Hôtel de Knuyt de Vosmaer (fully booked)
Built by architect Joseph Naert between 1878 and 1879 in a heavily Renaissance-inspired eclectic style, the majestic Hôtel de Knuyt de Vosmaer boasts three ornate façades faced in brick and Euville stone, resting on a ground floor featuring blue-limestone smooth-faced rustication and many handsome arcades. The elegant trapezoidal edifice is located in Rue du Congrès/Congresstraat, its façades extending around that street’s corners with Rue de la Presse/Drukpersstraat and Rue de l’Enseignement/Onderwijsstraat. In the centre of the building is the main entrance, which bears its original owner’s coat of arms and is marked, just above the eaves, with an imposing dormer topped with an aedicule-like structure. The opulent decor seen inside the building was designed partly for its original occupant Hector de Knuyt, the son of a major landowner. However, most of it was created for Édouard Empain, who purchased the building in 1881. The entrance hall, ornamented with marble busts on pedestals, leads to a grand marble and onyx staircase crowned by a ceiling painted with allegorical figures and lit by stained-glass windows, some depicting historical coats of arms and others religious figures, such as St Teresa of Ávila, St James and Pope Gregory the Great. The house’s rooms are decorated in a range of styles: the walls of the large drawing room are covered in neo-Louis XV panels, while the wooden panels in the sitting room have been carved with neo-Renaissance motifs, and other parts of the house – such as a second staircase, this one made of wood – bear hallmarks of the neo-Gothic style. The complex was recently meticulously restored. (Listed since 4 October 1983)
Guided tours. In cooperation with Comité de quartier Notre-Dame-aux-Neiges de Bruxelles-Ville.
Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 17:00
Rue du Congrès/Congresstraat 33, Brussels
Advance booking required