Buildings

Buildings

Galerie Bortier

The Galerie Bortier, less well known then its 'royal' counterparts, takes you into second hand booksellers's paradise.

Entrance on Rue Saint-Jean or Rue de la Madeleine, 1000 Brussels

Terraces at the Cinquantenaire park

To reach the terraces, take the lift on the west wing of the Army Musuem.

Between the display cases you can reach the terraces on either side of the chariot atop the Arcades. In fine weather you will enjoy a magnificent panoramic view of Brussels.

Online: www.klm-mra.be

"La fleur en papier doré"

A typical Brussels café! Everything here is a listed monument: inside and out.

To taste an authentic lambic beer, old-fashioned meatballs or some kipkap (headcheese), 'stoemp' and, if you have the stomach for it, some 'bloempanch' (blood sausage)!

This café was the favourite meeting place of the COBRA movement and Belgian surrealits such as Magritte, Scutenaire and Mariën!

Rue des Alexiens 55, 1000 Brussels
Online: www.lafleurenpapierdore.be (FR/NL)

Delacre Pharmacy

Just like Mr Neuhaus, Mr Delacre started out as a pharmacist. And like Mr Neuhaus, he sold chocolates as a form of tonic.

Mr Neuhaus' son would go into the pralines business and Mr Delacre Jr into (chocolate) biscuits. Neuhaus and Delacre are now two famous Belgian brands.

Coudenberg 66, 1000 Brussels

Saint-Cyr House

An exceptional example of the Arts Nouveau style in Brussels.

THe architect Gustave Strauven designed this house in 1900 for the painter and decorator Georges Léonard de Saint-Cyr.

It can be admired only from the outside, but the lovely façade with its steel and wrought iron work is well worth the visit! The extremely narrow house (less than 4 m in width) stretches over four storeys. The top floor window evokes a gigantic "bull's eye'.

A stroll through the neibourhood will give you the chance to discover other Art Nouveau buildings.

Square Ambiorix 11, 1000 Brussels

Café Pin Pon

As its name suggests, this café-restaurant is located in the former firehouse of the Place du Jeu de Balle, which was abandoned in the late 1960s. Its décor evokes the former use of the building.

Place du Jeu de Balle 62, 1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0)2 540 89 99

Tibetan temples

  • The Tibetan Buddhist temple of the Nalanda Institute was built over an entire year by a Tibetan artist and a team of volunteers.
    You can go for a visit or attend meditation sessions or yoga classes.
    Rue de l'Orme 50, 1030 Brussels
    Online: www.institut-tibetain.org (FR/NL)

 

  • At the end of the 1970s, a Tibetan temple was established in a Saint-Gilles town house.
    You can take part in classes, workshops and meditation sessions here.
    Rue Capouillet 33, 1060 Brussels
    Online: www.samye.be

 

City halls: open-air museums

The city halls of Saint-Gilles (place Van Meenen), Anderlecht (place du Conseil), Schaerbeek (place Collignon), Forest (rue du Curé) and the City of Brussels in particular are real open-air museums.
The buildings are emblematic of an architectural period or architect. What's more, numerous works of art are gathered together here: paintings, sculptures, mosaics, stained-glass windows, decorations, tapestry, etc.
Guided tours are organised on a regular basis. Check the websites for more information.

Online: www.stgilles.irisnet.be (FR/NL) / www.anderlecht.be (FR/NL) / www.schaerbeek.be / www.forest.irisnet.be (FR/NL) / www.bruxelles.be

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The lead shot tower on place Sainte-Catherine

To the right of the church (when you're facing it) is a kind of belfry. This is not an ordinary tower or steeple: it's a lead shot tower.
The metal was smelted on the top floor, then poured through a kind of sieve. The little balls that were formed cooled as they dropped to the bottom of the tower. They were then used as lead hunting shots.

Place Sainte-Catherine, 1000 Brussels

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Perpetual lift

This is a 'Paternoster' lift, in other words a lift with perpetual movement. A bit like a fairground ride at the Foire de Midi. You have to plan your move carefully to climb up into the lift and step down at the floor of your choice.
New regulations may soon shut down this last specimen of this type of lift.

At the SNCB/MIVB offices
Avenue Fonsny 47B, 1070 Brussels

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Bains de Bruxelles Swimming Pool

You might think there's nothing unusual about swimming lengths in a pool. Except if it offers incredible panoramic views of Brussels. The swimming pool on the third floor has a huge glass wall with a view over the surrounding rooftops!

Rue du Chevreuil 28, 1000 Brussels
Online : www.brussels.be/artdet.cfm/4620

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ULB astronomy dome

On the top floor of one of the ULB buildings, see the stars free of charge every Wednesday (it's better in winter), with explanations from astronomy professors and students.

Online: www.astro.ulb.ac.be

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The inner courtyard of La Bellone

The small entrance on Rue de la Flandre does not prepare you for the awesome façade that comes into view at the end of the passageway. It was designed by architect Jean Cosyn and built between 1697 and 1708.

La Maison de la Bellone takes its name from the Roman goddess, whose bust stands in the middle of the façade.

Rue de Flandre 46, 1000 Brussels
Online: www.bellone.be

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Repurposed stations

  • La Chapelle station is home to Recyclart art centre, which regularly hosts concerts, exhibitions and other events.

    Online: www.recyclart.be (FR/NL)

  • Bruxelles Congrès station is dedicated to contemporary forms of art and Brussels’ architectural heritage, based on a varied programme of exhibitions, concerts, seminars, guided walks and more.

    Online: www.bruxelles-congres.be (FR/NL)

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Old windmills and watermills

  • Evere mill:
    probably built around 1840, this windmill has unfortunately lost its blades. It was given protected status in 1990 and now houses the mill and food museum.

    Rue du Moulin à vent 21, 1140 Brussels
    Online: www.moulindevere.be

  • Lindekemale mill in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert:
    one of the Region’s last two watermills, which was converted into a restaurant in the 1970s.

    Avenue Jean-François Debecker 6, 1200 Brussels

  • Windmill in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert:
    18th century corn mill, open by appointment only through Woluwe municipal museum.

    Phone: +32 (0)2 762 62 11

    Windmill in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert
  • Luizenmolen, which dominates the Anderlecht countryside, is the only active windmill in the Region. Visitors have a chance to see how a traditional mill works and how flour is produced. Open 2pm-5pm every second and fourth Sunday of the month all year round. Admission: €3 for adults, free for children under 12.

    Rue des Papillons, 1070 Brussels
    Phone: +32 (0)2 520 43 59

  • A former paper mill is hidden in Uccle. Its wheel was driven by the Geleytsbeek. It is no longer in operation, but it stands testimony to an industrial activity which has now disappeared.
    Rue Keyenbempt 66, 1180 Brussels

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The cannonball of Saint-Nicolas Church

When you enter the nave of Saint-Nicolas Church, be sure to check out the third pillar from the left. Louis XIV’s troops bombarded the city in 1695 and a cannonball from the assault remains embedded there.

Rue de Tabora, 1000 Brussels

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Maison Delune

Built in 1904, Maison Delune (named after the architect Léon-Joseph Delune) has been the home of a rich widow, a pavilion at the 1910 World Fair (the first place that ragtime was heard in Brussels) and Nazi offices. After the war it was occupied by squatters before being designated a listed building and undergoing renovation (don’t miss Paul Cauchie’s sgraffiti). It now functions as business premises.

Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 86, 1000 Brussels

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The fire station

You can book a guided tour of the main fire station through the Brussels fire fighting and emergency medical assistance service SIAMU. For more information, visit the section about SIAMU of this portal.

Avenue de l'Héliport, 1000 Brussels

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Rue Isabelle

Rue IsabelleRue Isabelle is nestled behind Place Royale and can be reached through BELvue museum. The street was built in 1625 on the demand of the Infanta Isabelle to connect St Michael and St Gudula Cathedral with her palace, the Aula Magna. Rue Isabelle and the ruins of the old palace are now visible after renovation.

Online: www.coudenberg.com - www.belvue.be

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La Centrale électrique

This was the city’s first power plant when it was built in 1901. Since 2006, as the European Centre for Contemporary Art, this 1000 sq m space has held numerous exhibitions.

Place Sainte-Catherine 44, 1000 Brussels
Online: www.lacentraleelectrique.be

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Salon 58

Listed in 2002, this is one of the last remaining buildings from the 1958 World Fair. It was designed by André Waterkeyn, who was also responsible for the Atomium. It is now a restaurant.

Avenue de l'Atomium 6, 1020 Brussels
Online: www.salon58.com

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Hof ter Musschen

This square farm, most of which was renovated in the 18th century, was listed in 1988, three years after it was vacated by the last resident. It now hosts special events, including conferences and weddings.

Avenue Mounier 2, 1200 Brussels
Online: www.hoftermusschen.be

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Chapel at the mall

There is a small street-level chapel at Woluwe Shopping Center, between a hair salon and a florist.

Rue Saint-Lambert, 1200 Brussels

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