Dive into Marc L's cultural journey. Follow our itinerary for a nice walk in Brussels. Only 30 minutes of walking between the two key points of this first episode (without counting the time to visit your favorite museums...!).
So many ways to walk from the Royal Place stop, for so many years, to go through Brussels (born in 979 in Saint-Gery), again and again.
Now, the European Capital; Brussels, Brussel, Bruessel, Bruselas...
To go to work in these hotels of the Arbany Hotels company; Aris Grand-Place and Alma Grand-Place, near the "Ilot Sacré" in the historical heart.
Go down these steps. Tramway92. Here I am in front of the Brussels' Park (formerly ROYAL PARK).
A real lung. Brussels, a green city.
Breath of fresh air.
Rectangle (framed by trellised lime trees) in this Pentagon.
Traced in the 18th century with beautiful perspectives, with its sculptures, ponds, theater, bandstand...
Alleys often used among joggers, families, lovers, travelers,... to get to the other side of the street at "Filigranes" ( Arts Avenue 39, 1040 Brussels). Bookshop open 7 days a week.
I can still hear Grace Jones laughing at a book signing for her book "I'll never write my memoirs".
Facing this garden, I never tire of contemplating this ROYAL PALACE located in the Place des Palais. (Meeting of 4 private mansions built in the 18th century), the symbol of our constitutional monarchy (free opening to the public every year after July 21st and during 6 weeks).
Thanks to our Queen Paola for having integrated contemporary art by calling upon Belgian artists.
I remember the entomological work of our Antwerp-based Jan Fabre "Heaven of Delight" (2002). The ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors is sumptuously covered with more than 1.4 million beetle shells with emerald reflections as well as the central chandelier.
Let's not forget the 7 abstract paintings by Marthe Wéry (1930/2005) and photographs by Dirk Braeckman (including royal portraits).
I like to watch this metallic colored tramway (link between Brussels and Art Nouveau) among these cobblestones (but I regret that it is no longer covered with this yellow primerose, then with a yellow canary ... combined with blue ... giving a real identity to our Brussels public transport ... or are these memories of my childhood that resurface ...)
Time to look at the posters of Roger Raveel (1921/2013) (on the palisades overlooking the Royal Park,) for the BOZAR announcing a retrospective of his work scheduled from March 18, 2021 to July 21, 2021...
... And posters of the exhibition "Fulu-Act: from the movement is born the look" (work of the Belgian photographer Colin Delfosse in collaboration with 2 groups of performers from Kinshasa) from January 20, 2021 to April 08, 2021 ...
Our tramway silently crosses the luminous and elegant ROYAL PLACE (neoclassical style from the end of the 18th century) with its porticos where the equestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon (famous crusader and first king of Jerusalem) stands in the center, without forgetting the BELvue Museum (museum of Belgium and its history)
On its way, it will sneak, like a salamander, on rue de la Régence, will wink at the COURT OF AUDITORS of Belgium with its street lamps, and will rest for a brief moment in front of the ROYAL MUSEUMS OF FINE ARTS OF BELGIUM composed of the Oldmaster museum, the Magritte museum, the Modern museum, the Fin-de-Siècle museum, the Wiertz and Meunier workshop-houses
To start again in "softness" (the drivers of the STIB know how to surprise us sometimes) in order to snob the GARDEN OF THE SCULPTURES, among which 4 sculptures of women!
And take a break at the PETIT SABLON AND ITS SQUARE, a real little open-air museum (1890).
Opposite the Notre Dame des Victoires du Sablon church (a fine example of a Gothic church) leading to the PLACE DU GRAND SABLON and its very "chic" stores, trendy restaurants, posh bars, renowned chocolate makers, antique shops...
The tramway melts away from the Rue de la Régence among the traffic and I guess now arrived PLACE POELAERT, (the largest in Brussels) which overlooks the lower city of Brussels offering one of the most beautiful views of the Metropolis and the urban panoramic elevators of the Marolles linking the upper and lower city.
Not to mention the classical Greco-Roman style PALAIS DE JUSTICE and its legendary scaffolding! Facelift?
As for the Palais de la Bourse in the center of Brussels? Close to the hotels Aris Grand-Place and Alma Grand-Place which also benefited from a new youth since 3 years for the comfort of the customers) ...
Palace of Justice, a real giant, larger than St. Peter's Basilica in Rome! That Victor Horta (1861 / 1947) will qualify as "crushing mass crowned by a cheese bell".
Our Tramway disappears because it circulates in the LOUISE district with its stores...
Good road dear tramway, take care of the travelers, continue to make them dream.
Small return in back with Stromae..
I like to think that some people listen to the song « Bruxelles » de Dick Annegarn (1974) and the cover by our Angèle.
Then I continue my way, going down the rue Montagne de la Cour, treading the cobblestones of the MIM (museum of musical instruments) whose entrance is located in the former store of English luxury products, Old England, beautiful example of Art Nouveau (1899 / Paul Saintenoy).
When I look at this institution, I always remember the opening of this exhibition "Fragments of Desire: Collections on Display" in summer 1995.
Exhibition on 4000 m2 (270 works, 120 artists ...) with the help of Laurent Jacob (Espace 251 Nord... Art Gallery that I recommend you visit if you go to Liège) and Caroline David (Frac Grand Large, Hauts de France).
And what a surprise it was to see Brussels from the famous 6th floor terrace.
A panoramic view ... unique!
Since then, the terrace became a restaurant but closed in the evening.
A few steps away, I find myself on the esplanade overlooking the MONT DES ARTS.
What a panorama !
I feel a bit privileged to live in Brussels and to work in the heart of the historic city.
At this moment, I still enjoy walking around Alexander Calder's (1898/1976) sculpture "The Whirling Ear" (1958) to the rhythm of its rotation. Did you know that? One tour/minute?
1958_. World's Fair where it was installed in front of the American pavilion...of course...
I can't help but indirectly think of our ATOMIUM, our "Eiffel Tower" made in Belgium ... "une fois"?
As for our black metallic silhouette, majestic (3.60 m high), it seems to be listening to Brussels. Its pavilion is certainly tended towards the hotels Alma Grand-Place and Aris Grand-Place where to be with the listening of our customers is paramount.
As for all artistic events taking place at the Palais des Beaux-Arts (renamed BOZAR), Rue Ravenstein 23. High place of the culture in Brussels, multidisciplinary space conceived by Victor Horta (between 1922 and 1929), true architectural masterpiece of 8000 m2 in the art deco style.
What can we say about the final world-famous Queen Elisabeth Competition, , which takes place here every year?
Brussels envied, celebrated, listened to, rewarded, visited, admired, in "motion"...
And don't forget the conference in 2014 of the American president Barack Obama.
Do not forget to visit the fabulous art bookshop: Bozar Bookshop. Store held by Walter König and thank you for all these art bookshops in museums around the world.
What could be more pleasant than browsing through the catalog of the exhibition of the moment purchased while sipping a fruit juice at Bozar café Victor (café/restaurant) or for a "gourmet" break.
Thanks to the Ghent architects Robbrecht en Daem and our Belgian artist Valérie Mannaerts for creating a soul, a style in this space without copying Horta.
I have a little twinge in my heart when I think of the CINEMATEK in Brussels (rue Baron Horta 9), renowned for having one of the most important film collections in the world! A real museum of cinema. And its projections of silent films accompanied by the piano.
A whole program...and subscriptions at a very affordable price.
Program (paper, foldable, compact format) that I used to like to pin on the kitchen door. Unfortunately, temporary closure since October 2020.
Chantal Akerman (1950/2015) you leave us a void. Your films will cross many eras again and again. Born in Brussels. Just like Brel ....
I keep this memory of the meeting with Catherine Deneuve during her visit in 2005, one Sunday, the interview she gave before the screening of the film "Belle de jour" by Bunuel.
And thank you for having supported the ROYAL CINEMATHEQUE OF BELGIUM in its time.
Intelligence, humor, femininity were all there.
And at number 40/41 ... Our "Galerie Ravenstein" (1954/1958), incredible architecture, (Alexis and Philippe Dupont).
A true Relic of a past gigantism but having nevertheless kept a soul with its wounds. Passage linking the upper and lower city. Possibility to access it from the Central Station.
I can imagine antique shops, luxury boutiques, small restaurants .....
But when? Why let such a space fall into a form of abandonment?
Admire the atrium and this dome ...
Have you noticed at number 23 of the street Ravenstein? ... More on this in the next episode!
By Marc L.