church of Our Blessed Lady of the Sablon. The Sablon neighbourhood was remodelled in the 19th century as Regentschapstraat was driven through the area, creating a Haussmann-style artery between the Royal Palace of Brussels and the new Palace of Justice. The new street skirted the church: all buildings immediately adjacent to it were demolished starting in 1872, opening up new views of the church. Buildings not directly adjacent to the church were renovated and improved.   read more…

Berlaymont building, the headquarters of the European Commission

1 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, European Union, House of the Month Reading Time:  8 minutes

© flickr.com - Amio Cajander/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – Amio Cajander/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Berlaymont is an office building in Brussels, Belgium, which houses the headquarters of the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union (EU). The structure is located at Schuman roundabout at Wetstraat 200 Rue de la Loi, in what is known as the “European Quarter“. The unique form of the Berlaymont’s architecture is used in the European Commission’s official emblem.   read more…

Jubilee Park in Brussels

15 March 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Marc Ryckaert/cc-by-3.0

© Marc Ryckaert/cc-by-3.0

Parc du Cinquantenaire (French for “Park of the Fiftieth Anniversary”) or Jubelpark (Dutch for “Jubilee Park”) is a large public, urban park (30 hectares) in the easternmost part of the European Quarter in Brussels.   read more…

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