It is no secret that Brussels is a true gem for architecture lovers. Whether you are a fan of Art Deco, Art Nouveau or even Brutalism: you will find what you are looking for in the Belgian capital. A short stroll through the city suffices to be inspired by architectural wonders of all different eras. A style which has long stayed under the radar of the bigger public is Neoclassicism. And that is exactly why Explore.Brussels, ARAU, Arkadia, Brussels Chatterguides and Pro Velo are now hosting the Brussels Biennale Neoclassic.
The Neoclassical style can be found all over Brussels, from grand public buildings and more modest private homes, to statues, streetscapes, parks and open spaces. They all bear witness to the major changes to the cityscape in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, in many cases they have been abandoned, neglected and submerged in later developments, so that many of us no longer pay attention to them and have allowed them to fade into the background.
1. Forgotten heritage
The Brussels Biennale – Neoclassic (BBN) will aim to promote this often forgotten heritage over two weekends in October, every other year. At the heart of the festival will be a program of guided tours of Neoclassical interiors that are not normally open to the public, offering a unique opportunity to (re)discover some hidden architectural gems of Brussels and to put the Neoclassical style center stage. Other activities will support these guided tours: outdoor walking tours, seminars, events for reduced-mobility participants and school groups, etc. In 2020, the biennale takes place from October 10th to October 18th. If you want to participate, you can book a daily pass (more information here) which offers you access to all the visits taking place that day or a pass giving you access to the entirety of the biennale.
Have we made you curious yet? Well, let’s take a look at the program then. Each weekend, visitors can choose between eight different locations, all witnesses of Brussels’ Neoclassical past. Whether you prefer awe-inspiring or more intimate spaces, there is undoubtedly something on the program that you will enjoy. You will for example be able to take a guided tour of the Church of Saint-John and Saint-Nicholas, the Ancient Royal Skating Rink and the Beauquesne-Legrand House. You can find the whole program here. If you have always wanted to visit Brussels or if you want to discover the city under a new light, this might just be the occasion you were waiting for.