🏰 Coudenberg: History, Map and Tips Visiting the Palais Souterain🎫⛪😉

🏰 Coudenberg: History, Map and Tips Visiting the Palais Souterain🎫⛪😉
Couden Berg Palace (c) Pierre Halleux

Updated October 21, 2023 by pierre

Let us take you on a journey through time, where the stories of yesteryear mingle with the mysteries of modern Belgium. In this article, we are going to tell you about the ancient Coudenberg Palace, a place of power and grandeur, which spanned the centuries before finally disappearing in flames in 1731. Today, it is a fascinating archaeological site that gives an insight into what life was like during the Renaissance era.

Coudenberg (c) Dossier Press, Coudenberg website
Interior of the remains of the Coudenberg in Brussels (c) Dossier Press, Coudenberg website

1. 🕰️ Relive the fascinating History of Coudenberg of Brussels!

But where does this palace come from that you've never heard of? Know that in the past, the Coudenberg Palace was the epicenter of power, a place where crucial decisions were made and lavish parties were thrown. Built in the XNUMXth century, it was the residence of many sovereigns, including Charles Quint et Philip the Beautiful. Unfortunately, like many buildings of the time, it was destroyed by a devastating fire... In 1731 this magnificent Palace was reduced to ashes.

After the fire, the ruins were leveled and Place Royale was built on top. However, the foundations of the palace remained intact and were rediscovered in the 20th century. Archaeologists have worked hard to unearth this forgotten part of Belgian history, and today you can wander the ancient streets and palace cellars.

Visiting Coudenberg is like flipping through the pages of a living history book. Each pierre, every wall tells stories of a bygone era. Through exhibitions, workshops and guided tours, you can discover how life was lived in this once opulent palace.

Saint-Jaques Church which today takes the place of the Coudenberg Palace (c) Pierre Halleux
Saint-Jaques Church which today takes the place of the Palais du Coudenberg (C) Pierre Halleux

2. 📜 Decipher the mysterious Plan of the Coudenberg Palace which has now disappeared!

The Coudenberg archaeological site extends over several levels and reveals the different functions of the palace. As you wander the underground corridors, you can discover the kitchens, wine cellars, chapel and cobblestone streets that once made up the palace complex.

Coudenberge Par 1. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Public domain, Wikipedia
Coudenberg of Brussels By 1. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Public domain, Wikipedia

Coudenberg's plan may seem confusing at first, but with a little patience and attention, it will reveal itself to you. Don't miss Rue Isabelle, a well-preserved medieval street that crosses the site. And don't forget to visit the large hall called "Aula Magna", where banquets and ceremonies took place.

Exploring the Coudenberg Plan is like solving a historical puzzle. Each room you discover sheds new light on the function and importance of this palace.

Press Photo Coudenberg Palace source https://coudenberg.brussels/fr/espace-pro/presse
Press Photo Coudenberg Palace in Brussels source https://coudenberg.brussels/fr/espace-pro/presse

3. What is in the underground passages of the former Coudenberg Palace?

Many are wondering, what's inside? Dive beneath the bustling streets of Brussels and discover the hidden treasure that the Coudenberg hill contains: a mysterious maze of cellars and underground corridors. Dating from the XNUMXth century, these remains whisper the stories of the sumptuous Coudenberg Palace, home of the powerful – counts, dukes, archdukes and even kings and queens of Belgium – for almost seven centuries.

Even if the atmosphere is dark and damp, wonder awaits you when contemplating the remains of this splendid residence. Majestic walls, elegant columns, impressive vaults and robust foundations bear witness to time and the eras which have taken away certain sections of the palace. Don't expect an entire Palace either… there are a few corridors left!

If you feel like going on an adventure:

  • ???? Access the site via a discreet staircase located outside.
  • 🏰 Explore two distinct universes: the medieval world with the remains of an imposing fortress.
  • 👑 Immerse yourself in the Renaissance world, revealing traces of the palace erected by Charles V.

For all history and archeology enthusiasts, the Coudenberg archaeological site is an unmissable stopover during your visit to Brussels. Embark on a unique journey through the ages!

4. 💡 Pro tips for a memorable Visit!

Plan your visit in advance and be sure to arrive early to avoid the crowds. The site is open year-round, but spring and fall are the best seasons to visit, when the weather is mild and crowds are fewer.

Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes, because you will spend a lot of time walking on uneven surfaces. Also, as this is an archaeological site, some areas may be wet, so plan accordingly.

Finally, if you really want to enhance your experience, consider taking a guided tour. The guides know the history of the site like the back of their hand and can share anecdotes and details you wouldn't find in a travel guide.

🎟️ This museum is one of the museums that accept the museum pass. With the Museum pass you can enter free for 1 year!

Press Photo Coudenberg Palace source https://coudenberg.brussels/fr/espace-pro/presse
Photo Press Interior Coudenberg Palace Brussels  source https://coudenberg.brussels/fr/espace-pro/presse

4. 🎟️ Ticket in hand, get ready for the Coudenberg adventure!

Now that you're armed with all this information, it's time to plan your Coudenberg adventure. Buy your tickets in advance to avoid queues and be sure to set aside plenty of time to explore the site at your own pace.

Once there, let yourself be transported by the charm of the past. Imagine the feasts that took place in the great hall, the intrigues that unfolded in the secret corridors, and the decisions that were made in the council chambers.

Before leaving, be sure to visit the Coudenberg Museum, which houses an impressive collection of archaeological objects discovered on the site. It's the perfect finishing touch to your adventure through history!

Coudenberg is more than just an archaeological site, it is a window into the past that allows you to immerse yourself in the history of Belgium. Whether you are a history buff, an urban explorer or simply a curious traveler, a visit to Coudenberg is a must-do experience during your visit to Brussels. So, get ready, ticket in hand, and embark on an adventure through time!

5.(I.e. Activity near Coudenberg

  1. The Grand-Place in Brussels : It is one of the most famous squares in Europe, known for its remarkable architectural beauty and its many historic buildings.
  2. The Magritte Museum : This museum is dedicated to the Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte and features an extensive collection of his works.
  3. The Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) : Located in an impressive art nouveau building, it features a collection of musical instruments from around the world.
  4. Saints-Michel-et-Gudula Cathedral : This magnificent Gothic cathedral is one of the city's main places of worship.
  5. The Mount of Arts : This is an urban hill offering a panoramic view of part of Brussels, lined with several museums and cultural institutions.
  6. The King's House (Broodhuis) : A museum located on the Grand-Place which tells the history of the city of Brussels.
  7. The Royal Palace of Brussels : Although it is generally only open to the public during certain times of the year, the palace and its gardens are a major point of interest.
  8. The Royal Galleries Saint-Hubert : This is one of the oldest shopping arcades in Europe, housing boutiques, cafes and chocolatiers.
  9. The Manneken Pis : Although this small statue is often considered to be "smaller than expected", it remains one of the most iconic attractions in Brussels.
  10. Le Belgian Comic Strip Centere : This museum is dedicated to the history of Belgian comics, notably the adventures of Tintin.

If you are planning to visit the Coudenberg, it is highly recommended that you spend some time exploring the many other nearby attractions. Brussels is full of historical and cultural treasures on every street corner!

6. Contact and websites of Coudenberg