One of the famous squares of Brussels, Place Royale, also known as King’s Square, is a historic square. It is located on Coudenberg, a natural hill on the edge of the medieval city center. There was a castle built here in the 11th century by the Duke of Brabant, who chose it as his residence.
Over the centuries, new changes were made according to the wishes of kings and emperors. In the 16th century it became one of the most impressive places in Europe. In the 18th century, a fire damaged most of the buildings in the area beyond use. Repairs were started to restore the area and the complex architecture was transformed into the more organized structure it is today.
Statue of Godfrey de Bouillon
In the center of the square is an equestrian statue erected in 1848. Godfrey de Bouillon (Godefroid de Bouillon), one of the leaders of the First Crusade, was a knight born in the 11th century.
Belgium gained independence in 1830 and in order to find historical roots for the country and recognize them, Godfrey de Bouillon was recognized as a national hero. You can see his statue in Royal Square and many other places.
Royal Belgian Museum of Fine Arts
Brussels’ fine arts museum is our first stop in the square. As you walk from the Palace of Justice towards Royal Square, the museum is the building on the left before entering the square. Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, where the paintings of many famous names in the Flemish region are exhibited, is the kind you will like if you like painting.
Saint Jacques sur Coudenberg
The church of Saint Jacques sur Coudenberg, which survived the fire, did not fit into the new Place Royale, so its architectural structure was updated and even completely rebuilt.
There used to be a wooden tower on it, but it was not liked, so the current tower was built. The aim is to ensure that all the buildings in Place Royale are in harmony with each other. The interior of the church is also quite simple.
Coudenberg, Europe’s Most Magnificent Royal Residence
Before the buildings in Royal Square did not exist, there was a magnificent royal palace here. Until the 18th century, the castle was destroyed by a fire and then the ground was leveled and new buildings were erected.
The remains of the old palace under the leveled area are now open to visitors. In the archaeological museum in Coudenberg, the building after the church, you can see the surviving basements of the palace.
Brussels Musical Instruments Museum
If you are interested in musical instruments from around the world, you will love the Brussels Musical Instruments Museum. The museum is in the building right next to the Coudenberg.
At the entrance they give you headphones so you can listen to every musical instrument. It has a large archive from east to west. You can see musical instruments used and even produced by very important musicians, such as Adolphe Sax, the inventor of the saxophone.