The Bourse (Brussels Stock Exchange or 'Beurs') consists of a public space with a central gallery with benches, a restaurant, exhibition and meeting rooms,... The other part includes 'Belgian Beer World' (the permanent exhibition on Belgian beer culture) and the archaeological site Bruxella 1238.
People can walk through the central passage from the Bourse to the Grand-Place, thanks to a monumental open space in the building. In addition, the Bourse is further divided into several separate but complementary spaces.
Museums and coworking spaces
The museums are, of course, open to the public. Witnessing the heyday of industrialisation in 19th-century Belgium, the Bourse is already a museum in itself. Its restoration highlights its assets, such as the sculptures by Rodin.
Coworking spaces and meeting, conference and seminar rooms are available at the Bourse as well.
Belgian Beer World
The Bourse also hosts Belgian Beer World, a museum and experience centre highlighting the history and peculiarities of the Belgian beer culture. Through a route designed by museum specialists, Belgian Beer World offers visitors a sensory experience around beer.
Those who would like to buy another typical Belgian beer product can do so in the Beer Shop. But a visit to the beer museum will first lead you to the roof terrace of the Bourse. Here, the Skybar surprises you with a view over the centre of Brussels and the tower of the City Hall. On the second floor, a restaurant serves Belgian specialities.
The archaeological site Bruxella 1238, which opened its doors to the public in 1993, was still too little known to residents of Brussels. With the renovation of the Bourse in 2023, the aim was to show it more effectively.
The museum takes its name from the year the Franciscans built their convent here. Its ruins can be visited under the Bourse, including the burial place of Duke John I of Brabant.
History of the Bourse
It was architect Léon-Pierre Suys who drew the plans of the Bourse and started the works in 1868. The construction of the Bourse fitted in with the redevelopment of the city centre with beautiful wide avenues that illustrated the capital's expansion. Financial markets were taking their place all over the world, including Belgium.
The building was finished in 1873. That 'Bourse Palace', as it was originally called, then grew into a centre of financial power. It was erected on the former Butter Market and the vault of the Senne river in an eclectic style, a combination of neo-Renaissance and Second Empire.
Over the years, the Bourse lost its appearance and closed itself off from the outside world. In 2015, the last six Euronext traders left the building and it stood abandoned until its renovation in 2023.