The Royal Palace and Parc de Bruxelles

The Royal Palace (Palais Royal de Bruxelles or Koninklijk Paleis de Brussel) is situated in the upper part of the city center, above the old town. Opposite the palace the small but popular Brussels Park (Parc de Bruxelles) is situated (that is bordering the Belgian parliament on the North side and some embassies to the East), and on the other side is the square Parc Royal (Konigsplein). Place de l'Albertine is right next to it. Rue de Regence also starts here, that leads to Palace of Justice. The Royal Palace is a large neoclassical building, the current version from 1934, and is the official palace of the queens and kings of Belgium. Underneath it, you can visit the Coudenberg museum, interesting historic basement vaults that are not crowded with tourists. They are remnants from the Coudenberg Palace, a mediecal palace that once stood on this site.
The Bellevue art museum is also situated in the palace complex. The quarters around the palace are called the Royal Quarters and several large art museums can be found here.


The Royal Palace of Brussels is the official palace of the Royal family. But they don't live there, they live in the Royal Palace of Laeken in the outskirts. A square called Place de Palais/Paleizenplein is situated between the palace and the park. The current neoclassical facade was completed in 1934 on the initative of King Leopold II and was designed by Barnabé Guimard.

The entrance to the Royal Palace. The first version of the current building dates from the end of the 18th century. The first building on the site was started in 1783, housing the Dukes of Brabant.


The Royal Palace of Brussels

The Royal Palace of Brussels

The Royal Palace seen from the Brussels Park.


The Royal Palace of Brussels
The Royal Palace of Brussels

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

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

Place des Palais   Place des Palais   Place des Palais

Rue Ducale towards Madou Plaza from 2004 and Tour Astro from 1976   Place des Palais and Bastion Tower   A local bus in front of the palace



Rue Royale with views towards the lower part of the city where the Old Town is situated (note the Town Hall to the far right). The sculpture is Baron Horta, the architect that designed many of Brussels jugend buildings, some at Grand Place. The quarters are called the Royal Quarters and hosts several large art museums.

Rue Royale is trafficated by Brussels modern trams   Rue Royale is bordering the park to the West   An older tram



Parc de Bruxelles (Warandepark in Flemish)


Parc de Bruxelles
Qigong, Parc de Bruxelles

Parc de Bruxelles/Warandepark   Entrance to Parc de Bruxelles   Parc de Bruxelles



Rue Ducale (Hertogstraat) with its many embassies, Tour Astro and Madou Plaza   Rue Ducale is parallel to Parc de Bruxelles.   The embassy row on Rue Ducale

Theatre Royal du Parc, Rue de la Loi   American Embassy, Rue Ducale. It is forbidden to take closer photographs of this building!   The British Embassy, Rue Ducale



Place Royale/Konigsplein. Place Royal is situated right above the medieval ruins of Coudenberg Palace that is open for public. The former square on the site was called Baliënplein. For several years there was an open hole in Place Royale during archeological excavations of Coudenberg, just in front of the church.


Place Royale
Place Royale. Here you find the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Margritte Museum and BELvue Museum.

Church of Saint Jacques-sur-Coudenberg (St-Jacob-on-the-Coudenberg) is the most prominent building at Place Royal. Here you also find the tourist office, and modern trams drive to Place Poalert from here, along Rue de la Régence.


Church of St-Jacob-on-the-Coudenberg, the bell tower was added in the 19th century.
The equestrian statue of Godfrey of Bouillon, leader of the first crusade in 1096.

St-Jacob-on-the-Coudenberg is a large neoclassical catholic church completed in 1786.   Church of St-Jacob-on-the-Coudenberg (Sint-Jacob-op-Koudenberg in Flemish)   Place Royal with views towards Palace of Justice and the Godfrey of Bouillon statue to the right.



Coudenberg (Koudenberg in Dutch means "cold hill") is a small hill right next to the Royal Palace. The Palace of Coudenberg was the seat of government and royalties for 700 years. In 1731 the palace was destroyed by a fire. The base of the palace has for long been hidden behind the Royal Palace, but just recently excavations have opened it for public, just underneath the current Place Royal. The entrance is situated in a small building right next to the Royal Palace, where you get a code in the reception of the Bellevue Museum. The code is used to open a massive door that leads down to the vaults of the former Coudenberg Palace! It was a bit exciting when the door opened automatically to this underground world of vaults, archeological foundings, sculptures, art and mysterious passages. Click here to visit the separate page about the Coudenberg underground palace.

Entering the vaults of Coudenberg.



Cellars under the main building

The massive door that opens automatically after you enter the code!

Click here to visit the separate page about the Coudenberg underground palace.


A hilly avenue used to be on this site, before the ground was built over!

Coudenberg, cellars under the main building


Bellevue Museum, an art museum right next to the palace and Coudenberg   Bellevue Museum is where you enter the stairs down to the Coudenberg Museum.   Stairs up to the Bellevue Museum from the Coudenberg Museum