Thursday, 18 September 2014

Victor Horta Museum in Brussels

Victor Horta Museum in Brussels

As ugly as I think Brussels is, it's got some hidden gems here and there. One of the them is the Victor Horta Museum in St Gilles.

Victor Horta Museum in Brussels door

Victor Horta is Belgium's equivalent to Spain's Gaudi and was a very important name in Art Nouveau architecture. He has left quite a few of his masterpieces in the Belgian capital and this week I went to Brussels and had a look around his house and studio in the St Gilles area.

Victor Horta Museum in Brussels knob

I was a bit too keen as the museum only opens at 2 pm and I was there at noon. The weather was nice, so I wandered around the neighborhood a bit and found that there are some other buildings he designed nearby.

At 1:55 pm a queue had started to form and at 2pm on the dot we were all let in. The house and studio is what I'd call Art Nouveau on steroids. It's curly whiplash shapes and motifs everywhere you look; the furniture, the art on the wall, the ceilings, and even the skirting boards and the mosaics on the floors. The grand staircase with its vine like railing brings you upstairs to the living quarters which now double as the cashier's room.

Victor Horta Museum in Brussels stair case

The tour takes you through Mr and Mrs Horta's bedroom, and adjacent boudoir with toilet and bathroom. Their daughter's bedroom with a fabulous balcony looking out onto the neighbours' backyards.

The staircase curls up all the way to the attic which is adorned with a fabulous stained glass roof and leads you to a rooftop greenhouse and a rooftop terrace.

Victor Horta Museum in Brussels stair case
Photo by the Earl of Greys under Creative Common licence 

It doesn't take all too long to walk around the residence as there are no signs explaining what you're looking at. Having said that, it's all very self-explanatory and frankly a very eye-pleasing place to visit.


  1. Interesting that you think Brussels is ugly, I've never been there myself! Is it just a drab city, or dirty? Regardless, this looks like a pleasant way to spend an afternoon!:-)

  2. The area around the Grand Place is lovely, but as soon as you venture away from that it gets just that, Drab and grey. Sorry, Brussels!