My love for museum late openings has been well documented in the blog (see here and here). The Brussels Nocturnes are no exception! Every Thursday throughout Autumn six museums stay open until late in the evening awaiting to be discovered. Apart from the great price deal (the entry fee being €3 or none in certain cases), guided tours and special events are available to the visitors, which only makes the whole experience really special.
I selected some of my personal favourites below, but you can find the complete list of participating museums (54 altogether) here.
- Maison Autrique The first Art Nouveau town house Victor Horta ever designed. The house was built for his friend Eugene Autrique, an engineer at Solvay. I visited the Maison Autrique during my first Nocturne a couple of years ago and found it very interesting. Fingers crossed that the weather will not be too cold in November, because there’s an adorable little garden at the back side where you can enjoy an apero. For a sneak preview, you can take a virtual tour here.
- Musical Instruments Museum (MIM) Housed in a beautiful building, the former Old England department store, the MIM showcases a significant number of musical instruments from all over the world, which is well worth discovering. On a related note, the museum’s café is a great spot for a cup of coffee while enjoying the views over Place Royale.
- Maison Cauchie I simply love this Art Nouveau building. Designed by architect, painter and designer Paul Cauchie, the house facade was created to advertise his work. The interior of Maison Cauchie is equally impressive, since it served as both the home and workshop of Mr. Cauchie and his wife, who was an art teacher. A post dedicated to Maison Cauchie is coming soon, so stay tuned!
- Museums of the Far East The Japanese Tower and Chinese Pavilion may be located in Laeken (very close to the Royal Greenhouses) but are visible from many points in the city. Don’t be fooled; these are not actual oriental buildings but rather the result of having a king (Leopold II in this case) who is an admirer of the oriental architecture. Both the Japanese Tower and the Chinese Pavilion have an authentic feeling thanks to major orders for ornaments and art pieces placed in Japan and China. I love the garden of the Museum too, peaceful and beautiful, especially on a sunny day. I have visited the Museum of the Far East on several occasions, but every time I find something different that fascinates me. Guess King Leopold II is not the only enthusiast of anything related to the Asian culture!
- Maison du Roi The Maison du Roi is no other than the Museum of the City of Brussels. Located in the beautiful Grand Place, it faces the City Hall. As the name implies, this museum is dedicated to the history of Brussels and the life of its inhabitants. The fans of the little peeing man, aka Manneken Pis, will be glad to know that the original statue along with its entire costume collection are kept here. Shameful but true; I’ve never visited the Maison du Roi. If you have already been there, I’d love to hear your comments!