Museum of the City of Brussels

This page has been automatically translated from French into English by a translation software. Automatic translations are not as accurate as translations made by professional human translators. Nevertheless these pages can help you understand information published by the City of Brussels.

Maison du Roi

Also known under the name of Maison du Roi or Broodhuis, the Museum of the City of Brussels faces the City Hall, on the other side of the Grand-Place.

Its location

Image of the Maison du Roi - Broodhuis © Museum City of Brussels The Museum of the City of Brussels is situated in the historic heart of Brussels, on the Grand-Place. It is sheltered in a building of neo-Gothic style, result of the reconstruction made in the 19th century by the architect of the City, Victor Jamaer.

Classified in 1936, the Maison du Roi is registered, since 2000, on the UNESCO world heritage together with the whole Grand-Place.

Its history

From 1860, the City of Brussels, in full historic and urbanistic transformation has the idea to create a local museum. It begins to collect the diverse witnesses of its past and asks several artists to immortalize districts destined to be demolished.

Painting of Karel Buls © Museum City of Brussels Charles Buls, Mayor of the City, and Alphonse Wauters, the archivist, are at the origin of the project and of the creation of the first municipal museum, installed on the second floor of the Maison du Roi and inaugurated in 1887. At the time, Charles Buls already has a double objective: on the one hand, welcoming the foreign visitor, and on the other hand, making the history understandable to the local population.

The name Broodhuis (bread market) makes reference to the first affectation of the building (a wooden hall) in the 13rd century. The ground of this hall belonged however to the duke of Brabant, who lived in the 16th century when Charles the Fifth was king of Spain. This explains the French name 'Maison du Roi'.

Bruidsstoet - Cortège des noces by Pieter Bruegel de Oude © Museum City of Brussels The collections of the Museum of the City grew richer during the 20th century and present a very diversified character: models, objects like flags, bannisters, objects in ironworks, sculptures, paintings, altarpieces, tapestries, china, plans of the city, the archaeological collections,... The life of the Brusselses and the wardrobe of Manneken-Pis also have a place in the museum.

The display of collections and the various projects of the Museum are accompanied by educational activities: game intended for children and young people, a programme of guided tours and publications about several collections. These tools contribute to moving the visitors closer to the collections of the Museum of the City.

Retable of Saluzzo © Museum City of Brussels In 2008, a particular effort was dedicated to the development of the invaluable Brussels altarpieces of the 15th and 16th century. 4 tapestries of the 16th and 17th century are also exposed in the Museum. The most famous is the retable is that of Saluzzo.

A game route for children

A game-route intended for hildren also invites very young people to discover the Museum. A small notebook gives them basic information and invites them to answer questions appealing to their sense. Four subjects are approached: the building of the Maison du Roi, the development of the City, the water in Brussels and Manneken-Pis.

The notebook for children exists in two versions: for 9-12 years and for 6-8 years. For the grown-up guides, a notebook supplies the additional information allowing to deepen the subject. A map with a route also allows them to organize a stroll in the city center.

There are also guided tours. They take place on the first Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the month at 12:30 pm (without booking). The guided tour is free; only the access to the Museum has to be paid.

On the agenda

Practical information

Museum of the City of Brussels - Maison du Roi
1000 Brussels

Tel. : 02 279 43 50
Fax : 02 279 43 62

Opening hours : From Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am till 5 pm. Closure of the ticket desk: 15 minutes before the closure of the museum.
Closing period : on Mondays and 1/1, 1/5, 1/11, 11/11 and 25/12
More information : Entrance: 8 euro, 6 euro for seniors, 4 euro for students, free: under 18 years, the first Sunday of the month and for inhabitants of the City of Brussels. Art 27: 1.25 euro. Several reductions possible. Legends in French, Dutch and English.

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