Next to the monumental arch of the Cinquantenaire I highly recommend to visit the monumental building of the "Musée Royal de l'Armée et d'Histoire Militaire" (Military Museum).
The start for the "Musée de l'Armée/Museum van het Leger" was the 1910 World Exhibition when a large number of military objects were collected here to give the visitor an idea of the history of Belgian armed forces in the 19th century.
After World War I the collection grew considerably as well as after WW II; the little Belgium being each time in the "eye of the cyclone". In August 1914 invaded by the Kaiser's Germany, in May 1940 invaded by Nazi Germany!
In 1972 an Air and Space Department was inaugurated; it is quite spectacular with a "Caravelle" commercial jet hanging from the ceiling of the huge hall. In 1980 an Armoured Vehicles Department was formed.
In 1986 the important ancient (medieval) Arms and Armour collection was transported from the Porte de Hal / Hallepoort to the Museum.
Presently the Museum of the Army is still renovating and expanding. From my visits to military museums in Europe I can say that it is one of the most important museums for the period of the 19th and 20th centuries. I observed on my last visits that it attracts more and more visitors from abroad.
Admission is Free.
Open from Tuesday until Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Closed on Mondays, January 1, May 1, November 1, December 25, and election days
Around 1850 the area of the Jubilee Park was a training ground for the Civil Guard. In 1875, architect Gédéon Bordiau drew the first plans of exhibition halls to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Belgian Kingdom (1830 -1880).
The project was completed in 1910 and the Jubilee site received its present form: two wings, consisting of large halls, connected to each other by semi-circular colonnades and as an architectural eye catcher, the impressive three-arched arch of triumph.
The triple arch by the French architect Charles Girault, in Louis XVI style, is 45 m high and 30 m wide. The quadriga at the summit represents "Le Brabant élevant le drapeau national" (Brabant waving the national flag).
This arch of triumph was built at the expenses of king Leopold II.
Living in Brussels I was not fully aware of the architectural value of the "Cinquantenaire" until I visited Berlin and its Brandeburger Tor and made the aesthetic (not historical) comparison which, it seems to me, is in favor or the Cinquantenaire arch!
The Cinquantenaire halls host three museums:
The Royal Museum of the Army and Military History in the northern wing.
The Royal Museums of Art and History in the southern wing.
The Parc du Cinquantenaire or Jubelpark, is one of the most impressive green spaces in the capital of Belgium, is also one of the largest in the urban heart of Brussels, with 30 acres of lawns, trees and trails in perfect symmetry. The Cinquantenaire Park was built to host the World Expo, commissioned by King Leopold II to celebrate the Jubilee of 50 years of independence from Brussels in 1880.
El Parc du Cinquantenaire o Jubelpark, es uno de los espacios verdes más impresionantes de la capital de Bélgica, es también uno de los más grandes en el corazón urbano de Bruselas, con 30 hectáreas de césped, árboles y senderos en simetría perfecta. El Parque del Cincuentenario fue construido para albergar la Exposición Mundial, encargado por el rey Leopold II para celebrar el Jubileo de los 50 años de la independencia de Bruselas en 1880.
To celebrate Belgium's 5oth year of independence King Leopold II decided to develop a great park. He chose the area called, "Linthout Plains," a former military training grounds for it. He hoped by developing the park the entire world would be able to see how prosperous Belgium had become just since its independence.
The centerpiece of the park is the great Arch De Triomphe. The arch was built to show off the wonderful past of the City of Brussels and to also to serve as a new east entrance to the City.
The park is a great place to walk about. On Sunday there were many families strolling and picknicking in the park even though the weather was cool. There are many museums in the park as well but we preferred to enjoy the fresh air of the park on this day. The park comprises over 90 acres of land in eastern Brussels.
In 1880 to celebrate 50 years of independence of Belgium, is create an exhibition park. In 1897 it will be part of the attractions of the Universal Exhibition. That was when we built the hangars in steel that you can see at the rear of the triumphal arch.
It is Leopold II (the second king of independent Belgium) who paid out his own pocket for the construction to commemorate 75 years in 1905. The French Charles Giraud will be the architect.
Even today, home to the prestigious buildings: the Royal Museum of Art and History, the museum of the army, Autoworld and the Royal Institute of Artistic Heritage. Nearby: the largest mosque in Belgium.
En 1880 pour fêter les 50 ans d'indépendance de la Belgique, on crée un parc d'exposition. En 1897 il fera partie des attractions de l'exposition universelle. C'est à cette époque que l'on construit les hangards métalliques visible à l'arrière de l'arc de triomphe.
C'est Léopold II (deuxième roi de la Belgique indépendante) qui en paiera la construction par ses propres deniers pour commémoré les 75 ans en 1905. Le français Charles Giraud en sera l'architecte.
Aujourd'hui encore, les prestigieux bâtiments abritent: le musée Royal d'art et d'histoire, le musée de l'armée, autoworld et l'institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique. A proximité: la plus grande mosquée de Belgique.
I practically lived next to this park, so I went jogging there a lot. It's not massive, so you can run around it in 10-15min if you are an average jogger. It's nicer than running on the street though. Unfortunately, it was mostly too cold for picnics when I was in Brussels, but I'm sure it's nice for that too.
Nowadays, the park also houses Belgium's largest Mosque (originally a conference center for the 1897 Brussels World Fair). In addition, there is Royal Museum of the Army and Military History in the middle of it, as the park used to be training ground for the army. Unfortunately, everything the museum is only in French and Flemish, but they have some amazing stuff like coat of armors for soldiers, horses and for a small child. There are 2 other museums in the park, including Autoworld, which houses a display of 500 historic cars including the early motorized tricycles, a Model T Ford, a 1924 Renault, a 1938 Cadillac that was the official White House car for FDR and Truman, a 1956 Cadillac used by Eisenhower and then by Kennedy in the 60s) and Musée du Cinquantenaire has a collection of antiques and decorative arts such as tapestries, lace, porcelain, silver, furniture, toys, stained glass, jewels, folklore, sculptures and old vehicles, including 18th-century coupes, sedan chairs, sleighs and royal coaches.
The park, museums and monuments were initially designed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Belgium's independence in 1830. However, the buildings were not finished until 1905. The extensive gardens have at their heart a triumphal arch topped by a bronze four-horse chariot sculpture, representing Brabant Raising the National Flag.
There is a grim story involved in the Park. It was built using the profits from the Congo Free State (now the Democratic Republic of Congo), a personal domain of the horrid King Leopold II. During his rule of Congo, the native population endured forced labor, enslavement and mutilation. The death toll amongst the population was around 10 million.
Commandited by the King Leopold II, the Cinquantenaire celebrates the fiftyth anniversary of the Independance of Belgium in 1880.
I first like the place for the huge park and all the possibilities / memories of games during my childhood and after my scout time.
Then of course the place is attractive for the architectury. It contains mainly two museums, the museum of the army and the museum of the car. Plenty of old timers for the one who like it.
In the back side, there is also the Great Mosk of Brussels.
The gardens are the French style.
I read that King Leopold II had it fit out in 1880 by Gedeon Bordiau for a special purpose: Jubilee celebration. The concern was then to liaise Brussels center to Tervueren countryside. In fact, Avenue de Tervueren starts there and runs to cosy Tervueren area. Nowadays, a tunnel goes across it, leading to Tervueren area too.
As for architecture:
* Eight women statues, that epitomized the nine Belgian provinces. Oddly enough, West and East Flanders are represented by an only woman.
* Parc du Cinquantenaire houses museums and exhibition rooms. Amongst them, Musees Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire (Royal Museums of Art and History); Musee Royal de l'Armee et d'Histoire Militaire (Royal Museum of Army and Military History) with its air collection. Visit there Autoworld, (Car Museum). Namely appreciated there Royal Museums of Art and History. In addition to a permanent collection of civilizations history, my first exhibition there was on Pre-colombian civilization (a huge one), on use of metals such as gold, copper. Later on, the biggest I attended was on Buddhism & its spread all over Asian countries. Then, sthg on Vietnam, Pompei...
* a park. From Schuman area, you will have to climb a little slope to reach the arches. Well-kept alleys packed with trees, benches. Sexy men in fit training suit ! At its front: a fountain & the many statues, a rotonde celebrating Belgium & actions in Congo, a banned pavillion (of Human passions). [Update May 4 2004: It is now possible to visit the Pavillon des Passions Humaines without booking the visit. Fee: a visit for 2 euros.]
* a triple arch whose top is worth the glance. It was erected in 1904-1905. Its 45-m height dominates the park. Top is made of four bronze statues (quadriga). Charming with verdigris. Those statues symbolize triumphant Belgium heading to future.
More pictures in this travelogue
Beautiful in the spring and in the summer when the flowers are in bloom and the grass is lush and green. Many locals spend their time here playing with their children, training their pets, exercising or just relaxing on the grass. Everybody has a special place in every city; this would be mine in Brussels.
I can't for the life of me remember the name of this church so if anyone recognises it I'd be grateful if you can let me know so I finally can put this dilemna to rest.
But what I can recall is that it was very close to the Parc du Cinquantenaire.
This monument was erected to mark the 50th anniversary of Belgium’s independence from the Netherlands. The structure rears 144 feet high at the head of Avenue de Tervuren and is topped by a bronze chariot being ridden by the female personification of a triumphant Belgium, arms up in the air. Adding to the arch’s drama are the multi-columned Royal Museum of Art and History and the Royal Museum of Army and Military History the king had erected on either side, with the 90-acre Jubilee Park forming a verdant backdrop for all three.
The Parc and Palais du Cinquantenaire lie to the east of the city centre and were built for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Belgian independence in 1880. The park was laid out on unused town marshes. The palace was never built. Instead, the two large exhibition halls, (which today house Autoworld and the Musee de L'Armee), were only just completed in time for the 1880 Art and Industry Expo. The park features tree-lined avenues of elms and plane trees, fountains and a running track.
In 1880 Belgium celebrated the 50th anniversary of its independence. Therefore, king Leopold II wanted to have a world exhibition organized in Brussels. For its location a former military exercising ground outside of the center of the city was chosen, the so-called "Linthout" plains. In this exhibition the world would be able to see that the new state of Belgium was prospering and able to take its place between the important nations of Europe. In the second half of the 19th century Leopold II had acquired the Congolese colony in Africa which supplied him with considerable financial possibilities. He decided to use a part of his new fortune to give Brussels the outlook of an important European city. One of his realizations was this Cinquantenaire park with its imposing monuments.
This pleasing park is surrounded by impressive architecture. I was fortunate to be strolling through it on a balmy Christmas day. There is a wonderful triumphal arch that is somewhat a cross between Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The arch is flanked by museums. There are tree lined walkways as well as a mosque in this park. It is a very nice place to get some fresh air. It is easily accessed by Metro from Central Station and other stops.
Dominated by a central double arch, it was built in 1880 by King Leopold commemorating the 50th anniversary of the independence of Belgium. It is flanked by a couple of museums. One on Archeaology and the others on Military History.