How The Congo and The Brussels International Exposition helped Art Nouveau (3h)
During this Half Day – 3 hour walking private tour – you will explore great hidden Art Nouveau buildings in the Eastern and Northern neighborhoods of Brussels accompanied by a knowledgeable guide who will point out the colorful details and imaginative ornamentation on the buildings and tell their history.
Booking this private tour you will discover three different areas of the city, all at a walking distance from each other: Etterbeek area, The Cinquantenaire Park and the three squares found heading north (Ambiorix, Marie-Louise and Marguerite).
The primary designers of the fair were among of the Belgian masters of Art Nouveau architecture at the height of the style: Victor Horta, Henry van de Velde, Paul Hankar, Gédéon Bordiau, and Gustave Serrurier-Bovy.
Start of the private tour: 12:30. We can move this time according to your train arrival time.
Duration: 3 hours.
Price regardless of the size of your private group (price per price person can be as low as 26€ depending on the size of your group):
1 – 12 PAX = 360€
+12 PAX – Please Contact Us
Make a Reservation
Starting at 12:30 you will spend 3 hours enjoying the origins of Art Nouveau in Brussels in an exclusive tour for your private group. You will walk along the neighborhoods around the Parc du Cinquantenaire, spending most of the time discovering façades and the history behind them.
Your private guide will pick you up in the Etterbeek area to start the tour. While discovering several Art Nouveau buildings there, if you are interested you may have a break in a nice café. As this is a private tour you will decide that. The Cauchie House is one of the Art Nouveau buildings discovered during the private tour.
Then, you will head to Parc du Cinquantenaire and there go to visit Pavillon Horta, a hidden building by Victor Horta not many people know about. Although classical in appearance, the building shows the first steps of the young Victor Horta towards. For the upper middle class in Brussels, working with Horta was a symbol of success and sophistication but this building that he created for The Brussels International Exposition (Exposition Internationale de Bruxelles) of 1897 was an initial work by him.
After enjoying a walk in the park you will walk around the Ambiorix, Marie-Louise and Marguerite Squares. Until the arrival of the Art Nouveau times it was a rural area but it then became a middle-class residential area. This explains why still now these small public gardens have numerous Art Nouveau mansions. Beyond buildings there’s a fountain, a waterfall, artificial grottos and a play area there. Our private tour will end there at 15.30 in the area.
The Private Tour will start with the sightseeing of several interesting Art Nouveau façades, some of them of the great masters of Art Nouveau Paul Hankar, Victor Horta and van de Velde
Our specialized Art Nouveau guide can guide you in English, French or Russian. Please select the language of your choice in the list below the calendar.
Pickup & Drop Off
The tour starts Tour starts at Etterbeek. Exact address given once you book the private tour in accordance to your interests. The tour ends in one of these three squares: Ambiorix, Marie-Louise or Marguerite, according to the group interests as well.
This private tour is a good option for those looking for a new way to discover Art Nouveau in Brussels.
No public transport involved.
Your expert guide will take you on an informative and very well documented walk through the streets of this enchanting city providing a fascinating and exclusive insight into the history of the place where Art Nouveau was born.
This tour will operate in all weather conditions so participants should take appropriate weather gear with them and involves approximately 40 minutes of walking, although walking time can depend on the group.
Cancellation Policy – The booking can be canceled up to 2 weeks prior to the tour date. In this case you will receive a refund of the booking minus the financial fees. Further cancellations and no shows are non refundable. In this undesirable situation all amounts pending will be claimed.
The relationship between The Congo and Art Nouveau and how The Brussels International Exposition (1897) explains it
At the end o the 19th Century Congo was a Belgian Colony, and the main source of revenues for its King Leopold II.
Imperial Belgian regime introduced Art Nouveau in Congo, but it was in Belgium’s capital Brussels where this art style had its major expression. The Congo natural resources represented a great source of currency for many Belgian burgeoise which built amazing mansions and flats to show their success to the rest of the society.
The Brussels International Exposition held in Brussels in 1897 also helped Art Nouveau to develop in the Belgium capital. There were 27 participating countries, and an estimated attendance of 7.8 million people. The main venue of the fair was the Cinquantenaire Park and showcased Art Nouveau architecture and other arts works, as well as King Leopold II of Belgium’s personal property, the Congo Free State.
Victor Horta built a small temple and succeeded in designing an almost “organic” interpretation of the classical temple, without completely abolishing any reference to an historical style.
There are over 200 examples of Art Nouveau buildings around Brussels, and we will show you the best ones, explaining the history behind them. The era had moved on from Gothic Revival, Neoclassicism, Renaissance Revival, etc. It was itching for new ideas, materials and an elegant natural style, with a touch of Japan to counter the cold, grey march of industrialism.
This tour will cover areas in the north and east of the city, but will not show you more touristic areas like St Gilles and Ixelles. If you have time, we also recommend you to visit on your own Horta Museum, Maison Autrique, Musical Instruments Museum and the Brussels Comic Book Museum, both of them located inside two art nouveau buildings in the city center.
other Art Nouveau private tours in Belgium
We organise two Day Private tours from Brussels: one to Antwerp (one hour from Brussels by train from Brussels) and the other one to Mechelen (half way between Brussels and Antwerp). For more information about Art Nouveau Day tours outside Brussels CONTACT US.
If you have a passion for Art Nouveau, Belgium is definitely for you.
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