Coudenberg Hill was once criss-crossed by the narrow alleyways of a working-class neighbourhood, but the municipal authorities decided to replace them with a public garden. In 1910, on the occasion of the Brussels World Fair, the authorities entrusted Parisian architect Vacherot with the task of transforming the site. Vacherot took advantage of the sloping terrain by building belvederes, promenades, flights of stairs, fountains and waterfalls. For 45 years the site was enjoyed by the residents of Brussels, but in the early 1950s a new project was developed that would change the entire neighbourhood forever. The Mont des Arts/Kunstberg was born. The enormous complex was designed to provide a link between the upper and lower parts of the city. Begun after the Second World War by architects Ghobert and Houyoux, it is composed of the Palais des Congrès conference centre, the Royal Library and the State Archives. The buildings are ordered around a green space designed by René Pechère. This suspended garden, placed atop a concrete esplanade, is an incredible achievement. Geometric flowerbeds filled with perennials surrounded by box trees occupy the central part, flanked, on either side, by cylinder-shaped yew trees and a three-deep row of plane trees pruned into a curtain. The garden spreads out at the foot of the main steps, where its elegance can be better seen.
Walking tour “From Mont des Arts to Egmont Park via Square du Petit Sablon/Kleine Zavelsquare…”.