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Discover Benelux  |  Best Museums  |  Belgium

House of European History.

House of European History, exterior.

Parlamentarium, interactive display.

Discover Europe’s political heart TEXT: LIDIJA LIEGIS  |  PHOTOS: JULIE GUICHES

The Parlamentarium, the European Parliament visitor centre, is Europe’s largest parliamentary visitor centre. Fully operational in 24 languages, it offers an impressive array of interactive media tools to give visitors an unparalleled insight into how the European Parliament works. Opened in 2011, it has received over 1.5 million visitors from Belgium and across Europe. It offers interactive multimedia displays allowing visitors to get closer to politicians and to find out what the EU has done for each country. Visitors can, for example, enjoy a 360degree digital surround screen projecting the hemicycle, showing how decisions are taken by Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). It shows debates, votes being taken and the legislative process. It regularly hosts temporary exhibitions, such as an exhibition on women and war until 14 May 2017. For students aged 14-18, the Parlamentarium has a multimodal roleplaying game, allowing players to take on the roles of 32  |  Issue 40  |  April 2017

MEPs and go through the steps to approve a new EU law. A 200-square-metre map of Europe with 90 interactive points guides viewers through ‘on the ground stories’. Moveable screens act as media guides, allowing visitors to travel to countries or regions of interest. This May, the brand new House of European history will open its doors. The museum, in the heart of Brussels, is housed in a striking building that combines Art Deco and contemporary architecture. Visitors will discover the origins and evolution of Europe, learning about both the continent’s diversity and history’s many interpretations. The permanent exhibition galleries offer a unique experience, immersing visitors in the history of the 19th and 20th centuries and allowing them to explore the development of European integration. Taja Vovk van Gaal, leader of the academic project team, says: “By learning about Europe’s place in the world, visitors will be encouraged to think critically about its past to become more engaged in its future and present day issues. The new museum aims to stimulate curiosity and

challenge visitors.” The content is suitable for audiences from school age and beyond, and the museum is supported by a strong online presence. Keep an eye out for the inspiring programme of events and learning. Both the Parlamentarium and the House of European History open daily from 9am6pm, apart from Mondays when they open from 1pm-6pm. Admission is free. Both close on 1 January, 1 May, 1 November, and 24, 25 and 31 December. www.europarl.europa.eu/visiting/en/ brussels/house-of-european-history www.europarl.europa.eu/visiting/en/ brussels/parlamentarium Parlamentarium. Photo: Pietro Naj-Oleari

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Discover Benelux, Issue 40, April 2017  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Featuring interview with Formula 1 star Max Verstappen.

Discover Benelux, Issue 40, April 2017  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Featuring interview with Formula 1 star Max Verstappen.