Palace of the Academies/Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium

The Palace of the Academies was originally built between 1823 and 1825 for the Prince of Orange, who lived there until Belgium's independence in 1830. Architect Charles Vander Straeten was appointed to design the structure and took his inspiration from the theories of French architect Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, who advocated a very pared-down neoclassical style. The strict symmetry, understated relief of the façade, harmonious order and elegant three-coloured tones of the materials combine to make the building 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 to the future King Leopold II in 1853. He never took up residence, and in 1862 the building was converted into a museum of contemporary art. Eventually, the Royal Academy of Science and Arts and the Royal Academy of Medicine moved into 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 by architect Tilman-François Suys between 1825 and 1828. It retains some delightful reception rooms with precious inlaid parquet floors as well as a grand reception hall. (Listed 10/10/2001)

The following rooms will be open: Stevin and Lipsius, Marie-Thérèse, Leopold, Albert I, Throne Room and Marble Room.

In cooperation with Arkadia and Korei Guided Tours.

Discover the Library and Archives of the Royal Academy of Belgium: The Royal Stables are home to the Library and Archives of the Royal Academy of Belgium. These include a number of collections dating back to the mid-18th century, comprising Academy publications, periodicals and monographs, an archive and a collection of artworks, sculptures and medals. The team invites you to explore the Library and a historical room within the Archives.

Practical information

Rue Ducale/Hertogsstraat 1 – Brussels

Guided tours and by reservation only