Brussels has its atypical MUSEUM OF FANTASTIC ART (MAF) and its permanent collection, located in Saint Gilles (rue Américaine whose aesthetics is dominated by neoclassicism).
At number 25, a few steps away, is the former home and studio of the prestigious architect Victor Horta (1861-1947) and became nowadays the HORTA MUSEUM (1898-1901), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Victor Horta, "THE" Belgian master of Art Nouveau, converted the architect Hector Guimard (1867/1942, "THE" major representative of Art Nouveau in Paris) to this style, which he later marked in the Paris metro (the "bouches" entrances of the metro). For example, the entrance of the metro Porte Dauphine ... The Parisian metro is the densest in the world (more than 200 km of line, 300 stations ...)
The american actor Brad Pitt visited the HORTA MUSEUM on March 31, 2021. Each year, the HORTA MUSEUM invites contemporary artists to create or exhibit in the house. Like the exhibition "The Invitation of Victor H." (15/01/21 - 18/04/21).
Why don't we meet during the next PARCOURS D'ARITSTES which will take place on the weekends of May 7/8 and 14/15, 2022 in Saint-Gilles? We look forward to seeing you there! Do you know the cultural offer of our hotels Aris Grand-Place & Alma Grand-Place?
In February 2022, the mythical HANNON HOTEL (built in 1902 by the Brussels architect Jules Brunfaut and decorated by the Frenchmen Louis Majorelle and Emile Gallé) will be reborn as the HANNON MUSEUM and will reopen its doors in a duo formula with the HORTA MUSEUM.
Jules Brunfaut (1852-1942) was born on Rue Marché aux Herbes in Brussels, the same street as the Aris Grand Place Hotel! On the first floor of the future HANNON MUSEUM (a nugget of Art Nouveau heritage), the furniture originally designed for this particular hotel will make its grand return. On the second floor you will discover temporary exhibitions (renewed every three years) with contemporary and innovative scenographies.
You will notice that the glass windows are by Raphaël Evaldre (disciple of the American Louis Tiffany (1848/1933) and author of the stained glass windows of the Tassel Hotel, Solvay and Eetvelde hotels, among others), the wrought iron railings by Pierre Desmedt, the paintings by Paul-Albert Baudouin (French artist 1844/1931).... We invite you to book your rooms through our websites without forgetting the advantage of our loyalty program!
The House and workshop of the master glass artist Raphaël Evaldre located in Uccle was designed by the architect Daniel Renier in 1929 and has been classified in December 2021. Since June 2021, thanks to the "Art Nouveau Pass", the treasures of Brussels are within everyone's reach.
This pass (with two formulas) allows you to discover 3 places of your choice among 7 emblematic beauties of the movement in Brussels, including the Maison Autrique, the Maison Cauchie, the Horta Museum, the Hotel Solvay, the MIM, the Belgian Comic Strip Center and the Wolfers Frères Jewelry Store recreated at the Art & History Museum. The Art Nouveau architectural heritage is one of the most important artistic assets of Brussels today.
Our Tram 92 is always very proud to pass by the MAISON AUTRIQUE, chaussée de Haecht 266 (Schaerbeeck) designed by Victor Horta in 1893 (the first town house of our architect) and classified since 1976. It is located close to the Avenue Louis Bertrand, one of the most beautiful arteries in the Brussels area! The district shelters many buildings built around 1900 by remarkable architects like Gustave Strauven (1878/1919), Henri Jacobs (1864/1935 - the architect of the schools? )... Gustave Strauven having realized among others the Maison Saint Cyr (along the square Ambiorix).
Exhibition from 06.05.21 to 06.03.22 : "Jardins Intérieurs ". Large photographs of our Belgian artist (with multiple awards and distinctions) Marie-Joe Lafontaine are visible of which "Lost Paradise" (2002). Chaussée de Haecht ...where various artists have lived:
The romantic animal painter Eugène Verboeckhoven (1798/1881) ... (a square is named after him), Alexandre Markelbach (Belgian painter 1824/1906)... And for many years at number 47...the film production and distribution house, General Films (managed by the brothers Jean and Pierre Quérut) which was also a place of shooting for Jean Rollin, (French filmmaker, writer - 1938/2010).
Considered as the father of the French vampire film) for "les démoniaques" (1974) and Jess Franco (Spanish filmmaker 1930/2013 having worked under many pseudonyms... more than 200 films) for "la comtesse noire" (French-Belgian film 1973 with Lina Romay (Spanish actress, his muse and companion...1954/2012)... .
Eugène Autrique (1860 /1912), Belgian engineer at Solvay, was the sponsor of the AUTRIQUE HOUSE and a friend of Victor Horta. Both belonged to the Masonic Lodge of the Philantropic Friends (AP - created in 1798) which is part of the Grand Orient of Belgium and has recently opened its doors to women.
The BELGIAN MUSEUM OF FREEMONRY (MBFM or MBM...) is located in Brussels in a neoclassical style house (end of 18th century), the HOTEL DEWEZ (rue de Laeken) where the exhibition on Jean Delville (Belgian symbolist painter, 1867/1953) entitled "Jean Delville & Co" takes place (from October 14, 2021 until February 13, 2022).
Temporary exhibition that presents the links that the painter has with other Freemason artists of his time:
* Victor Horta (1861/1947), Belgian architect and undisputed leader of Art Nouveau in Belgium. The three years Horta spent in the United States during the First World War changed his architectural concepts.
* Jef Lambeaux (Belgian sculptor 1852/1908)
* Julien Dillens (Belgian sculptor, 1849/1904)
* Félicien Rops (Belgian painter, drawer, engraver..., 1833/1898 - MUSEE FELICIEN ROPS in Namur )
* Godefroid Devreese (Belgian sculptor and medalist, 1861/1941). The commune of Schaerbeek owns several works.
* Philippe Wolfers (Belgian goldsmith, 1858/1929)... The Fondation Roi Baudouin has acquired an exceptional collection of masterpieces.
The neoclassical style is an architectural style inspired by Antiquity, widely spread in the l’Europe des Lumières and adopted by the Freemasonry elite. As for the permanent exhibition at the MBFM, it offers a historical overview of Freemasonry in our regions through art objects, jewelry, decorations, documents, books, paintings,...
If you go to the rue de Laeken, do not hesitate to push the doors of "La Grande Droguerie Le Lion". At number 55. You will go back in time. Olfactory experience guaranteed. Harry Potter fans will immediately think of one of those stores on Chemin de Traverse. This family business in the city center has been around since 1875 and is an institution in Brussels. Their products work "miracles". More than 4500 items. A big Harry Potter themed Christmas Ball will take place on February 25, 2022 in Ghent. The festivities will be held at the Vooruit of Ghent, from 8pm to 5am, that is to say more than 8 hours of party for this "Harry Potter Yule Ball, Part 2". "La Grande Droguerie Le Lion" is also a bit of an address that is passed around between knowledgeable artists.
The Brussels Biennale -Neoclassic (BBN) will take place on two weekends in October 2022 (1st and 2nd as well as the 8th and 9th). Take this opportunity to visit Brussels and curl up in our Premium rooms. Not to be confused with the Biennale d'Architecture Éclectique (BBEA) which took place from October 2nd to 10th 2021.
Have you heard about the Autrique Train? With this one-day formula, you can visit 2 Brussels institutions: TRAIN WORLD (more than 150.000 visitors in 2021) and the MAISON AUTRIQUE with a lunch. The visit starts at 10 am and ends around 3.30 pm. Train world will propose from May 10, 2022 a new temporary exhibition entitled "Royals and Trains".
We invite you to come and rest in our hotels..., to extend your trip.....
The AUTHENTIC HOUSE is an Art Nouveau residence bought by the commune of Schaerbeeck (end of 1996) for a restoration thanks to the architect Francis Metzger and the duo François Schuiten and Benoit Peeters in charge of the scenographic work. François Schuiten (drawings) and Benoit Peeters (texts) are the co-authors of "Bruxelles , un rêve capital" (Casterman) published in 2021. This book is presented as a tribute to Brussels, capital of Europe in a dreamlike, architectural, historical, ... To offer, to offer oneself! For the lovers of Brussels.
You will experience the construction of the Galeries Royales Saint Hubert, the burial of the Senne, the construction of the great Parisian-style boulevards - Adolphe Max, Anspach, Jacqmain ... They are also the creators of the series "Les Cités Obscures" (= major work of the comic strip, fantasy genre). Obtained many awards and translated into fifteen languages. The 5th album of the Cités Obscures is entitled "Brüsel" (1992).
A renowned bookshop (installed in an old grocery store) bears the name of "Brüsel", on Anspach Boulevard, 5 minutes from the Arbany hotels. Founded in 1994. Paradise of comics, winners of the Victors 2013. This bookstore and gallery offers for more than 25 years a wide range of comics, mangas, comics, objects, posters, silkscreen prints, ...
Since 2019, the Rossel prizes (ex-Prix Diagonale created in 2008, where the "fête des bulles" took place in Louvain la Neuve) are interested in the 9th art. A new comic book store has recently opened in Saint Gilles: BDWEB. On 2 floors. The Maison Autrique (with a relatively classical structure) is open to the public: exhibition spaces, thematic bookshop, events, conferences, concerts. Possibility to rent this house if you wish to organize a private event.
François Schuiten (baron by HRH King Albert II in 2002), realized in 1993 the fresco "le passage inconnu" (homage to the old Brussels streetcars) in the metro station "Porte de Hal". He also designed the metro station "Arts et Métiers" in Paris.
Benoît Peeters (specialist in comics) has devoted several books to Hergé but also to Chris Ware (this undisputed master of the American comic strip received the Grand Prix of the Ville d'Angoulême in 2021) and Raoul Ruiz (Franco-Chilean filmmaker, 1941/2011).the International Comics Festival of 'Angoulême is postponed from 17 to 30 March 2022.
As for the Brussels Comic Streep Festival, it took place from 10.09.21 to 10.10.2021. Free festival. The guest of honor was South Korea (one of the first comic book producing countries in the world). The exhibition "Manhwa & webtoon: the flight of the Korean comic strip" (from 09/07/21 to 09 01 22) was held at the CENTRE BELGE DE LA BANDE DESSINEE (CBBD or Comics Museum) enjoying an exceptional Art Nouveau setting designed by Victor Horta (rue des Sables).
Manhwas (name of the comic strip in Korea) appeared in 1909. Webtoons are digital comics with soundtracks that can be read vertically on a smartphone.
The Korean Cultural Center (Centre Culturel Koréen) organized the first festival of Korean culture in Belgium, the "Korean Culture Days" on September 24 and 25, 2021, place de Brouckère. K-Pop and K-Food were on the agenda.
In the public space of the place de Brouckère, near the UGC cinema, trees were planted such as maples (3 from Japan), lime trees, hazelnut trees (a Byzantine hazelnut tree and a Japanese Sophora).The Korean Film Festival (9th edition) took place in different cities of Belgium, at the Studio Skoop in Ghent (city where Victor Horta was born), at the Cinéma Lumière in Antwerp . And at the Cinémathèque in Luxembourg. In Brussels, the Korean Film Festival took place at the Cinéma Galeries and at Bozar (from October 22 to 30, 2021). Temporary exhibitions are regularly organized at the CBBD, namely :
* Blake et Mortimer: "Le secret des espadons" (30.09.21 > 16.04.22)
* George van Raemdonck: Pioneer of the comic strip in Belgium" (21.12.21 > 08.05.22). And at the Gallery, "Leconte fait son cinéma.Nicoby & Joub - Editions Dupuis" (06.12.21 > 28.03.22). Bio in comic strip of the director "Bronzés ", "du mari de la coiffeuse" (1990)..., Patrice Leconte .
The Comic Book Festival is also an opportunity for the Brussels authorities to award the Atomium comic book prizes, which provide financial support for the winners of the competition.
"Tell me what you read, I'll tell you who you are".
An exceptional, interactive exhibition on the Little Prince is coming to Brussels from 25 February to 30 June 2022 at Palais 2 Brussels Expo: "Antoine de Saint Exupéry, The Little Prince among men", which plunges visitors into a surreal, enchanting world, thanks in particular to the floating sculptures by Arnaud Nazare-Aga (a French visual artist based in Bangkok). At the end of the tour, a gigantic immersive space offers the public a game of hide-and-seek between the author and his famous character.
Two minutes walk from the MAISON AUTRIQUE is the Eglise Saint Servais, a neo-gothic Catholic religious building (architect Gustave Hansotte, 1827/1886) which has just been renovated. It has the largest church organ in Brussels, with some 5837 pipes. Every Friday the (new) marché Saint-Servais takes place where I invite you to taste the pies made by the bakery "L'épi d'Or" (stand), at a very democratic price. A killer ! And the lemon cake....And their ceramic that melts under the tooth. To fall by ground. The cramique is a Belgian brioche bread filled with raisins.
While evoking you the Chaussée de Haecht in this episode, I must speak to you about LA MAISON DES ARTS that I discovered in 2021 at the time of an exposure "Clouds. Yesterday and today" (18.09.21 to 21.11.21) curated by Claire Leblanc director of the MUSEE D'IXELLES). Thank you Madam for this "suspended moment". Emotion to its paroxysm. Poetic exhibition. The clouds have been constantly magnified in their various expressions at all times of history by artists such as:
* les poètes : Charles Baudelaire en est un exemple. Poète français 1821/186 .
* painters: such as William Turner (British painter, watercolorist and printmaker,1775/1851). The "painter of light".
* filmmakers: like our Belgian writer-director, producer and actress, Marion Hänsel (1949/2020). She photographed and filmed them as in "Nuages – Lettres à mon fils" .
* poets: Charles Baudelaire is an example. French poet 1821/186.
What about Magritte and his "cult" clouds? A store dedicated to l'univers de Magritte has just opened at the Grand Place in Brussels (at number 6)! "The Magritte Shop": souvenirs, jewels, posters, books, mugs and other objects with the effigy of the painter who died in Schaerbeek in 1967. Near the Arbany hotels!
Doesn't your eye scan the clouds every day to predict the weather of the day? During this exhibition, it was a pleasure for me to discover contemporary artists like :
* Lucile Bertrand (artist born in France but living and working in Brussels) with her work "Tempssuspendu" (2020),
* Stéphane Balleux ( (Belgian artist) and his"Blob" (reference to a cult horror film from 1958 with Steve McQueen (1930/1980)) and his series "Ars memoriae" realized in 2020 during the confinement,
* Tatiana Wolska (Polish artist born in Nice) and her installation of branches in the library,
* Elodie Antoine (Belgian artist born in Virton) graduated from Ensav la Cambre in Brussels ('École nationale supérieure des arts visuels de La Cambre),
* Marie Rosen (from Brussels) and her paintings (also a graduate of Ensav),
* Cristina Garrido (Spanish artist) and her "Local color is a foreign invention (British Islands)" (2020),
* Jacqueline Mesmaeker (one of the most discreet yet influential Belgian female artists) and her installation "Aux Antipodes", 1973 (which is a work in the collection of the D'IXELLES museum).
After seeing this exhibition, I liked to dive into the books of a Belgian artist, protean, of Liège origin, (living and working in Brussels) with a sharp writing, Laurence Skivée. I liked her publication "J'emballe" published by Editions de la Lettre Volée. I am a fan.
The publishing house "La Lettre Volée "(1989), located in Brussels, has the concern of the beautiful book which conjugates the pleasure of the hand, the eye and the spirit.
I like it. Let's order.
His last little jewel has been named "Diaphane" (Edition l'âne qui butine). This French-Belgian publishing house "L'âne qui butine" (created in 1999) is mainly dedicated to artists' books and creative binding. Texts, supports and images, genres and styles, ... Original books from Mouscron.
Thank you Laurence for your delicacy, your sensitivity, your "particular" universe, softness/force, of the high fashion. Your books are out of the "ordinary". What elegance in your typographies, the choice of paper, the graphics. Nothing is "free". Form and content are only "One": You.
What a "res pi ra tion". Beautiful journey Laurence since the time when I knew you as a student at ....
Do not hesitate to pass the door of 147 chaussée de Haecht.
The Maison des Arts (MA or MdA) is a contemporary art center nestled in a wealthy bourgeois house from the beginning of the 19th century (neoclassical villa on the outside, classified in 2015). Building invisible from the street! It is a well-hidden gem and well worth a visit. The interior features a series of salons and elements of Louis XV, Louis XVI and Flemish neo-renaissance style. Every year are proposed in this place various exhibitions of confirmed or emerging artists, collectives, workshops, juries of higher education, ... Thanks to their policy, contemporary art is made accessible to all.
At the back of the building, you will find a very nice classic garden with a relaxing pond. The saddlery has been converted into a typical old Brussels bistro: l'Estaminet ( (vintage decoration, warm) which offers a "gourmet" cuisine. Local and organic products (fair trade?). Soups, sandwiches, salads, quiches,... Vegetarians will be delighted. Small corner of paradise. In an idyllic setting.
As you know, Brussels and its BIFFF (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival) is back from March 22, 2022 to April 10, 2022 with its fantastic films, science fiction, horror and resistance films. And its thrillers. This term certainly reminds you of the video clip of Mickael Jackson (1958/2009 - singer, songwriter and dancer, the "roi de la pop") from his sixth studio album of the same name (1982). Platinum record 34 times!
The 2022 Brussels Independent Film Festival takes place at Tour &Taxis in February 2022. I recommend the book "Cinemas of Brussels" by Isabel Biver (Film historian and lecturer. She has worked at the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique) and Marie-Françoise Plissart (photographer and filmmaker from Brussels of international reputation). An indispensable book for any fan of "Brussels' cinemas". Isabel Biver traces a cinephile and architectural history. In 2021, at the Candlelight, you could listen to cartoon music.
In 2022, at the Espace Lumen ( Chaussée de Boondael 32-36, 1050 Brussels). The next Brussels International Animation Film Festival (ANIMA) will take place from February 25 to March 06, 2022 in Flagey and in various cinemas in Brussels. 41st edition ! Each year, more than 40000 festival-goers. 10 days dedicated to animated films during the Carnival vacations.
The 13th edition of "Made In Asia" in Brussels will be held from 8 to 10 October 2021 at the Parc des Expositions / Brussels Expo. Once again, it will focus on Asian culture in the broadest sense, but also on japanime, with film screenings, cosplay shows, concerts, workshops and video games... Many surprises await you: Japanese artists, famous YouTubers signing, escape-rooms, K-Pop dance contest, drawing workshops, toys and figurines exhibitions, video games tournaments, concerts... Brussels "manga".
Bright Brussels is back. The city of Brussels offers itself a special edition in the middle of winter:
"Bright Brussels – Follow The Light": special edition" from 10 to 13 February 2022. We look forward to seeing you there and the beautiful pictures taken by our colleague Chloe. Bright Brussels. Magic festival. Free of charge.
This year, the Flagey district joins the festival and will see several of its emblematic places sublimated by installations realized by Belgian and international artists (house of the radio, Abbaye de la Cambre , Eglise Notre-Dame de la Cambre...)
The "Le Sibelga Light Market» will take place in the Royal Park to offer repairs of damaged lights and the sale of second-hand lights. Near the Arbany hotels.
Not to be confused with the light festival « Nature Illuminated » which takes place from January 21 to March 20, 2022 in Dilbeek, in the parc du Château de Grand-Bigard (dating from the 12th century). Dilbeek is a Dutch-speaking municipality of Belgium located in the Flemish Region in the Province du Brabant flamand . It is part of the Westrand, the western side of the Brussels periphery. The theme of the walk is the harmony of the seasons. Sensory tour in the open air. Immersive scenography. More than 100,000 lights will be spread over the 50,000m2 site. A treasure hunt in augmented reality will also be organized along the entire route. A videomapping show will close this original show.
What do the MAISON DES HIBOUX and the HOTEL ALMA have in common?..
You will know it when the next episode is published and I feel you are very impatient at ....
"La patience est la clé du bien-être". (Mahomet)