For this fifth episode of "my little trips to the heart of Brussels" by Marc L., why not meet at the Church of "Notre Dame of Laeken"?


cimetery laeken


...Yes, Brussels has its "Père Lachaise", namely the CEMETERY OF LAEKEN, of the "parochial" type (the oldest in Brussels) where you can admire a copy of Rodin's The Thinker (acquired in 1927) on the grave of Joseph Dillen (art dealer, collector, art critic...).

It is built around the NOTRE-DAME DE LAEKEN CHURCH (a neo-Gothic religious building designed in 1852 by the architect Joseph Poelaert.


laeken church brusselsIt contains the burial crypt where the members of the royal family are buried! Church "built" by Leopold I (1790/1865) out of love for his wife, Queen Louise-Marie (1812/1850).

I can't help but think of King Baudoin (1930/1993), 5th King of the Belgians, and his wife Queen Fabiola (1928/2014), both resting in this royal crypt.


king baudoin



Our King Baudoin having inspired our internationally renowned Belgian artist (born in Charleroi in 1956) Johan Muyle, whose magnificent retrospective entitled «No room for regrets» was held at the MAC'S (Museum of Contemporary Arts) in Hornu (from 20/12/20 to 18/04/21)



Hornu … "The Grand Hornu" ?

Yes ? The MAC'S and the CID (Centre for Innovation and Design) are located on the site of the Grand Hornu, (a former monumental neo-classical mining complex dating from the end of the 19th century) in the province of Hainaut, in the borinage, not far from the cities of Mons and Valenciennes.

The Grand Hornu is considered one of the most beautiful places of the Industrial Revolution, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012.

A real treasure to visit!

grand hornu

Today, one of the most important showcases of contemporary creation in Belgium. International exhibitions of contemporary art and design.

You can get there by car. If you are staying in one of the Arbany Group hotels, there is a car park a few metres away, namely the Grand Place Parking .

Or by train (SNCB) from the central station, which is a stone's throw from our hotels.


harley davindson

Or by motorbike ... On a Harley Davidson?

If you are like Johan Muyle a passionate of this "Bike" (world famous plastic artist), an exhibition on Harley's that he customizes (always with attention to detail, for example a femur as a gear shift...) took place in Uccle, at the Garage Cosmos (former garage transformed into an art centre) from December 15, 2018 to January 20, 2019.

Name of this exhibition "Scultpure surfing".





Muyle, the art biker! What about you? Like Brigitte Bardot, don't need anyone on a Harley Davidson?

Thank you "BB" for all your dedication to the defence of animals. Your Foundation is a great example of this.

Did you know that our hotels also accept pets?

Superb song written by the talented Serge Gainsbourg (real name Lucien Ginsburg, 1928/1991), French singer-songwriter, artist, painter, screenwriter,  director, writer, actor, filmmaker, poet...

A genius, loved or hated, but who does not leave anyone indifferent.



brussels forest nationalConcert in Brussels at Forest National in 1985 that I will never forget. Forest National is one of the largest and best equipped concert halls in Belgium (more than 8000 people), located in the commune of Forest.

It was inaugurated in the early 1970s.

Today, this mythical hall is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

20,000 flowers replaced the spectators.

Many artists performed, but in an empty hall. "Online. (From 30 April to 16 May 2021). Each flower could be sponsored and the money collected will be entirely donated to LIVE2020 (=solidarity fund for the live music sector in Belgium which is supported by the King Baudouin Foundation). Nice gesture, nice action/spirit of solidarity.


Bravo. Bravoooo. Bis. Bis.....

Bravo... "bravo pour le clown" ? (Edith Piaf, 1915/1963)

plateau heysel

Harley Davidson, models that you have the opportunity to see if you go to the Brussels Motor Show (organised each year by FEBIAC) at the Palais, on the Plateau du Heysel.


brussels expoThe exhibition takes place at the Brussels Exhibition Centre (also called BRUSSELS EXPO), (12 exhibition halls!) in Laeken and can be easily reached from the metro station of the Central Station (not far from the Alma Grand Place and Aris Grand Place hotels).


The Heysel Plateau (Heizel in Dutch) is also a place where music festivals, concerts (PALAIS 12), exhibitions, sports events, fairs, etc. take place. It is a place for meetings and activities of a scientific, economic, industrial, commercial and cultural nature, which our customers appreciate.


You will see the King Baudouin Stadium, (mythical U2 concert in 2017) the Atomium (name: contraction of atom and aluminium), Mini Europe...

taxiMany of our guests use Brussels taxis. This is done from the reception of the Arbany hotels. The official taxi companies in Brussels are Taxis Verts and Taxis Bleus.

If you wish to pay by credit card, it is best to indicate this when ordering. Please note that a credit card reader is compulsory in all Brussels taxis.


The waiting time for a taxi depends on the time of day, the day of the week and the events taking place in our capital. But in general, not much to worry about if you compare it with some other metropolises. Since 1 January 2021, the speed limit in the capital city of Brussels has been changed: "Zone 30".

No Fangio.


When you take a taxi, I suggest that you tell them at the outset that you want an "invoice" for your company.

All taxis are equipped with a taximeter connected to a printer. The drivers are obliged to issue the printed ticket at the end of each journey. The ticket includes the vehicle identification number (4 digits), the order number of the journey, the date and time of pick-up, the number of kilometres travelled, the fares charged, the total fare and the freephone number.

It is very likely that one day/evening, while walking through the cobbled streets of Brussels, you will see Jérome Colin's taxi, recognisable by its colour and its inscriptions "Hep Taxi".

Do not hail him... He is unlikely to stop.

«Hep Taxi» is a cultural programme of the RTBF (Belgian Radio from the French Community) where Jérôme Colin (host-taximan) takes his guests on board for a somewhat offbeat conversation/interview with them. An intimate portrait of the guest (who is in the back seat, without a seatbelt) emerges along the way.




His guests are often artists, personalities of all kinds. From Sheila to Camille Thomas recently.

Sheila (icon of the Yeyés era) who has just released her 27th album "Venue d'ailleurs" recorded at the ICP studio in Brussels! And participation of           Nile Rodgers.

Thank you for the message you like to pass on "Annie Chancel" to young people (often addicted to social networks) to warn them that "the rumour" (title of   a song and superb video clip) can do damage, sometimes irreversible!

She will perform at the Cirque Royal in 2022.

The Cirque Royal is a theatre in Brussels that opened in 1878! A very popular place in Brussels' cultural life.

An institution!


Camille Thomas, the world-famous French-Belgian cellist, took part in this year's "Hep Taxi" programme.

This artist also came to invest the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels this year. She performed Philip Glass on the cello. Thank you for this!

She continues her series of videos entitled "Voice of hope" by taking over museums and cultural places that have been deprived of their audiences for some time.


Have you seen where Camille Thomas and Félicien Bogaerts (radio and television presenter, video maker) have been meeting for her weekly programme "Plan cult" on the Trois ?


...You'll find out in the next episode!


by Marc L.