Brussels, the capital of Belgium, is undoubtedly among Europe’s most cultural cities. The city is home to over 80 museums on varied subjects such as fine arts, natural sciences, comic and cartoons, cinema, music, architecture, technology, folklore, literature, history and many more.
All these museums are fascinating and offer a great insight into the culture and traditions of the city. It would be simply great to explore the wide and diverse range of museums that the city has to offer. Some of the important museums worth visiting in the city include Ixelles Museum, Museum of Architecture, Marc Sleen Museum, Autoworld, Constantin Meunier Museum, Scientastic Museum, Museum of Costume and Lace, Royal Army and Military History Museum, Jewish Museum, Gueuze (Beer) Museum, Cinematek, Musee du Cinquantenaire, Royal Institute for Natural Sciences, Herge Museum, Horta Museum, Belgian Center for Comic Strip Art, Museum of Music Instruments, Magritte Museum and Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium.
If you want to acquaint with the different aspects of Brussels and learn about the city’s amazing history, these museums should be visited whenever in Brussels. Let us embark on a virtual exploration of some of these museums.
But before we set off on our virtual tour, here are some important tips for you. First consider buying a Museum Pass, also called Brussels Card. This cost-effective card will be available for a period of 1 to 3 days and allows free access to 30 museums. This card comes along with attractive discount vouchers and can be used on public transportation system for unlimited travel around the city. The card also offers a museum map, a city map, and a short guide book on museums.
Another valuable tip for all those who can’t read or understand French or Dutch is that some difficulties might be encountered when visiting the museums, where guidelines in only these two languages are provided. You must enquire at the counter and seek an audio guide in English. You will have to spend some money on this. This will however be indeed beneficial for you.
Now that we have come to know about few valuable tips essential for exploration, let’s undertake virtual tour of some of the museums right away.
If you want to see the Belgian art in its full glory during the 19th and 20th centuries, then the Ixelles Museum is a must visit. The museum has an impressive collection prominently featuring varied artistic movements such as symbolism, neo-impressionism, luminism, impressionism and realism during the 19th century, while simultaneously showcasing abstraction, surrealism, cubism, expressionism, fauvism and popular actual movements of the 20th century. The museum also houses a complete range of original posters created by Toulouse-Lautrec.
Museum of Architecture
The Museum of Architecture is also popularly called “The Lodge”. The museum is housed in a former Masonic lodge owned by renowned architect Fernand Bodson. The Archives of Modern Architecture uses the museum to showcase its collections of furniture, scale models, pictures and drawings. Belgium’s 20th century architectural creations are showcased at the themed exhibitions here.
Marc Sleen Museum
The Marc Sleen Museum, formerly a newspaper office, features the exceptional work of the popular cartoonist Marc Sleen. Several exhibitions are held here dedicated to the life of Marc Sleen and his famous cartoon “The Adventures of Nibbs”, prominently focusing on his three themes – the Tour de France, political and safari cartoons.
The Autoworld is a museum tracing the history of automotive industry in Belgium. The museum is home to five rare automobile collections. The prominent ones include speedsters, motorcycles, a carriage used by Napoleon III and interesting concept cars.
Constantin Meunier Museum
The Constantin Meunier Museum was in fact a live-in studio built by Constantin Meunier in 1899. The museum is presently home to over 800 collections of famous artist Constantin Meunier, who died at the age of 74. The collections include drawings, water-colors, sculptures and paintings based on themes such as social concerns and realism.
The Scientastic Museum is great fun to visit where a different world waits to be discovered through the sensations. Get ready to be fascinated with over 90 scientific experiences as well as perplexing interactive discoveries. Here you can yourself experiment on some weird activities such as dancing with your own colorful and gigantic shadows, whispering secrets from one parabola on to another, changing your voice and sounding like an alien, taking your own picture while being seated in an impossible box, flying like a bird, or sitting down like a fakir. Trying these out and experimenting many others is real fun.
Museum of Costume and Lace
The Museum of Costume and Lace is home to the excellent lace collection comprising of pieces made with needles and on the spindle. The collection is procured from Brussels, Italy and France. The thematic exhibits at the museum showcases the laces of varied hues made for bourgeois costumes.
Royal Army and Military History Museum
The Royal Army and Military History Museum showcases Belgium’s military history spanning to 10 centuries. The impressive collection here comprises of armored vehicles, planes, flags, medals, military uniforms, swords and suits of armor. The museum is situated at Jubelpark nearby the Cinquantenaire Arch.
The Jewish Museum is dedicated to the thousands of years of Judaism. The museum also promptly showcases the important role that various Jewish communities played in shaping the history of Belgium. The Jewish Museum has been providing insight to visitors through exhibitions as well as information on genealogy, acquisitions and events for above 20 years now.
The Gueuze Museum, also known as Beer Museum, is in fact a working brewery, and also functions as a museum. The museum has been into existence since 1900. The Van Roy-Cantillon family presently owns and operates the museum. The museum has been named after the popular Belgian beer “Gueze”, which is prepared here and is its specialty. According to most Belgians the beer resembles champagne. Those visiting the museum can enjoy the tastings and guided tours, which are available round the year.