The Brugmann Hospital site and The Horta Chapel

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The Brugmann Hospital site and The Horta Chapel

At the dawn of the 20th century, the City of Brussels was faced with the problem of ageing hospitals and a chronic shortage of beds. When he died in 1900, the financier and philanthropist Georges Brugmann left five million Belgian francs to the Council of Hospices. It was quickly decided to use this money to construct a new hospital under the authority of the Faculty of Medicine of the Free University of Brussels. The Council of Hospices entrusted the project to the architect Victor Horta. Following the advice of doctors, Horta developed a complex of horizontal, pavillion-like buildings in keeping with the precepts of hygiene of the time, a type of “hospital garden city” located on a site shielded from the wind and surrounded by rural woodland forming a real haven of greenery. Construction began in 1911 and, while the hospital was only officially opened in 1923, it was already operational at the end of the First World War. Here, Horta readily abandoned Art Nouveau and what he now saw as its derisory curves. He succeeded in appropriating the space in a masterful fashion by delivering an accomplished work whose modern design was perfectly suited to the requirements of the period. Today, the Brugmann site is still considered a leading example in spite of the scientific advances that have been made since it was built. The complex also contains a chapel that served a dual function. Specifically, while funeral services were held on the upper level, the ground floor contained the morgue and the autopsy rooms for the department of pathology. (Listed 14/04/2005 – Chapel)

Practical information

  • Avenue J.-J. Crocq/Jean Joseph Crocqlaan 21
    1020 Brussels
    • Sat. & Sun. from 10h00 to 18h00
    • T
      Hôpital Brugmann/Brugmann-ziekenhuis
    • T
      Guillaume De Greef
    • B
      Hôpital Brugmann/Brugmann-ziekenhuis