Art and History
information about entrance fees and opening hours of the museums, check out
this Brussels Museums Portal
City museum is situated in the
King's House on the Grand'place
of Brussels. In 1884 Brussels decided to open a museum about the rich past
of the city. It was the mayor of Brussels, Mr. Karel BULS, who was
the driving force behind this creation.
The museum opened its doors to the public in 1887.
The beginnings were modest. The rather small collection was housed on the
second floor of the building. During the course of the years, however, the
collection continued to grow thanks to different legacies. A plan to use the
entire building for the city museum collection in 1935 was interrupted
during World War II, when the occupants claimed the building for the city
administration. Finally, in 1960, the King's House was entirely transformed
into the city museum.
Above : The wedding
procession ( 1560's ?)- attributed to Pieter Bruegel the elder
with kind permission of Het museum van het Broodhuis - the city museum of
The museum is
devoted to all aspects of the city's history.
On the ground level is a collection of art
objects showing the plastic and decorative arts of Brussels : wall
tapestries (some based on paintings made by Barend Van Orley and Peter Paul
Rubens), paintings (amongst which a 'peasant wedding' attributed to Brueghel
the Elder), altar pieces, faience (the typical earthwork of Brussels) and
On the second floor one can see a collection of documents and miniature
scale models which outline the development and growth of the city.
The third floor shows the cultural, economic and social development of
Brussels by means of several historic documents, paintings, engravings,
scientific documents and manuscripts. On this floor
the wardrobe of Manneken Pis can be seen .
The little boy already possesses a collection of more than 600 costumes.
Tuesday to Friday : from 10 am till 5 pm
Closed on Mondays.
3,00 € (Euro) per person, 1,50 € (Euro) per person
for children and groups of min.
Grote Markt / Grand'Place - 1000 Brussels -Tel : +32(0)2-279 43 50
Wall tapestries in Brussels.
was between the late 15th and the 18th century the undisputed
center of wall tapestry weaving in Europe. Because of the presence
of the Court of Brabant in the city, a lot of foreign monarchs visited
the city on regular intervals. Therefore, a luxury industry like
tapestry weaving could be developed.
industry remained the economic backbone of Brussels for several
centuries. A lot of inhabitants found work in this highly
labour-intensive art. Tapestries were mostly manufactured in series of
four to sometimes eight pieces. These series were meant for the
decoration (and also insulation) of the rooms in the different
European castles and courts.
The typical elements of a Brussels wall tapestry are the use of the
colours red, blue and brown and the presence of a border which
was decorated with fruits or plant motives. The scenes represented
could be religious as well as historical. The tapestries were woven
based on sketches made by important painters (e.g. Van Orley, Rubens,
etc...) Sometimes the Brussels origin of a tapestry can be detected
through the presence of the red nitials
on the lower
border. This initials were used as the Brussels trade mark and meant 'Brussels
in Brabant', Brabant being the dukedom of which Brussels was the
capital. Brussels wall tapestries are now spread all over the world.
Sometimes the initials B.B. have been removed.
Above : One of a series
of four wall tapestries depicting 'The legend of Our Lady of the
Sablon' - the original drawings that were used to weave the tapestries
are attributed to Barend Van Orley (1492-1542) - Reproduced with
kind permission of Het museum van het Broodhuis - the city museum of