In 1883, architect Charles Gys oversaw the construction of 10 rental-apartment buildings with ground-floor spaces for commercial use on their ground floors. These were erected for the company Les Constructeurs Réunis to echo their counterparts in Rue Henri Maus/Henri Mausstraat, on the other side of the stock-exchange building (Bourse/Beurs). The plastered façade of Rue de la Bourse/Beursstraat 18, embellished with blue-limestone ornamentation, is made all the more attractive by the exquisite window and door decorations crafted by Henri Coosemans in 1909. Designed in the neo-Renaissance style, they are a glorious blend of wood and marble. Slender wooden columns topped with bronze Ionic capitals support the arches, while grotesques stand guard over the central entrance. The building’s interior is wonderfully preserved: the original parquet, mirrors, velvet-covered benches and stained woodwork – some of which has been made to imitate mahogany – are still in place, giving the premises a unique cosy atmosphere. The embossed neo-Renaissance and Japanese-style (Kinkarakawakami) wallpaper contributes to the overall effect. It is interesting to note that Le Cirio was originally a shop and café specialising in Italian food. Its proprietor, Francesco Cirio, who owned a factory in Turin, opened 18 retail outlets throughout Europe in locations including Moscow, Zurich and Paris. Of these, the Brussels branch is the only one still in existence. Notwithstanding a few alterations, it still looks much the same as it did over 100 years ago. (Listed since 3 March 2011)
Guided tours. In cooperation with Arkadia.
sign-languageGuided tours in sign language in French, Sat. & Sun. at 16h00. In cooperation with Arts & Culture.
Accessible with assistance