Categories: Annual Events Date: Aug 14, 2009 Title: Brussels Royal Palace Open to the Public
Each Year July-September
The Royal Palace is on the Place des Palais facing the Palais de la Nation, home of the Belgian Parliament, across the Park of Brussels. The Park was once part of the hunting ground of the Dukes of Brabant. It was also the scene of fierce fighting in 1830 when Belgium gained her independence.
Ever since the 12th century when the Counts of Louvain built a fortress on the Coudenberg hill, there has been a noble residence overlooking the Park of Brussels. Later occupants included the Dukes of Brabant and Burgundy and Charles V. In 1731 the Palace burnt to the ground, after which plans for the present neo-classic structure were drawn up, and although the Palace was modified during Austrian, French and Dutch rule, the buildings remained essentially the same until Leopold II instituted renovations which were carried out between 1868 and 1872.
The King and Queen reside in the Palace of Laeken, but King Albert II has his offices here and it is used for state receptions, royal audiences and court ceremonies. The Throne Room is particularly impressive; over 150 feet long it has an elaborate mosaic parquet floor and is lit by eleven chandeliers. Other rooms on view are the Blue Room, the Louis XVI Music Salon with its ebony piano inset with copper and semi-precious stones, the Goya Room, hung with tapestries modeled on paintings by the Spanish Court painter, the Empire Room, the two White Salons and the Mirror Room, paneled in elaborately carved oak with four ceiling-high mirrors set between fluted marble columns.
Each year, during summer months only, the Royal Palace in Brussels opens its doors to the public. The admission is free. Opening hours are: Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM.