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Cultural Belgium

Most tourist attractions and museums are open on Sundays and closed on Mondays with the exception of Tournai where they are closed on Tuesdays. There is a small entrance fee for most museums. Special entrance packages are available in main cities. Want to know more about Belgian heritage? Visit the Cultural Heritage Fund. Interested in religious architecture? Click on Belfries and Beguinages.

 

Before you go, brush up on some of Brussels' most visited works of art!

 

Exhibitions & Galleries Virtual Museums

Art in Europe

A guide to Art & Architecture in Europe. Book your trip right now!

 


Brussels
Namur area Liège area
Bastogne - Luxembourg Tournai-Mons aera Virtual Museums

 

Brussels
Brussels offers visitors a rich cultural experience with over 85 different kinds of museums. Covering topics from art nouveau to history and comic strips to science, there is one catered to every imaginable taste. Browse through a sampling of museums in Brussels here.

Fondation Folon - La Hulpe

Jean-Michel Folon has housed 300 works (watercolors paintings, artifacts, sculptures, posters and illustrations) at the Ferme du Chateau de la Hulpe, just outside Brussels.

brussels

Museum - Louvain-la-Neuve

University Museum of Louvain-la-Neuve. The Museum is situated in the city center, The wide variety if its collections entices the visitor to join in a dialogue between ancient and modern art. As well as anonymous authors of Indian Greek, pre-Columbian, Roman,Chinese and African art there are also the prestigious names of Picasso, Magritte, Delvaux, Delahaut, as well as those of masters of engraving , including Durer, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Goya...

museum

Hergé Museum - Louvain-la-Neuve

A spectacular new museum dedicated to Hergé, the pen name of Georges Remi, who created the comic-book hero Tintin, opened in Louvain-la-Neuve on June 2nd. The museum is built in the shape of an elongated prism which seems to float on the forest of ancient trees. The road zigzags away below. The footpath from the viewing platform to the museum resembles a ship's gangplank

HERGÉ MUSEUM

 

ArcheoPass

Tourist pass for the archeological heritage of French speaking Wallonia.

Bastogne - Luxembourg

Bastogne Historical Center - Bastogne

This museum presents you the story of the World War II episode which marked the Ardennes during the hardest Winter between '44/'45.  Through books, supplies, clothes, model,... Retrieve the atmosphere of this part of War History on our land.

Reopening on March 22, 2014

Bastogne Ardennes 44 - Bastogne

The city of Bastogne is known for the famous " Battle of the Ardennes". Another museum is dedicated to this strong World War II episode, it presents you a large view of this part of History. Gilles Bouillon collected through years with passion many guns, vehicles, maps, books and other differents military supplies. A must-to-see on two levels and 1.000 square meters.

 

Collections: ancient tools, regional zoology, war. Discover the French speaking Ardennes: the Battle of the Bulge, ancient professions, the zoology. Unique collections. Arms documents and unusual objects describe the life of German and American soldiers during the war.

Pierre-Joseph Redouté Museum - Saint-Hubert

The museum is in honour of Pierre-Joseph Redouté, who was dubbed "The Raphael of flowers" and was especially renowned for his magnificent roses. On display are several original watercolours, prints and objects, as well as etchings from the "Description of Egypt" (by his brother Henri-Joseph Redouté, painter and zoologist).

The Famenne Museum - Marche-en-Famenne

Located in a superb 18th century house, the Famenne Museum is a place full of memories, emotions and respect. It broaches themes from the prehistory to modern art! The Merovingian and Carolingian periods are illustrated by means of a remarkable collection found during excavations in Wellin and Hamoir. The Museum pays tribute to the Mâitre de Waha, a famous late gothic sculptor.

Archeoscope - Boullion

The Archeoscope Godefroid de Bouillon has brought together the best in technology and production to recreate the first Crusade in the company of Duke Godfrey of Bouillon, Peter the Hermit and thousands of men making their way to Jerusalem.

museum

 

Liège area

Grand Curtius Museum Complex

The museum hold more than 7,000 years worth of regional and international artifacts. More than 5,200 items are displayed in chronological or thematic order. Prestigious collections from the archaeology, decorative arts, religious and Mosan art museums, glass museums as well as the famous weaponry. The Grand Curtius is located in the historical heart of the Ardent City, and offers a fresh perspective of the city, with gardens and a cafeteria that are open all year round.

Ansembourge Museum

This private villa was built in 1740 for a banker. It bears witness to the stimulating architecture and decorative arts typical of the Liege region and the refined "art de vivre" of the 18th century. Visitors can admire the beautiful collection of carved and inlaid woodwork from the 18th century as well as tapestries, leather curtains in Cordoue style, chandeliers, watches and porcelain.

Museum of Walloon Life

Discover life in Wallonia through various themes and a variety of items. This new visit, the result of a state-of-the-art museography and scenography and of the watchful eye of Claude Santerre, gives visitors an eloquent history of Wallonia divided into 5 parts: Wallonia, Technical (R)evolutions, Living Together, Day by Day, Life of Spirit.

Museum of Walloon Art

This museum located in a beautiful building with an open roof presents many paintings and sculptures from Belgian artists form the 19th and 20th century. Everything form Magritte to Delvaux to Lombard is on display in the collection of over 2,500 paintings not to mention the hundreds of sculptures.

liege

Modern Art Museum

In this museum which has been open since 1905 visitors can follow the evolution of modern and contemporary art with works by Picasso, Gaugin, Monet, Chagall. Renovated in 1993 this museum is considered by many as the most beautiful in Europe.

liege

Public Transport Museum
The Public Transport Museum of the Pays de Liege offers a unique journey into time, space and public transportation. The museum features a wide collection of vehicles documenting the period from 1875 to modern day. Taxis, horse traction trams, electric tramways, trolley buses, buses and other vehicles are displayed in a large ancient depot.

liege

Baugnez 44-Historical Center

In order to perpetuate the memory of the Battle of the Bulge, the Baugnez 44 Historical Center takes us through the final great operations and battles which took place during the counteroffensive Operation Wacht Am Rhein! This new museum opened in memory of the Battle of the Bulge and the massacre of Baugnez/Malmedy, extends over 850 Square metres and two stories.

 

The Gourmet Museum and Library
Asbl La Rawate - Ferme Castrale D'Hermalle-sous-Huy

Interesting, amusing, convivial. Archaeology, history and folklore of 'Gourmet'. Rare objects, furniture and paintings from ancient times to today - on gastronomy and tobacco including anecdotes told by experienced guides. The library contains the most important collection in Belgium of books on gastronomy: over 13.000 volumes.

Reading room of the Library.

The Wool & Fashion Museum - Verviers

Scenographed areas, moving images and comments in several languages allow discovery of the woolen cloth manufacturing process, and the dress history.

fashion museum

Crystal Discovery Val Saint Lambert

The Crystal factory and the Castle of Val Saint Lambert propose you to discover the glassworks and the history of crystal and the site. By means of historical and contemporary aids (maps, engravings, scale-models, photo's, sound clips, traditional and exceptional pieces), films and 'live' demonstrations, the visitor is immersed in the magical universe of crystal. A metamorphosis of the site combining entertainment, history and technique.

Museum of Fine Arts and Ceramics - Verviers

Ancient "Hôpital Nouveau", built in 1661 and renovated in 1912. Old paintings by Liégeois, Flemish, Dutch, French, Italian,... masters. Paintings by Belgian masters (19th c.). Contemporary paintings from several schools. Liégeois engravings. Sculptures from the 15th and 16th c., mainly polychrome woodcuts. Old and modern china and ceramics.

 

Namur area

Perfumes Guy Delforge
Deep in the cellars of the Citadel, Guy Delforge, presiding with the Maestro's baton over an orchestra of rich fragrances teaches visitors each phase of this remarkable craft: the composition of a subtle symphony of different scents, the maceration process, the miraculous birth of a perfume, olfactory testing, chilling, filtration and the art of presentation.

namur

Museum of Ancient Namur Arts

Situated in an 18th century patrician house, the museum presents medieval and renaissance collections including paintings sculptures, silver, glass and embroideries.

namur

Felicien Rops Museum

Situated in the center of Old Namur in a 19th century residence the museum displays its collection in a fully renovated setting. The permanent exhibition offers a complete look into the works of Rops including lithography and engravings.

Groesbeeck de Croix Museum

Open since 1935, the building is one of the finest mansions built in Namur in the 18th century. House inside is a remarkable collection of decorative arts, furniture, glass and crystal, crockery, silverware paintings and sculpture.

namur

The Treasure of Hugo d'Oignies

A rich collection of Mosan silver and goldsmith work of the 13th century by the monk Hugo d'Oignies in the Priory d'Oignies aux soeurs de Notre Dame.

Caves (grottos) of Han-sur-Lesse

An old panoramic train will bring you to the entrance of the caves, a guide will lead you through 3km of increasingly beautiful chambers and passages and a romantic exit on barges on the subterranean river.

grottos

Museum of the strawberry and the land of Wepion

The Strawberry Museum is located in a park, next to the Meuse and presents its visitors five exhibition rooms dedicated to the local history and strawberry growing. It also offers the services of a documentation centre and a boutique where you can buy regional products.

Gambrinus Driver Museum - Philippeville

Unique museum dedicated to brewery trucks. The name Gambrinus owes its origin to the Duke of Brabant, Jan Primus, who was known as “the King of Beer”… “King of the road” for trucks and king of beer! This museum is in a former maltings-brewery-farm buildings of the 19th century and its contains 20 vehicles and 75 themed displays.

 

Tournai-Mons area 

Museum of Fine Arts - Tournai

The building designed by Victor Horta, contains numerous sculptures and paintings ranging from Primitive painters to contemporary masters, among whom are Campin, Roger Van der Weyden (born in Tournai), Brueghel, Rubens, Jordaens, Watteau Van Gogh , the only two paintings by Manet to be exhibited in Belgium and local artists.
tournai

Museum of Tapestry & Cloth Arts - Tournai

Nine sumptuous works illustrate the golden age of Tournai tapestry art in the 15th and 16th centuries 9with notably the Siege of Jerusalem). These impressive masterpieces are displayed next to a host of contemporary tapestries. The museum is located in a neoclassical residence.

MUSEUM AND FOUNDATION OF TAPESTRY

Museum of History and Decorative Arts - Tournai

Its remarkable collection of silverware, with moulds and casts, and of gold, silver and bronze coins offer the visitor a general picture of the craftsmanship of our past artists. But it is to the traditional Tournai porcelain, a flourishing local industry between 1750 and 1850, that the museum's most lavish rooms are devoted.

MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND OF DECORATIVE ARTS

Museum of Folklore - Tournai

In an intimate and quiet 19th century atmosphere visitors will rediscover the delightful ancient trades and crafts, popular art everyday life scenes, puppets, carnivals and age-old secular traditions of the city. They bring back to life its prestigious historical past and lead you to the very soul of Tournai.

tournai

Modern Art Museum (MAC) - Hornu/Mons

It was brought into being by the decree of 12th Germinal year V and it was the first public building the town possessed. The new museum that we see today was planned by the architect Ernest Vandestrate. It display works from the 14th to the 20th centuries, covering the different schools of painting, but most particularly contemporary art (1960-1990).

mas hornu

The Mundaneum Museum - Mons

The Mundaneum is located in an old large Ar Déco store. It is an archive centre, a place for temporary exhibitions conferences and debates that wants to let relive the utopian view of its two founders in 1895: bibliographer Paul Otlet and Henri Lafontaine, winner of the Nobel prize for peace (1913)

The museum was featured in the Science section of the New York Times (06/17/2008)

Charleroi Photography Museum - Charleroi

It is one of the largest photography museum in Europe. In addition to the negatives, the museum owns roughly 80,000 prints dating from the invention of photography until today. A rotating, representational selection of about 1,000 of them are on a display at all times, which means that on any day and by means of superb works by major international figures, you can survey the history of photography at the museum.

Museum of Fine Arts - Charleroi

Located in the Town Hall, it offers a rich collection that covers the main artistic schools in Belgium from the 19th century on into the 20th century: neo-classicism, realism social realism, impressionism, expressionism, surrealism and abstract art.

museum

The Hospital our Lady with the Rose - Lessine

Its was founded in 1942 and is one of the last examples of a self-sufficient hospital, complete with farm, gardens, ice chamber and cemetery, next to the convent buildings and hospital.

belgian museum

Tramway Museum - Thuin

It houses the most complete collection of rural trams in Belgium; the oldest steam engine dating from 1888, the oldest electric tram entirely built in Belgium and the only PCC rail car. There are nearly fifty of these gems.

brussels

Silver Museum - Seneffe

The castle is at the centre of a remarkable 18th century group of buildings which includes an orangery, a neoclassic theatre, an aviary and gardens, set in a park of 22 ha. The castle is the Silversmiths' Museum of the French-speaking community and houses a European Silver collection. Numerous temporary exhibitions are organised there. You can find all the information on our website.

Bois du Cazier - Marcinelle (Charleroi)

The Bois du Cazier is located south of Charleroi and is a place full of life in an industrial patrimony. This remarkable architectural complex lies in the middle of nature between 3 slagheaps, which have become walking paths. This place, where a dreadful mining disaster took place, is an interesting and complete museum on coal, steel and glass with 3 sections:

-The Industry Museum, covering the era of the Industrial Revolution

-The Glass Museum, tracing the origin and history of glass

-The site dedicated to the tragedy of 8 August 1956

Discover also: the Memorial in honour of the 262 victims, the wooded domain with the memorial lane and the observatory, as well as the forge and foundry workshops.

Ecomuseum of Bois-du-Luc - Mons

The Bois-du-Luc, a mining site listed as exceptional Walloon heritage, invites you to discover the work and daily life of a miner and his family. At the end of the 19th century, the Société des Charbonnages du Bois-du-Luc (created in 1685) founded the Saint-Emmanuel pit. Nearby it created a unique village model. At the village, which was under the supervision of the Director, the workers could eat (grocery, butcher, mill-brewery), get treatment (home, hospital), relax (hall, park and kiosk, leisure activities), learn (schools, library) and pray (Saint-Barbe church).

Giant's House - Ath

In this wonderful residence you'll discover the giants which participate in processions. These European folk traditions are presented through audiovisual shows. The giants are for Ath what the fantasy figures and animals are for other European countries.

International Carnival and Mask Museum - Binche

Enter the fascinating universe of the mask. Travel through the world of winter feasts and carnivals. Discover the ritual functions of the mask in the five continents and the masked festivities in the country. Get to know the big European city carnivals, the carnivals of Wallonia and the famous carnival of Binche. Enjoy the carnival of Binche, as if you were there, by means of an audiovisual show on big screen.

 

Virtual Museums

L'Ilot Sacre

All you want to know about the heart of Brussels including an interactive, virtual map.

René Magritte

A virtual gallery of the painter's life and works.

Tintin

Visit the site of Belgium most famous comic strip character.

Museum Search Engines
Le Guide Colvert - great information on attractions, museums in Belgium, and more.....

 

Theater, Music and Nightlife

The American Theater Company

ATC is a non-profit association which promotes plays written by American authors and others. They usually perform at The Warehouse Studio Theater.

MusicInBelgium.net
All about Rock, Blues and Folk. You will also find News, Concerts agenda, New CD Reviews, Topics, Forum, Classifieds, and more.

Concours Reine Elisabeth

The Queen Elisabeth Competition covers the musical disciplines of piano, voice, violin and composition. The performance sessions take place every four years and the competition for composers every two years.

BOZAR

The Royal Museum for Fine Arts regularly hosts musical performances and festivals. A calendar of performances can be found on their website, www.bozar.be.

Forest National

Brussels' main concert venue hosts musical talent from Belgium and internationally celebrated artists and pop stars.

Festival of Wallonia

This festival takes place in the enchanting city of Namur. It is for the true music lover, with musical novelties in historic places. Portions of the festival are intended for a younger audience.

International Competition Adolphe Sax

The 5th International Adolphe Sax Competition will take place in Dinant from October-November 2010. Adolphe Sax was born in Dinant and invented the saxophone.

Tele service

Tickets for concerts and music festivals throughout Belgium.

Performances in Belgium are in French or Dutch. Other performances are given in the original language.

 

Opera

Belgium has a great opera tradition. It was during an opera performance of “La Muette de Portici” that following a rebellion on stage the spectators were so excited that they rushed out of the theater to the neighboring Royal Park. There they started the revolution that led to the separation of the Belgians from the Dutch and the independence of the country. International productions of world renowned operas are performed in four major opera houses listed below.

Opera on the Grand Place

For the fourth time, at the end of the month of June, the Symphonic Orchestra, the Monnaie chorus, along with the Monnaie's children's choir will give a free concert on the Brussels Grand-Place. Last year, the event attracted an audience of between 5000 and 6000 spectators. The orchestra, conducted by Kazushi ONO, will pay homage to the opera I Pagliacci.

Grand Place Brussels

La Monnaie in Brussels

Built by Joseph Poelaert in an eclectic style, the auditorium combines French and Italian features. It can seat 1,152 people and is a magnificent example of European theatre architecture. In 1999 the restored canvas by the Parisian set designers François-Joseph Nolau and Alfred Rubé was reinstalled on the cupola.

Brussels La Monnaie

Opera Royal de Wallonie in Liege

Built at the end of the first quarter of the 19th century by the architect Duckers, this theatre is a massive parallelepiped. Its main facade is adorned with a marble colonnade from the old church of the Chartreux in Cornillon, ending in a balustrade and surmounting the arcades of the ground floor. Allegorical figures are sculpted on the vast triangular pediment.

royal opera liege

 

Exhibitions & Galleries
For a complete list of permanent and temporary exhibitions and galleries, please visit our Calendar of Events.