Walking tour

Bringing colours back to life – restoration

Remaining faithful to the original designer’s vision is one of the fundamental principles of restoration, and colour is a key consideration in this regard. So how much creative freedom does a restorer have? How can we return a building to its former glory without compromising its appearance or identity? Where do we draw the line between restoration and reinvention?

These questions have come up many times as the façades of Brussels’ buildings have been restored – some with great success, others less so. The desire to restore the original colours, the urge to go overboard, the temptation to add gilding… the statues at the town hall, the columns of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg/Sint-Jacob-op-de-Koudenberg Church, and the doors of Sainte-Catherine/Sint-Katelijne Church are just three examples of what can result from such considerations. You will see them all, and many more, on this tour as you weigh up the relative merits of ensuring aesthetic appeal, respecting the original design and reflecting popular taste.

In French only.

In cooperation with Itinéraires, sur les Sentiers de l’Histoire.

Practical information

Sat. & Sun. at 9:00, 11:30 and 14:00 (duration: 2 hours).

Starting point: at the bottom of the steps in front of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg/Sint-Jacob-op-de-Koudenberg Church, Place Royale/Koningsplein, Brussels
Advance booking required: call 02 537 68 75 (Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 13:00). Up to 25 people per tour.
92 93 Royale - Koning
27 33 38 71 95 Royale - Koning