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BRUSSELS : The Horta Museum
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This is not a museum in the traditional sense: a building where the objects exposed draw all the attention. Here it is the reverse : the building itself is the museum. The Horta Museum was actually the house that Victor Horta built for himself in the late 1890's. It's a true example of the architectural style that made Horta into one of the most acclaimed architects in Belgium.

The Art Nouveau style was popular in Europe, and especially in Brussels, between 1893 and 1918. The characterizations are: the use of industrial materials like steel and iron in the visible parts of houses, new decorations inspired by nature (e.g. the famous whiplash motive, which occurs very often in the Art Nouveau style and especially in the work of Horta), decorative mosaics or sgraffito on the façades of houses, etc... Most of these principles can be seen applied in the Horta Museum itself. This house also shows one of the great innovations of Horta: the rooms are built around a central hall. From the beautiful glass ceiling light falls into the house and thereby creating a much more natural illumination of the building than was the case in the traditional late 19th century houses in Brussels and Belgium.

This style has sometimes a different name in certain countries: Jugendstil in the German-speaking countries, Modern Style, Liberty Style in Britain, Estilo Modernista in Spain.

Victor Horta was born in 1861 in Gent, Belgium. After studies in Paris, he settles in Brussels and continues to study at the Académie des Beaux Arts (Beautiful Arts Academy). In 1893 he builds his first true Art Nouveau house, the house of the Tassel family, which can still be seen in the Rue Emile Janson/Emiel Jansonstraat, 6 in Brussels. Other truly magnificent constructions were to follow: 1894 The Solvay House (his masterpiece); 1895 La Maison du Peuple (the meeting house of the Brussels socialists, now sadly demolished) and the Van Eetvelde House; 1898 the Horta house (his private mansion and this museum), 1901 Les Grands Magasins Innovation (destroyed by a fire in 1967 during which over 300 people were killed), 1903 Les Magasins Waucquez (nowadays the Comic Strip Museum of Brussels).

Amerikaanse straat / Rue Américaine, 23-25
1060 Brussels

(For copyright reasons we are not allowed to show pictures of the Museum)

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