Discover Benelux, Issue 70, October 2019

Page 67

Discover Benelux  |  Culture  |  Brussels Card / Museum Prinsenhof

The best way to see everything Brussels has to offer TEXT: ARIANE LAURENT-SMITH

Brussels, known as the heart of Europe, is a city rich in culture, art and gastronomy. Exploring all of this has never been easier, with the Brussels Card now giving tourists an all-access pass to museums and attractions across the city for 24, 48 or 72 hours. The Brussels Card is a great way to see the city’s classic attractions, providing free access to over 40 museums. Tourists can venture off the beaten path, exploring the Belgian Comic Strip Center that is dedicated to the ‘ninth art’: comics. At the Musical Instruments Museum, a magnificent Art Nouveau building, visitors

receive a free coffee, which can be drunk on the museum’s rooftop looking out across the city. Tourists also get free access to the Magritte Museum, dedicated to surrealism, with 200 works from Magritte, and ChocoStory Brussels, where a visit culminates with a master chocolatier demonstrating how to make artisan praline chocolate. Plus, Brussels Card owners get discounts at various chocolatiers, restaurants and bars, including the local Brussels Beer Project. Unlimited travel on public transport can be added to the card to help navigate the city

at the scan of a card. Another option is using the ‘Hop-On, Hop-Off’ bus as a shortcut to discover classic tourist attractions, such as the Parc du Cinquantenaire, Atomium and the Palais Royal. In addition to the card, tourists get a handy map so they can navigate the city easily, as well as a complete guide to the Belgian capital. The Brussels Card offers tourists an inspiring, practical and economical way to view Belgium’s beautiful capital, starting at 27 euros. Web:

Choco-Story Brussels. Photo: Choco-Story Brussels

Belgian Comic Strip Center. Photo: Thomas Preuvot

La Maison du Roi. Photo: Andrea Anoni

A peek behind closed doors at Museum Prinsenhof Delft TEXT: DEBBY GROOTEMAN

From 11 October to 16 February 2020, Museum Prinsenhof Delft is home to the first exhibition dedicated solely to the famous 17th-century painter Pieter de Hooch. And this museum is not just chosen randomly: De Hooch himself enjoyed his glory days in Delft. Senior curator Anita Jansen explains the unique character of the exhibition: “The paintings come from all over the world – from museums including the National Gallery in London, to private collections. Together with Vermeer, De Hooch is considered Delft’s most famous painter from the Dutch Golden Age. But in the Netherlands, he actually never got credit for this work. So, we want to give his paintings a podium in our museum.” De Hooch is celebrated for his works of everyday domestic scenes with an open

doorway. The genre of courtyard scenes was completely new when De Hooch began painting them in the 17th century. “He gives a peek through what goes on behind closed doors – a fence with an open door that shows the garden, a room where you can see a mother with a child. Also, the compositions experiment a lot with light and perspective.” Jansen concludes that real architectural elements from Delft are recognisable in the paintings. ”For example, a new house is identified that really did exist in Delft. This makes a full story for the exhibition – to show it in our museum in Delft, with work from a renowned painter during his stay here in our city.”


The Courtyard of a House in Delft, 1658. Photo: The National Gallery, London

Issue 70  |  October 2019  |  67