During the 19th century, Brussels became a particularly wealthy crossroads for Europeans thanks to Belgium’s reputation as a nation at the forefront of the metal industry and one of the first countries to produce cars. Engineers were invited from all over the world to build the railways. Belgium attracted some of the world’s great minds. By invitation of one of our most brilliant captains of industry, Ernest Solvay, Nobel Prize winners such as Albert Einstein, would gather in iconic places like Hotel Metropole. The best example of this expansion is the birth of Art Nouveau, thanks to the brilliant Brussels architect, Victor Horta. You'll find hundreds of his greatest creations in Ixelles and Saint-Gilles: Hôtel Tassel, Sander Pierron House, Vinck House, Hôtel Max Hallet, Hôtel Solvay, the Horta Museum. They are all architectural wonders!