Your Self-Guided Brussels Art Nouveau Walking Tour

Let’s talk about the amazing Brussels Art Nouveau movement. Go to this city and you’re in for a real treat!

Art Nouveau in Brussels flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the city is home to some of the most stunning examples of this architectural style in the world.

If you’re a fan of Art Nouveau like I am, Brussels is a must-visit destination.

In this article, I’ll take you on your very own walking tour through the city’s most amazing Art Nouveau Brussels buildings, from the iconic Hôtel Tassel to the lesser-known but equally enchanting Maison Saint-Cyr.

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What is Art Nouveau Architecture?

I really like Art Nouveau. It’s an architectural style that started in Europe in the late 1800s and became super popular in the early 1900s. What makes it special is the use of nature-inspired stuff like flowers and vines, and the curvy lines that make things look like they’re moving.

Art Nouveau buildings are known for being all fancy with lots of details. They use cool materials like iron, glass, and ceramics, and they’re into curves and lopsided shapes.

One cool thing about Art Nouveau is the “whiplash curve.” It’s like a wavy line that shows movement, and you can see it in decorations like balconies and window frames.

This style got its inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement, which cared a lot about traditional craftsmanship. They didn’t like mass-produced stuff from machines, so Art Nouveau focused on handmade things like tiles, stained glass, and metalwork.

You can spot awesome Art Nouveau buildings in places like Brussels, Paris, and Barcelona. It left a mark on modern architecture, and you can still see its influence in today’s designs.

About the Art Nouveau in Brussels Movement

I loved spending time in Brussels, especially for its Art Nouveau architecture – some say it’s where it all started. Victor Horta, often called the father of Art Nouveau, played a big role. He designed cool buildings like his own house turned museum.

Other awesome architects in Brussels, like Paul Hankar, Henry Van de Velde, and Gustave Strauven, made an impact on the Belgium Art Nouveau scene. They made a unique style with lots of skill and attention to detail.

The peak of Art Nouveau in Brussels was around the early 1900s, but it kind of faded after World War I. There used to be over 1,000 Art Nouveau buildings, but only about half of them are still standing today.

Brussels Art Nouveau Walking Tour Map

Now it’s time for the Art Nouveau Belgium tour. There are two options for you.

  1. Walking tour of Art Nouveau in Brussels with this article as your guide. Simply put the addresses into your phone and let the map app lead you to each beautiful house. It’s a free and simple self-guided walking tour.
  2. Join a 3-hour guided group tour that takes you to the Bailli district to see several of the most important Art Nouveau houses and finishes at the Victor Horta Museum.

If you chose option 1, keep reading and let’s go!

Art Nouveau Tour Brussels: Loop #1

Plug into your phone the following addresses:

  1. 224 Louise Avenue
  2. 6 Rue Paul Emilie Janson
  3. 83 Rue de Livourne
  4. 48 Rue Defacqz
  5. 71 Rue Faider
  6. 83 Rue Faider
  7. 92 Rue Africaine
  8. 25 Rue Americaine

Now, let’s start the Brussels architecture tour!

1. Hotel Solvay (224 Louise Ave)

The Hotel Solvay is considered one of the most iconic examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels.

Designed by the famous Belgian architect Victor Horta, the house is known for its intricate ironwork, sinuous lines, and decorative details inspired by nature.

It was completed in 1893 for Armand Solvay, a wealthy industrialist, and is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Belgium.

2. Hotel Tassel (6 Rue Paul Emilie Janson)

The Hotel Tassel is another iconic example of Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels and is considered one of the earliest examples of the movement.

It was designed by Victor Horta for Emile Tassel, a professor of geometry at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and was completed in 1893.

The house is known for its distinctive use of iron, glass, and natural materials, as well as its flowing lines and intricate decorative details. It is also recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Octave Van Rysselberghe House (83 Rue de Livourne)

The Octave Van Rysselberghe House is a beautiful example of Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels.

Designed by Octave Van Rysselberghe, a prominent Belgian architect, the house was completed in 1912 and features elegant decorative details such as stained glass windows, ironwork, and intricate tilework.

It’s now a museum dedicated to the life and work of Van Rysselberghe and offers a fascinating glimpse into the Art Nouveau movement in Brussels.

4 Ciamberlani House (48 Rue Defacqz)

The Ciamberlani House is a stunning example of Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels.

It was designed by Paul Hankar for Albert Ciamberlani and was completed in 1897. The house is known for its intricate ironwork, decorative tiles, and use of natural motifs such as flowers and leaves.

It has been designated as a protected monument by the Brussels-Capital Region and is considered one of the city’s most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

5. Hanker House (71 Rue Faider)

The Hankar House is a remarkable example of Art Nouveau architecture. It was designed by architect Paul Hankar in 1893 and is known for its distinctive use of curved lines, natural motifs, and intricate decorative details.

The house was designed as both a home and an artist’s studio and features a variety of innovative design elements, such as a double-height studio space with a skylight.

Today, the Hankar House is recognized as a protected monument by the Brussels-Capital Region and is open to the public for tours.

6. Unnamed House (83 Rue Faider)

The unnamed townhouse was designed in 1900 by Albert Roosenboom.

7. Unnamed House (92 Rue Africaine)

The unnamed townhouse was designed in 1905 by Benjamin de Lester-De.

8. Horta House (25 Rue Americaine)

tall curved windows with wood details brussels art nouveau
Horta Museum and Townhouses #8

The Horta House is one of the most famous examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. It was designed by the Belgian architect Victor Horta in 1898 as his personal residence and studio and is considered a masterpiece of the Art Nouveau movement.

The house features a stunning array of Art Nouveau details, including intricate ironwork, stained glass, and decorative tiles.

Today, the Horta House is open to the public as a museum and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a must-see attraction for anyone interested in Art Nouveau architecture and design.

Art Nouveau Brussels Map – Loop #1 – Louise to Ixelles to St. Gilles

map of Art Nouveau Architecture in Brussels

Art Nouveau Brussels Tour: Loop #2

Plug into your phone the following addresses:

  1. 5 rue des Francs
  2. 11 Ambiorix Square
  3. 24 Palmerston Avenue
  4. 4 Palmerston Avenue
  5. Gutenberg Square and Marie Louise Square

Now let’s go discover the art nouveau houses in walk tour Loop #2!

1. Cauchie House (5 Rue des Francs)

The Cauchie House is a beautiful example of Art Nouveau architecture and design. It was designed by Paul Cauchie, a Belgian architect, in 1905 as both a home and a studio.

The house features a stunning facade adorned with intricate Art Nouveau details, including a beautiful mural made of enamelled plates that depict the four seasons. Look closely for the personal inscription meant for his wife ‘Par nous, pour nous’ or ‘By us, for us.’

The interior of the house is equally impressive, with intricate woodwork, decorative tiles, and stained glass windows. Today, the Cauchie House is open to the public and offers a unique glimpse into the Art Nouveau movement in Brussels.

2. Saint-Cyr House (11 Ambiorix Square)

The Saint-Cyr House is a stunning example of Art Nouveau architecture. It was designed by Gustave Strauven, a Belgian architect who was a student of Victor Horta and was completed in 1903.

The house is known for its intricate ironwork, beautiful stained glass windows, and flowing organic lines. One of the most unique features of the Saint-Cyr House is its striking asymmetry, which was a departure from the more traditional, symmetrical designs of the time.

Today, the house is recognized as a protected monument by the Brussels-Capital Region and is considered one of the city’s most beautiful examples of Art Nouveau architecture.

3. Villa Germaine House (24 Palmerston Avenue)

The Villa Germaine House was designed by the Belgian architect Louis Hamaide in 1902 and is known for its distinctive use of curved lines, decorative tiles, and wrought ironwork.

The house is named after Germaine Van den Bossche, the wife of its original owner, and features a beautiful facade adorned with intricate Art Nouveau details.

Today, the Villa Germaine House is recognized as a protected monument by the Brussels-Capital Region and is a popular destination for architecture enthusiasts visiting Brussels.

4. Hotel Van Eetvelde (4 Palmerston Avenue)

The Hotel Van Eetvelde was designed by Victor Horta and was completed in 1898. The house is known for its intricate ironwork, decorative tiles, and flowing organic lines.

One of the most unique features of the Hotel Van Eetvelde is its use of innovative design elements, such as a central light well that floods the interior with natural light.

Today, the house is recognized as a protected monument by the Brussels-Capital Region and is open to the public for tours. It is considered one of the most important examples of Art Nouveau architecture in Brussels, and a must-see for architecture enthusiasts.

5. Gutenberg Square and Marie Louise Square

Gutenberg and Marie Louise Squares in Brussels are two public spaces that feature several beautiful examples of Art Nouveau architecture, although the specific buildings are not always named.

The area is known for its decorative ironwork, organic motifs, and use of natural materials such as stone and wood. Some notable examples include the buildings at 6 and 8 Rue Lebeau, which feature intricate ironwork and decorative stonework, as well as the buildings at 13-15 Rue Ducale, which showcase beautiful stained glass windows and carved wooden details.

The squares themselves are also worth a visit, as they are surrounded by a variety of beautiful trees and plants that create a serene atmosphere in the heart of the city.

Art Nouveau Brussels Map – Loop #2 – Cinquantenaire Park to the Squares Neighbourhood

map of the tour of Art Nouveau Architecture in Brussels

Art Nouveau in Brussels Tour: Loop #3

Plug into your phone the following addresses:

  1. Louis Bertrand Avenue
  2. 266 Chaussée de Haecht

This last walking tour is a bit unique, as many unnamed houses along Louise Bertrand Avenue have Art Nouveau architectural details you can admire. So slowly stroll this Avenue and watch out for houses at numbers 34, 36 and 43.

Let’s start the last Loop #3!

1. Avenue Louis Bertrand (43 Louis Bertrand Avenue)

Many unnamed houses on the beautiful Avenue Louis Bertrand represent striking examples of Art Nouveau architecture in the city.

A stroll down this avenue is a must for anyone interested in experiencing the beauty and creativity of Art Nouveau.

2. Autrique House (266 Chaussée de Haecht)

The Autrique House is a masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture that has been restored to its former glory. Designed by Victor Horta, one of the most prominent figures of the Art Nouveau movement, this was the first townhouse he built in 1893.

Visitors to the Autrique House can marvel at the building’s elegant facade, explore its interior, and learn about the fascinating history of Art Nouveau in Brussels.

Art Nouveau Brussels Map – Loop #3 – Avenue Louis Bertrand (Schaerbeek) Neighbourhood

map of a  Tour of Art Nouveau Architecture in Brussels

FAQ: Art Nouveau Belgium

What was Art Nouveau called in Belgium?

Art Nouveau in Belgium was known as “Jugendstil”, which means “youth style” in German.

How Art Nouveau was invented in Brussels?

Art Nouveau was born in Brussels when artists and architects sought to break from traditional forms, drawing inspiration from nature’s organic shapes and motifs to create a new movement.

What are the characteristics of Belgian Art Nouveau?

Belgian Art Nouveau characteristics include asymmetrical facades, curved windows in organic shapes, nature-inspired motifs, ornate ironwork, stained glass, and mosaics.

When is the best time to visit Brussels?

The best time to visit Brussels is for the Brussels Art Nouveau and Art Deco (BANAD) festival where for three consecutive weekends in March select buildings are open to the public for tours.

What was the best Art Nouveau town in Europe?

The best Art Nouveau town in Europe is widely considered to be Brussels, Belgium with its numerous well-preserved buildings and influential architects.

As a Holidaymaker

Walking through the Art Nouveau architecture is an amazing experience that gives me a peek into Belgium’s cultural history. From the fancy Autrique House facades to the detailed Victor Horta Museum, I can soak in the beauty and creativity of this iconic style.

I too hope you enjoy doing this as a unique thing to do in Brussels.