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Coudenberg - Former Palace of Brussels


From its earliest days, Brussels has had a stately residence on Coudenberg hill. Perched on its site overlooking the city, the residence of the Dukes of Brabant was to experience a remarkable development as it grew into a palace worthy of its occupants, the most illustrious of whom was none other than the Emperor Charles the Fifth. Ravaged by fire in 1731, this magnificent palace was officially demolished forty years later to make way for the Royal Quarter that we still know today.

Since its inception, the district commissioned by Charles of Lorraine, governor of the Netherlands, has come to house the country’s most eminent institutions – the Royal Palace, the Parliament, the Academy, museums, etc. – and thus perpetuates the legacy of the old court. Rediscovered thirty years ago, the preserved remains of the old palace concealed beneath the new Royal Quarter can now be seen in an archaeological site accessible to the public and are a favourite research topic of archaeologists, historians and art historians. In this richly illustrated book, thirty researchers have contributed their insights to offer us a new appreciation of this prestigious site.

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