The Bellevue hotel was built in 1776 for wealthy wine merchant and innkeeper Philippe de Proft. It was designed to meet the architectural requirements laid down by Empress Maria Theresa, who was keen to preserve the neoclassical appearance of Place Royale/Koningsplein. Over the years, the hotel’s guests included Honoré de Balzac, Prince Metternich and Jérôme Bonaparte. The building was purchased in 1902 by the Fondation de la Couronne and subsequently used as a residence by one of King Leopold II’s daughters, Princess Clémentine, and then by the future King Leopold III and Queen Astrid. It was unoccupied from 1934 until 1953 and was loaned to the Red Cross before becoming a museum of decorative arts, then a museum of the Belgian royal family (known as the Museum of the Dynasty) and, finally, a museum devoted to Belgium and its history. Visitors to the BELvue Museum can learn more about Belgium through the lens of the seven themes explored in the museum’s rooms – democracy, prosperity, solidarity, pluralism, migration, language and Europe – and view a gallery of over 200 pieces embodying Belgium’s ‘physical memory’. These include a Magritte lithograph, several Val Saint-Lambert crystal vases, a motorcycle and a football signed by the Belgian men’s national team, nicknamed the ‘Red Devils’ – a real insight into the many facets of Belgianness!
Guided tours (Black, yellow, red) focusing on the pieces in the museum’s collection that have the same colours as the Belgian flag, Sat. & Sun. at 14:30 (French) and 11:00 (Dutch).
sign-languageGuided tours in sign language in French for families and youth, Sat. at 11:30 and 14:00. In cooperation with Arts & Culture.
Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 18:00
Place des Palais/Paleizenplein 7, Brussels
Advance booking required
Accessible with assistance