Palais de la Nation (Paleis der Natie)
On the way up from the cathedral to the Rue Royal the west elevation of the 18th C. Palais de la Nation can be seen ahead. The facade of the Neo-Classical building, seat of the Belgian Senate and Chamber of Deputies, overlooks the Parc de Bruxelles.
Parc de Bruxelles
The Parc de Bruxelles, one time hunting preserve of the dukes of Brabant and the scene in 1830 of much bloodshed during the rebellion against the Dutch, is laid out geometrically with its main axis towards the Palais Royal at the southern end. In the northeast corner stands the Royal Park Theater.
Palais Royal (Koninklijk Paleis)
The Coudenberg palace, historic seat of the dukes of Brabant, was destroyed by fire in 1731, later being replaced by the present Palais Royal. Used for state occasions the palace is the Belgian Royal Family's official residence rather than their home. The Belgian flag, flown from the roof, signals the sovereign's presence. A ceremonial Changing of the Guard takes place every day at about 2.30 pm. The palace originally comprised two separate buildings which were made into one in 1827-29. Further alterations continued until 1904.The Greenhouses of the Royal Palace are open to the public each year for a short period of time.
Address: Place des Palais, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
Place Royale (Koningsplein)
Behind and to the west of the Royal Palace stand an exceptionally attractive ensemble of Neo-Classical buildings grouped around the Place Royale. In the 18th C. the French architect Barnabé Guimard was commissioned to produce a design for this important site on the Coudenberg, resulting in the construction of the Place between 1773 and 1780.The Royal Palace will open to the public during the summer months.
The Musée Bellevue in the west wing of the Royal Palace contains 18th and 19th C. furniture, glass and other objets d'art.
Address: Paleizenplein 7 Place des Palais, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
Royal Academy of Sciences
A square extends in front of the Royal Palace, on its east side being the Palais des Académies, home of the Royal Academy of Sciences and once the residence of the Crown Prince of Orange.
Palais des Beaux-Arts (Paleis voor Schone Kunste)
The Palais des Beaux-Arts (Paleis voor Schone Kunste) on the west side of the Place des Palais was designed and built in the 1920s by Victor Horta. Cleverly integrated into its sloping site the Palais houses several cultural institutes, a concert hall and theater and cinema museum.
The principal building in the Place Royale is the church of Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg - the Chapel Royal - with its imposingly spacious interior.