European Quarter - Place du Luxembourg

This page is about the quarters around Place du Luxembourg in European Quarter in the East part of central Brussels. Parts of it is situated in the municipality of Brussels, and parts of it in the municipality of Ixelles (Elsene), and it is hard to recognize the borders between these municipalites. The European Parliament is situated here right next to Luxembourg, with its huge buildings with vast spaces, the complex is called Espace Léopold. In the area was also our hotel during our stay, the Renaissance (you can find it at the bottom of the page). On the backside of the EU parliament you can find the beautiful Parc Leopold. Parlamentarium is a popular tourist attraction in the complex, that tells a story about EU (that we didn't visit due to other priorities). Many other EU buildings are also situated here.

During our stay, demonstrations and football events were taking place at Luxemburgplein. The Espace Leopold complex is impressive to see in person with its huge postmodern buildings, even if you are not a fan of or interesting in the EU.



Altiero Spinelli   Altiero Spinelli   Konrad Adenauer footbridge

"The complex consists of the Paul-Henri Spaak building (which houses the debating chamber), the Altiero Spinelli building, two new buildings known as the Willy Brandt and József Antall buildings and a newly refurbished building which was the former entrance to the Brussels-Luxembourg Station. Between the Spinelli buildings and the Brant-Antall buildings, which are connected by the circular Konrad Adenauer footbridge, runs the esplanade of the European Parliament (or the "Mall")."

Source: Wikipedia


This small building in classic style at Place du Luxembourg is situated in the center of the Espace Léopold complex and houses the information center. It is the only bulding in older style.


Kondrad Adenauer footbridge

The taxis of Brussels are black with yellow lines.

The statue of John Cockerill stands in the middle of Place du Luxembourg, right in front of the EU information center and the parliament, and is a connection point for people. During our stay we saw demonstration and football championship events.


The John Cockerill statue

The John Cockerill statue. Cockerill was a Belgian industrialist.

Espace Léopold (Leopoldruimte in Flemish) is the name of the huge complex of postmodern buildings that houses the European Parliament, a legislative chamber of the EU. Paul-Henri Spaak Building (picture above) is the oldest and Altiero Spinello is the largest. The complex started constructed in 1989 and has been extended several times since. The whole complex is enormous, about 400m wide and has 17 floors!


Altiero Spinelli

"European Parliament" in different languages

The Henri-Spaak Building, the oldest building in the parliament. The official seat of the European Parliament is in Strasbourg, but this complex was built to be closer to the other EU institutions, that are located in Brussels, and the one in Brussels hosts the majority of these. The leaders cannot manage to agree where to place the parliament!


Henri-Spaak Building

Henri-Spaak Building

The Euro statue outside the parliament building, at Rue Wiertz. A symbol of the strenght of the Euro? Ironically, some people see it as the symbol of the European debt that rises...


Euro statue

Euro statue

There are many skybridges...   ...and granite walls and stairs...   ...and flags and glass in Espace Leopold.

Henri-Spaak Building   Altiero Spinelli   Vehicles of top politicians

Henri-Spaak Building and "The Mall"   Connection between the 1 buildings    

Espace Léopold and the EU sculpture


Even on the ground you see this symbol with 12 stars, that actually is the flag of Europe and not only EU.

Demonstration against homelessness outside the EU parliament   Demonstration by communists outside the EU parliament   Demonstration and black taxis at Place du Luxembourg

Margot Wallström, A Swedish minister, planted this tree called "European Voice".   Parc Leopold is a beautiful park nearby, that we didn't have the opportunity to visit   Flags outside the parliament

Altiero Spinelli, the largest building of the European Parliament was constructed 1991-97. It was named after one of the founders of the EU. Here it is seen from Agora S.Vell, right after Luxembourg Square.


Information center and glass skybridgeAltiero Spinelli

Inside the EU parliement there are long atrium with 7 floors, glass roofs and skybridges that connect the secions.


Atrium, EU Parliament

Skybridges in the atrium


Place du Luxembourg   Rue du Luxembourg (Luxemburgstraat) towards Place du Luxembourg and the EU Parliament   Rue du Luxembourg

Gare du Luxembourg (Luxembourg train station) is where we arrived with the train from the airport. The station is situated between 2 futuristic EU buildings.   Kondrad Adenauer footbridge   Gare du Luxembourg

John Cockerill (1790-1840) was a Belgian industrialist.   Rue du Luxembourg with Carrefour Express, were we shopped several times, and a Swedish flag!   Pubs at Place du Luxembourg before a football world champion game

The John Cockerill statue is a meeting point for demonstrations and parties, here during world football championships.   Place du Luxembourg during a Belgian game, World football championships 2014   Place du Luxembourg during a Belgian game, World football championships 2014

Place du Luxembourg with the information center and Altiero Spinelli   Place du Luxembourg during a Belgian game, World football championships 2014    

Square de Meeûs is a small square park situated on both sides of Rue de Luxembourg, between Place du TrôneSquare de Meeûs is a small square park situated on both sides of Rue de Luxembourg between Place du Luxembourg and Place du Trône, between the Royal Palace and the EU Parliament. It is a nice park to sit down and relax.



Place du Trône (Troonpleis) with the 25-storey Bastion Tower from 1970   Place du Trône, Rue Ducale towards Tour Madou   Place du Trône

Place du Trône (Troonpleis)   Rue Ducale/Hertog Straat. All streets have both French and Flemish names   Place des Palais and Parc de Bruxelles




European Parliament at Place du Luxembourg, seen at sunset.


Place du Luxembourg

EU Parliament,Place du Luxembourg

Parlamentarium, European Parliament. A sort of museum about EU for visitors.   Parlamentarium, European Parliament    



We stayed at the 4 star Renaissance Brussels Hotel at the Rue du Parnasse in the European Quarter, right next to the huge EU Parliament. The location is about 15 minutes walk to the Old town, and even closer to the Royal Palace. The hotel is a modern 7-storey building, built in 1995 and renovated in 2010. It has an elegant but a bit impersonal interior. It has 262 rooms and is part of the Marriott/Renaissance chain. The room was really large and nice with a large flatscreen TV, a large king size bed and a long corridor. It was furnished in earth colours and had views over a small street. The staff were very friendly, but the breakfast is really expensive (25 euro and 15 euro with discount) so it is hardly worth the money, and they made a mistake to charge to much, that was corrected later after many e-mails. But for the hotel over all we got really good value for money. The hotel has a bar, a Starbucks, a restaurant, a gym and a pool in the basement.

Renaissance Brussels Hotel, our 4-star hotel in the Europan Quarters, at Place du Luxembourg

Renaissance Brussels Hotel (right)      


Renaissance Brussels Hotel, our 4-star hotel in the Europan Quarters, at Place du Luxembourg   The lobby of Renaissance Hotel. Broadcasting football championships  

View from our room at the Renaissance Hotel

The lobby   The super expensive breakfast - 15-25 euro!  

Renaissance logo

The lobby   Bathroom  

Renaissance Brussels Hotel