House of European History
In 1933, George Eastman, the philanthropist who made photography available to all by inventing the Kodak portable camera, commissioned Swiss architect Michel Polak to build a dental clinic, making Brussels the latest in a string of cities (after Rochester, London, Rome, Paris and Stockholm) to have such an Eastman-funded facility. Polak, who was also behind the nearby Résidence Palace, designed the clinic as an imposing building with a restrained façade and a flat roof. Inside, a large entrance hall featuring attractive marble finishings afforded access to the offices and the children’s waiting room, which was decorated with frescoes based on Jean de La Fontaine’s Fables painted by one of Polak’s friends, Camille Barthélémy. An artist from the Ardennes best known for his landscapes and village vistas, Barthélémy adorned the walls with charming images drawn from The Monkey and the Cat, The Fox and the Young Turkeys, The Two Goats and other tales besides. The bright, vibrant colours he used mean that his Art Deco compositions and their attractive depictions of animals really stand out. Since opening to the public on 6 May 2017, the House of European History has set out to enhance understanding of the shared past and differing experiences of Europe’s citizens.
Individual tours on the history of the building, including a video explanation by Isabelle Happart, art restorer.
Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 18:00
Parc Léopold/Leopoldspark, Rue Belliard/Belliardstraat 135, Brussels-Extensions
Advance booking required
Accessible with assistance