Guildhall of the Royal Grand Order of Crossbowmen of St George of Brussels
Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg/Sint-Jacob-op-de-Koudenberg Church dates from the same period as the new Royal Quarter, which was built in the late 18th century on what had been the site of the ducal palace (the property of the Dukes of Brabant). Developing the square and its surroundings entailed earthworks on a massive scale. Thus, large vaulted rooms support a terrace that holds the foundations of the neoclassical church, which was inaugurated in 1787. The vaulted rooms have served a variety of purposes over the years. Two of them are home to the guildhall of the Royal Grand Order of Crossbowmen of St George of Brussels, which carries on the traditions of the two medieval crossbowmen’s guilds, the oldest of which was founded by Joanna, Duchess of Brabant in 1381. The Grand Order was behind Brussels’ original Ommegang procession, which centred around its Roy (champion), and was also a driving force behind the revival of the event in 1930, to mark its own 550th anniversary. The guildhall houses a museum with over 1,500 artefacts linked to the history of the order and the crossbow. It hosts conferences and the meetings of the order, but can also be hired for private functions. Visitors are invariably both surprised and fascinated by this unique location.
Guided tours at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00 and 17:00.
Exhibition: “600 years of municipal democracy in Brussels”. Finally, 600 years ago, after a century of social struggles, the Guilds of Brussels secured a share of municipal power with the patrician lineages for the first time. Grouped together into the ‘Nine Nations of Brussels’, they appointed a second (‘plebeian’) burgomaster, or mayor, and representatives to the city council.
Throughout the day, members of the Grand Order will demonstrate crossbow shooting at ranges of 6 and 10 metres.
Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 18:00
Impasse du Borgendael/Borgendaelgang, Place Royale/Koningsplein 7-9, Brussels
By reservation only
Accessible with assistance