| 3 min read
You already know the Hallepoort, the medieval building that looks like a pretty fairytale castle next to the metro station of the same name, but have you ever been inside? In this city gate turned museum you’ll learn about the history of Brussels. And the higher you climb, the better it gets… At the top of this 600 years old building, you’ll enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of the city!
In earlier times, a large wall surrounded the center of Brussels, making the city only accessible through gates that opened in the morning and closed in the evening. Hallepoort was one of the gates in the second wall around Brussels. Built in 1381, it is the only gate that remains today.
After the wall was taken down, the Hallepoort served as a prison. For several years, it used to house a guillotine to execute criminal offenders. Today, the medieval building has become a museum spread over several floors. It’s not very large, but still worth a visit and the building itself looks great too with all its fine arches. The basement has medieval weaponry on display. The next floor has full suits of armor for both knights and horses, fantastic carvings, and a glass see-through floor viewing section.
It also has several giant paintings depicting the Ommegang procession that we still celebrate today. ‘The Ommegang of 1615’ from Denijs Van Alsloot depicts the procession of the various trades on the Grand-Place of Brussels. I wonder though which trade is represented by the dragon…
One of the floors usually hosts a temporary exhibition. At the time of our visit, it was all about dollhouses. Personally, I think it’s a bit out of place here, but maybe I was just too impatient to walk on to the next part…
Another series of spiral steps leads to -in my opinion- the most interesting part of the Hallepoort. At the top of the building, you have a fantastic 360° panoramic view of Brussels!
- Entry is 7 euros, except for the first Wednesday afternoon of the month, when you can visit for free.
- You can enter with a Brussels Card if you have one.
- Easily accessible by taking the metro to Hallepoort (who would’ve guessed?).
- More info on the Brussels Museums website.
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