|Palace of the Nation|
|Address||Place de la Nation / Natieplein 2|
|Town or city||B-1008 City of Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region|
|Current tenants||Belgian Federal Parliament|
|Public transit access|
The palace was built from 1778 to 1783 to a neoclassical design by the French architect Gilles-Barnabé Guimard and includes sculptures by Gilles-Lambert Godecharle. Under Austrian rule, it housed the Sovereign Council of Brabant before being used as a courthouse during the French period. During the Dutch period, it was one of two homes of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, the other being in The Hague. Following Belgian independence in 1830, the Provisional Government of Belgium and Belgian National Congress moved into the building and the first session of the Chamber of Representatives and Senate was held there a year later.
The building stands across the street from Brussels Park's northern entrance, near the site of the former palace of the Dukes of Brabant, which was destroyed by fire in 1731, and has itself been badly damaged by fire, in 1820 and 1883. In the 1930s, a bunker was built underneath the park, connected by tunnels to the House of Parliament. This area is served by Brussels Central Station, as well as by the metro stations Parc/Park (on lines 1 and 5) and Arts-Loi/Kunst-Wet (on lines 1, 2, 5 and 6).
Austrian Netherlands edit
The initial building, which was then called the Palace of the Council of Brabant (French: Palais du Conseil du Brabant), was built between 1778 and 1783, during the time of the Austrian Netherlands, to the plans of the French architect Gilles-Barnabé Guimard.
At the time, it consisted of three parts:
- a central part, consisting of a U-shaped building around a main courtyard (currently called the Place de la Nation/Natieplein), intended to house the Sovereign Council of Brabant, the highest court and administrative body of the Duchy of Brabant, which administered the Belgian provinces under Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine, Governor-General of the Austrian Netherlands;
- a west wing (left wing) intended for the Chancellor;
- an east wing (right wing) intended for the Chamber of Accounts.
United Kingdom of the Netherlands edit
The central body of the building was transformed in 1816–1818 by the architect Charles Vander Straeten to house the States General established by King William I of the Netherlands. The hemicycle built for this occasion at the rear burned down in 1820 and was rebuilt in 1821–22 by Vander Straeten.
Kingdom of Belgium edit
The Chamber edit
In 1831, after Belgian independence, the building, merged with the palaces of the Chancellery and the Chamber of Accounts, took the name of Palace of the Nation (French: Palais de la Nation, Dutch: Paleis der Natie, German: Palast der Nation). The semicircular hall built by Vander Straeten has since housed the Chamber of Representatives.
The Senate edit
Reading Room, Chamber
Green Salon, Senate
Red Salon, Senate
See also edit
- Mardaga 1993, p. 335.
- "Palais de la Nation – Inventaire du patrimoine architectural". monument.heritage.brussels (in French). Retrieved 17 September 2023.
- Mardaga 1989, p. XXVI.
- Mardaga 1989, p. XLVII.
- Mardaga 1989, p. 129.
- Adriaens-Pannier, Anne; Bekkers, Ludo; Braet, Jan (2006). Kunst in de wandelgangen : het onbekende patrimonium van de senaat (in Dutch). Tielt: Lannoo. ISBN 978-90-209-6879-8.
- Le Patrimoine monumental de la Belgique: Bruxelles (PDF) (in French). Vol. 1A: Pentagone A-D. Liège: Pierre Mardaga. 1989.
- Le Patrimoine monumental de la Belgique: Bruxelles (PDF) (in French). Vol. 1B: Pentagone E-M. Liège: Pierre Mardaga. 1993.
- Media related to Palais de la Nation (Bruxelles) at Wikimedia Commons