Under the reign of Charles Quint (Charles the Fifth) (1515-1555), the old medieval residence of the Dukes of Brabant was considerably enlarged by the construction of an imposing chapel, added onto the large ceremonial hall built by Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy, his great-grandfather. His sister, Mary of Hungary also commissioned a remarkable gallery that opened onto the gardens.
Their descendents, the Archduke Albert of Austria and Isabelle of Spain further enlarged and embellished the palace in the 17th century. On 7th February 1731, a terrible fire reduced most of the architectural complex to ashes. It was never re-built, but the remains have been preserved and are partially accessible below the Royal Palace.
Entrance via the BELvue Museum, Place des Palais, 7. Closed on Mondays. www.coudenberg.com / www.belvue.be
Continue reading The Former Palace of Brussels