Trips ‘n Travels: Brussels – Villa Empain

Travelling abroad is frowned upon these days… A weekendbreak seems to belong to a previous life… Going on a daytrip is not on the agenda the coming months… so I’ll have to settle with things from the past! It’s been ages since I’ve been to Villa Empain, but since it is one of the things we’re allowed to do these days, I gladly take you on a tour of this majestic art deco house.

What

Villa Empain is an architectural masterpiece of Art Deco in Brussels. It was built in the 1930ies at the request of Louis Empain and under the direction of architect Michel Polak. It consists of a villa with granite polished facades, a decorated swimming pool with pergola, a garden and a caretaker’s lodge.

The use of high quality materials like marble, polished granite, bronzes, wrought iron, glasses and precious woods, add to the patrimonial value.

Not long after the villa is finished, Empain donated it to the Belgian state in order to create a museum of decorative and contemporary art. During the 2dn World War however, the German army requisitions the villa. After the war, the villa is occupied by the USSR embassy, after which it was restored by Louis Empain.

In the 1970ies it’s sold several times to private buyers. In 2001 it was put on the list of the safeguard of the architectural heritage of Brussels. In 2007 it was officially approved classification, after which extensive restoration began;

Villa Empain now is a center of dialogue between the cultures of the East and the West.

Where

Villa Empain can be found on Avenue Franklin Roosevelt 67 in Brussels and is accessible by car, tram and bus.

When

Villa Empain is open to the public from Tuesday until Sunday (11am – 6pm). Due to Covid-19, you have to book your visit in advance.

More information

More information on the villa and the expositions can be found on the website.

Love, Kathleen

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