Palace of the Academies

© Alfred de Ville de Goyet

The Palace of the Academies was originally built between 1823 and 1825 for the Prince of Orange, who resided there until Belgium’s independence in 1830. Architect Charles Vander Straeten was tasked with designing the structure and drew inspiration from the theories of French architect Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, who extolled the use of a very simple neoclassical style. Indeed, the building’s strict symmetry, the understated relief of its façade, the regularity of its design and the elegant three-coloured tones of its materials all help to make it a perfect example of this purist style. After 12 years of sequestration, the palace came into the possession of the state, which decided to offer it, in 1853, to the future King Leopold II, who however ended up never living there. In 1862, the palace was renovated to turn it into a museum of modern art. Eventually, the Royal Academy of Science and Arts and the Royal Academy of Medicine took up residence in the building in 1876, followed by the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature of Belgium founded in 1920, the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts and the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium, both established in 1938. The palace was decorated and fitted out to a design by Tilman-François Suys between 1825 and 1828. To this day it still has some delightful reception rooms with precious inlaid parquet floors as well as a grand reception hall. (Listed – 10/10/2001)

Guided tours:
Sat.: 10:30, 12:30, 14:30, 16:30.
Sun.: 10:30, 12:30.
Sat.: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00.
Sun.: 10:00, 11:00, 12:00.

Sat.: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30.
Sun.: 10:30, 11:30, 12:30.
In cooperation with Arkadia and Korei Guided Tours.

Exhibition: ‘Women and the Academy’. Using archive documents and explanatory panels, this exhibition will place the Royal Academy of Belgium in the context of other European academies in terms of the inclusion of women, focusing in particular on the first women elected to the Academy.

Practical information

Sat., 10:00 to 18:00 and Sun., 10:00 to 13:00
Rue Ducale/Hertogsstraat 1, Brussels

Reservation only for guided tours