Brussels, like other cities, was surrounded by walls and there were gates between the walls to control passage, collect taxes and protect the city. Halle Gate is one of those gates and today it is part of the royal museums in Brussels.
Built in 1381, the Halle Gate is a 14th-century city gate with a second defensive wall enclosing Brussels. The gate is named Halle because it overlooks the city of Halle, south of Brussels. The reason why this gate survived is that when the city walls and other gates were being demolished, this building was used as a prison.
In the following years, it was also used as a storage area for food such as grain and as a Lutheran church. The building underwent restoration in the 19th century. The decorations were changed, a spiral staircase was added and the roof was renovated.
The interior of the building can be visited as a museum. In 1847, like other royal museums, this building was converted into a museum. Today it is used as a museum of armor and weapons, but many items were moved to the hardware museum in Cinquantenaire due to the small space.
The artifacts in the museum are exhibited on floors. On the floor where armor and weapons are exhibited, we also see horse armor. There is also a small model of the Halle Pass from the walled times. That’s when we can better understand and visualize what the pass looked like.
The spiral stairs of the building give a beautiful view from the inside. We go up to the top of the building, to the rooftop and have a 360-degree panoramic view of the area from above. Not as high up as any clock tower, of course, only 24 meters. The structure is 40 meters long in total. When we get to the top floor of the building where we can watch the surroundings, we look around to see what we can see.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart, 4.5 kilometers away, immediately makes itself known. We can see the tower of the Brussels Palace of Justice in its restored state. A few famous churches also manage to attract our attention.
We go down one by one from the top floor. On the floors we find exhibitions on the history of the Halle Pass and the fortifications. In one of the rooms you have the opportunity to wear a simple armor. Do not expect an armor museum from the museum in general, a few armor and weapons are scattered around. Think of it as an attraction where you can get information about the building and have a panoramic view of the area where the building is located.
What are the entrance fee and opening hours at Halle Gate?
Entrance to the museum is free if you have a Brussels Card. It is also free after 13:00 on the first Wednesday of every month. The museum can be visited between 09:30 – 17:00 from Tuesday to Friday and between 10:00 – 17:00 on weekends. Closed on Mondays.
Where is Halle Gate? How to get there?
Halle Gate is a 10-minute walk from Brussels South train station, Hallepoort by metro, Hallepoort by tram lines 3, 55 and 90, and Hallepoort by bus lines 27, 48 and 365A.