Background

Brussels City Museum© Museums of the City of Brussels

The origin of the museum

From 1860 the idea of a local museum is born. The City of Brussels begins to collect various testimonies of its past. It also commissions several artists to immortalise districts doomed to be demolished. Charles Buls, mayor and Alphonse Wauters, archivist, are the two central figures at the forefront of this project for the first municipal museum.

Located on the second floor of the Maison du Roi, it opened in 1887. With the creation of this museum, Charles Buls realises his dual objective: to welcome foreign visitors and to make the history of the city more accessible to the local population.

Brussels City Museum© Museums of the City of Brussels

Expanding the collections

Since the 19th century, the varied collections have been enriched by significant donations, archaeological excavations and the systematic collection of objects and works of art illustrating the social, economic, intellectual, artistic and urban development of the city. The ultimate aim is to try and fully document the city’s heritage and tell its story.

Brussels City Museum© Museums of the City of Brussels

The museum today

The City Museum actively pursues its important missions such as the scientific study of Brussels’ heritage, as well as its preservation, enrichment and presentation to a wide audience.

Brussels City Museum© Museums of the City of Brussels