Walking tour

Red and black – the military guilds of Brussels

Throughout the Ancien Régime period, the city of Brussels was protected by a number of military guilds, each of which wielded a specific weapon, like the crossbow, the longbow, the harquebus or the sword. Each guild’s members wore a special costume, its colours showing which guild they belonged to. The Royal Grand Order of Crossbowmen of St George of Brussels – wearing red – and the Ancient, Royal and Noble Grand Order of Crossbowmen of Our Lady of Sablon – wearing black – still practise the feudal tradition of crossbow shooting to this day. Both guilds are still based in Brussels: one in Impasse du Borgendael/Borgendaelgang, the other in the cellars of the Mont-de-Piété/Berg van Barmhartigheid non-profit public pawn shop in Rue Saint-Ghislain/Sint-Gisleinsstraat. If immersing yourself in Brussels’ medieval history, exploring the tradition of the Ommegang procession and learning more about the oratory and chapel of Notre-Dame au Sablon/Onze-Lieve-Vrouw ter Zavel sound appealing, then this tour is for you!

In French only.

In cooperation with Once in Brussels.

Practical information

Sat. & Sun. at 10:30, 14:00 and 16:30 (duration:  1 hour 30 minutes).

Starting point: in front of the gates of Impasse du Borgendael/Borgendaelgang, Place Royale/Koningsplein, Brussels
Advance booking required at (in the ‘Activities’ dropdown menu, select ‘Discoveries and lectures’ and click on ‘Heritage Days: Red and black – the military guilds of Brussels’ to book your place). Up to 20 people per tour.
92 93 Royale - Koning
27 33 38 71 95 Royale - Koning