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Visiting the Bandstand at Brussels Park, Brussels, Belgium: fine, 1841 structure by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar
Music in style
This fine, small, metal structure is by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar (1811-1880)(1) and dates from 1841. Quite apart from the fact that its architect was the author of a number of other, distinguished works, its location at Brussels Park (French: Parc de Bruxelles; Dutch: Warandepark)(2) has made it particularly memorable, situated as it is between the Royal Palace and the Belgian Federal Parliament.
The Park itself dates from 1775. While retreating Dutch troops took refuges in the Park during the events of the Belgian Revolution in September 1830, the location of the Bandstand here was chosen as a central venue to contribute to Belgian national celebrations.
Executed in eclectic style, it may be said that the form of eclecticism employed at the 12 sided Bandstand by this 19th century architect was rather more ornate than maybe would have been the case in a more modern structure. Features include depictions of fauna within the ornate ironworking.
The bandstand (French: Kiosque de musique; Dutch: Muziekkiosk) has thus provided both a visual and indeed musical backdrop to the city centre of Brussels for nearly all of Belgium's post-independence history.
In recent years, in addition to the appearances of talented Belgian musicians such as saxophonist Guillaume van Parys and his colleagues, performances at the Bandstand have included musical presentation by a large, students' orchestra from Milton Keynes, England (1).
Other distinguished structures by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar include the Royal St. Hubert Galleries, Brussels (French: Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Bruxelles; Dutch: Koninklijke Sinthubertusgalerijen, Brussel), and many others. Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar's son Alfred Cluysenaar (1837-1902) was a noted mural painter, who worked with his father on the Saint-Gilles / Sint-Gilis town hall. His son-in-law Paul Saintenoy (1862-1952) was also a noted architect.
October 20, 2015
(1) See also: http://www.royalparkmusicfestival.be/index.php?page=2014-program
(2) In French the Park is sometimes known more fully as le Parc royale de Bruxelles, while the usual Dutch designation is Warandepark or Park van Brussel.
Some sourcing: Wikipedia.
Also worth seeing
In Brussels itself, there are very many visitor attractions and these are not easy to summarize adequately; but included among these are: the Grand' Place; the Royal St. Hubert Galleries, the Bortier Gallery and the Brussels Conservatory (for these three buldings Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar was also the architect); the Cathedral of Saint-Michel / Sint-Michiel ; the Koekelberg Basilica; the Royal Palace, the Palace of Justice, the opulent Stock Exchange building, the Erasmus House museum, Anderlecht, and many others.
How to get there: Brussels Airlines flies from New York to Brussels Airport (Brussel-Nationaal / Bruxelles-National), from where car rental is available. However, the Metro (Parc / Park station) is a very convenient way of getting around Brussels.Some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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