Place Royale, whose origins date back to the 18th century, is the gateway to the museum district of Brussels.
At the centre of Place du Trone lies the statue of Godfrey of Bouillon which, since 1848 has replaced the Arbre de la Liberté (Liberty Tree), which was planted by the French revolutionaries in 1794 in place of the statue of Charles of Lorraine.
The square, notable for the symmetry of its architecture, is a typical example of the Louis XVI style, the somewhat severe XVIII century neo-classicism and a style that took over from its baroque counterpart. When closed off, the rectangular courtyard allowed for large processions and enabled courtiers to move about easily. After taking up the name of place de la Cour, place de Lorraine and place Impériale, the square was named place Royale, despite the fact that no king had ever lived there.
Where the rue Royale and the rue Montagne de la Cour meet is where the Mont des Arts and its museums open their doors to you. Its museums include, MIM, The Musical Instruments Museum, housed in the famous Old England Art Nouveau-style building, Fine Arts Museum of Belgium and the Magritte Museum, which is dedicated to the surrealist masterpieces of René Magritte.
Situated between the place des Palais and the place Royale is the BELvue Museum
, a museum dedicated solely to the history of Belgium. The BELVue is housed in an old 13th century hotel, next to the Brussels Royal Palace,
which you can visit for free during the summer.
The BELvue Museum also offers visitors privileged access to the Coudenberg archaeological site, where you can enjoy an out of the ordinary visit along the underground trail on a discovery of the ancient Palace of Charles V.
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