KBR (Royal Library of Belgium)
KBR forms part of the Mont des Arts/Kunstberg complex dating back to the late 1930s. The monumental façade was built in a classicist style befitting an official public or academic building, to a design by architect Maurice Houyoux and his successor Roland Delers. The foundation stone for KBR’s 17-floor Book Tower was laid in 1954, and the building was officially inaugurated in 1969. The partly original interior architecture was designed by the De Coene brothers from Kortrijk. The furniture as conceptualised by Knoll and the design by Philippe Neerman are typical of the 1950s and 1960s. KBR currently preserves some 8 million documents: manuscripts from the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy; a musical collection featuring many scores; coins and medals; prints; newspapers; maps, including the Ferrari Maps; and several other very special collections. The building also comprises the Brabantine Gothic Nassau Chapel, which is a remnant of the old Ducal Palace erected in the early 16th century and today forms an integral part of the KBR museum. It also encompasses some of the apartments of the mid-18th-century Palace of Charles of Lorraine, the Governor of the Austrian Netherlands, which have been converted into temporary exhibition spaces. Today, KBR is a hub for people to meet and exchange ideas, and one of Belgium’s leading centres of culture and knowledge.
Guided tours: Sat. & Sun. at 11:30 and 15:00 (in English); 10:30, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30 and 15:30 (in French); 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 15:00 (in Dutch).
Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 17:00
Mont des Arts/Kunstberg 28, Brussels
Guided tours and by reservation only