Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Palais des Beaux- Arts

THE PALAIS des Beaux-Arts owes its existence to Henri Le Boeuf, a music-loving financier who gave his name to the main auditorium. In 1922 he commissioned the architect Victor Horta to design a cultural centre which would house concert halls and exhibition areas open to all visitors and embracing the artistic fields of music, theatre, cinema and art. The construction took seven years as the building was on a slope but could not be so tall as to block the view of the town from the Palais Royal: Horta had to revise his plans six times. The centre was the first of its kind in Europe.

The complex has a fine reputation and has played a key role in the cultural life of Brussels for over 70 years. It is the focus for the city’s music and dance, and is home to the Belgian National Orchestra.

The complex also houses the Musée du Cinema, set up in 1962, with its fine archive and exhibition of old cameras and lenses. Its main activity is the daily screening of classic films.