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Visiting the Old England Building, Brussels, Belgium: Fine 1899 Example of Art Nouveau by Paul Saintenoy

Updated on November 15, 2017
Flag of Belgium
Flag of Belgium | Source
Former Old England department store.
Former Old England department store. | Source

Ornate, Art Nouveau features from the late 19th century

Dating from 1899, this fine structure by Paul Saintenoy (1862-1952) is a noteworthy expression of Art Nouveau style.

This multi-storey building is executed in girded steel and glass. Its frontage has ornate aspects, including painted coats of arms. An octagonal turret is also a conspicuous feature.

Formerly a department store, the Old England Building has in recent years served as the home of a museum of musical instruments (MIM)(2). This museum began with a collection of instruments given to King Leopold II in 1877. Items on display at the museum include an instrument invented by the famous Belgian musician Adolphe Sax (1814-1897). Headphones for self-guided visits are supplied at the museum.

The Old England Building is situated at Rue Montagne de la Cour / Hofberg 2, Brussels.

October 18, 2017

Notes

(1) Other works by Architect Paul Saintenoy include Château Le Fy, Esneux, and various private houses in Brussels. He was particularly known for his work in Art Nouveau style. Another structure by Paul Saintenoy close to the Old England Building is the Delacre Pharmacy at 64-66, rue de la Montagne de la Cour / Hofberg. Saintenoy - himself from a family of distinguished architects - was also noted as significantly involved in the post-World War One reconstruction of buildings damaged and destroyed in Belgium during that conflict.

(2) See also: http://www.mim.be/

Old England, Brussels
Old England, Brussels | Source

Also worth seeing

The visitor attractions of Brussels are numerous, but a few of these include the Royal Palace and BELvue museum, the Grand' Place, St Michael's Cathedral, the Atomium and the Erasmus House museum, Anderlecht, the Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries; and many others.

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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 is a very convenient way of getting around Brussels. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice.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.

Map location of Brussels, Belgium
Map location of Brussels, Belgium | Source

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