Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels Overview

Parc du Cinquantenaire is not just the most breathtaking park in Brussels - Belgium but also a popular site of historical and cultural importance. The park houses various museums, shops, monuments and art galleries - all at one place, hence it takes the whole day to visit the whole park. Also called Julileepark, the name represents ‘Park of the fiftieth century’, symbolizing the work of King Leopold II who built this magnificence in the celebration of the golden jubilee of Belgium Independence. With an area of 30 hectares, the multi purpose place serves as a great place to relax, go for a jog or a picnic with family, take a tour of the museums and enjoy the views that the buildings offer. The arch shaped monument makes place for various open theatre performances to take place.

The two arms of the arch house 3 world famous museums:

1. The AutoWorld

The place has hosted several automobile exhibitions in the 20th century, and also treasured car collections having huge historical significance. The museum is known for the showcase of over 300 cars, trucks and motorbikes of various models dating back to the 19th century. Belgium Car History is beautifully shown with authentic car designs, Royal Family vehicles and miniature cars

2. The Royal Museum of Armed Forces and Military History

The Museum opened in 1923, and has incorporated the Belgium War History with the equipment, uniforms and armoured vehicles dating back to the 10th century. Along with that, the museum also showcases 130 Airplanes and Helicopters that were used in the world wars. The amount and diversity of the articles makes it the world’s largest and one of the most important military museums of all time.

3. The Royal Museum of Art and History

One of the largest museums in the world, The Museum of Art and History showcases a wide range of items from all over the world. Valued antiques and items of archaeological importance have attracted a large number of history lovers. European, Asian and American civilisations have also been shown through various pictures, objects and documentaries. Sculptures, paintings, furniture and clothes dating centuries ago also take the tourists through a beautiful journey of history.

The Great Mosque of Brussels is also located in the north-western corner of the park. The Oldest mosque in Brussels, it is the prominent cultural site for Islamic communities in the country. Built in 1880 by Ernest Van Humbeeck, the architecture of the mosque is purely arabic and a popular place of worship. 

The park is a place where various shows, concerts, festivals, performances and drive though theatres. With the fountain and the decorations making it very picturesque, one says that your trip to brussels is incomplete without spending a day here. There are picnic tables, playground for kids of all age groups, sports area and well defined jogging tracks. You can also climb to the top of the arch to witness a spectacular view of the whole city.

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How to Reach

Train: Nearest stations are Merode and Schuman, and Central Station

Metro: Nearest Station is Schuman

Bus: 22,27,80 at Galliers; 61 at Merode

Tram: 81,82 at Merode

History

The area initially served as an exhibition ground for the National Exhibition of 1880. For a few years, the construction of the place was a topic of constant dispute between              Leopold II and The Belgium Government over the expenditure spent on its construction. The arch was still incomplete for many years, including the year of Brussels International Exposition(1987). Famous Belgium architect Gideon Bordiau worked on the architecture for 20 years until he passed away in 1904.

In 1904, Charles Girault replaced the pavilions with triumphal arcade extending to large halls on the two sides. Finally, the monument completed in 1905, the year of the 75th anniversary of the Belgium Independence.

Places of Interest within Parc du Cinquantenaire

The two arms of the arch house 3 world-famous museums:

1. The AutoWorld

The place has hosted several automobile exhibitions in the 20th century, and also treasured car collections having huge historical significance. The museum is known for the showcase of over 300 cars, trucks and motorbikes of various models dating back to the 19th century. Belgium Car History is beautifully shown with authentic car designs, Royal Family vehicles and miniature cars

2. The Royal Museum of Armed Forces and Military History

The Museum opened in 1923 and has incorporated the Belgium War History with the equipment, uniforms and armoured vehicles dating back to the 10th century. Along with that, the museum also showcases 130 Airplanes and Helicopters that were used in the world wars. The amount and diversity of the articles makes it the world’s largest and one of the most important military museums of all time.

3. The Royal Museum of Art and History

One of the largest museums in the world, The Museum of Art and History showcases a wide range of items from all over the world. Valued antiques and items of archaeological importance have attracted a large number of history lovers. European, Asian and American civilisations have also been shown through various pictures, objects and documentaries. Sculptures, paintings, furniture and clothes dating centuries ago also take the tourists through a beautiful journey of history.

4. The Great Mosque of Brussels

The Great Mosque of Brussels  is also located in the north-western corner of the park. The Oldest mosque in Brussels, it is the prominent cultural site for Islamic communities in the country. Built in 1880 by Ernest Van Humbeeck, the architecture of the mosque is purely arabic and a popular place of worship.

The park is a place where various shows, concerts, festivals, performances and drive though theatres. With the fountain and the decorations making it very picturesque, one says that your trip to brussels is incomplete without spending a day here. There are picnic tables, playground for kids of all age groups, sports area and well defined jogging tracks. You can also climb to the top of the arch to witness a spectacular view of the whole city.

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