Palais des Beaux-Arts, or Bozar, Is A Multi-discipline Art Centre under the One Roof:
Playing a key role in the cultural life of Brussels for over 70 year, the Palais des Beaux-Arts is a mecca for the city’s music and dance and also the home to the Belgian National Orchestra.
The Palais des Beaux-Arts owes its existence to Henri Le Boeuf, a music-loving financier. He commissioned the architect Victor Horta to design a centre that would bring together multiple artistic disciplines under the one roof. Horta’s brief was to design a centre that would house concert halls and exhibition space that would cater for music, theatre, cinema and art. The design had to make art accessible to as many people as possible, but without compromising on standards.
Several challenges were faced by Horta in his design, not least of which was the sloping land he had to work with. The location’s close proximity to the Palais Royale also meant that his building was not to allowed to obstruct the palace’s line of view down to the city. Horta had therefore to look underground to find his space. It took seven years (1922-1929) for the art deco complex to be completed, requiring him to alter his plans six times.
On arriving at the Centre for Fine Arts, the long vestibule leads to the central, marble hall. In this Great Sculpture Hall – which today has been renamed the Victor Horta Hall – a monumental staircase brings visitors to the exhibition circuit located upstairs.
There are three concert halls: The Henry Le Boeuf Hall seats 2,200 concertgoers and its oval shape is a delight to both the ear and the eye. The 476-seat Chamber Music Room is located under the Great Sculpture Hall. And, there’s the Studio which seats 210. (See what’s on and book concerts online here.)
In 1962 the Musee du Cinema was set up. Apart from its fine archive and exhibition of old cameras and lenses, it also screens classic films.
There’s a range of music, expo, theatre and dance events taking place at the Palais des Beaux-Arts daily (See what’s on at www.bozar.be).
Public Transport to Palais des Beaux Arts:
- Train Gare Centrale 2 minutes on foot via the Galerie Ravenstein
- Tram Palais 92 – 94
- Underground 1 & 5 Gare Centrale or Parc – 1 & 2 & 5 & 6 Arts-Loi
- Bus Beaux-Arts 38 – 71
Palais des Beaux Arts
23 Rue Ravenstein