Through a rich and diverse cocktail of exhibitions and events, you will be invited to discover unique features of 15th and 16th century Brussels such as the famous local tapestry, the politics of the city and its evolution, or the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy - the forerunner of KBR - but also to go behind the scenes at the Ommegang. You can also paint, write and dine as they did during the Renaissance!
Pieter Coecke van Aelst, tapestry cartoon “The Martyrdom of Saint Paul”, circa 1530 © City of Brussels Museum
“The Martyrdom of Saint Paul” Tapestry Cartoon
The Brussels City Museum exhibits several exceptional works by 16th century artists. Brussels tapestry art was at its peak during this period. Countless major artists made models on paper (called "cartoons"), which were used to weave tapestries. A few of the cartoons have survived, including one depicting the martyrdom of Saint Paul, masterfully designed by Pieter Coecke. The expressive power of the characters is a dazzling illustration of the Renaissance style.
Dates: Tuesday to Sunday
Time: 10:00 to 17:00
Price: €8 (discounts are available, please visit www.brusselscitymuseum.brussels)
Where: Maison du Roi – Grand-Place – 1000 Brussels
An exceptional monument: The Halle Gate
The Halle Gate is a fairy-tale monument of more than 600 years old. It is the last vestige of the second ring of fortifications that used to surround Brussels. Once a gate and later remodelled to resemble a medieval castle, today it’s a museum! Step inside and (re)discover a stunning collection of artworks that, together with the building itself, tells the story of Brussels – an ancient city at the crossroads of Europe. At the top of the Gate, the walkway along the crenelated parapet offers a spectacular panoramic view of the city. Look closely and you might just spot the traces showing where the city merged and expanded into the surrounding countryside.
Dates: every day except on Fridays
Time: Monday to Thursday from 9:30 to 17:00 - weekends from 10:00 to 17:00
Price: Tickets: €7 / 5 / 3 (audio guide included)
Where: Halle Gate, Boulevard du Midi 150 Zuidlaan, 1000 Brussels
In the 14th century, Brussels’ crafts and trades played their part in the governance of the city. Sometimes by arms. To be more powerful and therefore heard, they came together in nine Nations. In 1421, the Duke of Brabant finally gave in to their demands. Henceforth, the city's Magistrate would be chosen both within the Lineages, which had had a monopoly until then, and within the Guilds representing the crafts and trades. It is this rise of the Guilds that would eventually lead to the creation of the Military Guilds, formalised in 1381, from which the Oaths originate. The Museum of the Crossbowmen invites you to (re)discover this sequence of the city’s history through a temporary exhibition that retraces the presence of the Nations in the city.
Dates: 22 & 29 June – 6 July
Time: 13:00 to 17:00
Price: €2 - students free
Where: place Royale 7 - 1000 Brussels
Belgium has been hiding a treasure for 600 years
Direct ancestors of Charles V, the Dukes of Burgundy ruled Brussels in the 15th century. As astute politicians and cultured patrons, they built up a moving treasure trove that still fascinates today: the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy. Simultaneously objects of art, propaganda tools, instruments of learning, relaxation and piety, these unique manuscripts reflect the tastes, aspirations and dreams of their owners.
Since September 2020, a brand-new museum has presented this exceptional collection of manuscripts and the era in which they were created.
Dates: every day except Mondays
Times: from 10:00 to 17:00
Price: €11 - €8 - free for under 18s
Where: Mont des Arts, 28 – 1000 Brussels
Info & reservations: www.kbr.be
OMMEGANG Behind the Scene
The “OMMEGANG Behind the Scenes” exhibition offers the public the keys to understanding the event, describing the groups of participants and what is behind the scenes, retracing its highlights, its history and its evolution from 1348 to the present day. The costumes and accessories of the current procession, produced in collaboration with the Théâtre de La Monnaie, date mostly from 1930. They bear witness both to exemplary know-how and to a historical reinterpretation. These costumes and accessories, particularly the elegant gold and fur ones belonging to Charles V, constitute an important part of the exhibition.
Dates: during the Brussels Renaissance Festival
Time: Tuesday to Friday: 9.30 to 17.00 - Weekend + July and August + Belgian school holidays: 10.00 to 18.00
Price: €5 - €7
Place: 7 Place des Palais – 1000 Brussels