The Halle Gate is a medieval fortified city gate of the second walls of Brussels. It is now a museum, part of the Royal Museums for Art and History. Built in 1381, the gate was named for the city of Halle in Flemish Brabant which it faces. The original gate included a portcullis and drawbridge over a moat. The structures that housed these are still visible.

While the other six gateways and the defensive walls were demolished, the Halle Gate survived as it was used as a prison. It was at other times used as a customs house, for grain storage, and a Lutheran church.

The architect Henri Beyaert restored the building between 1868 and 1870, changing the austere medieval tower with more romantic Neo Gothic embellishments. The outer entrance, now facing Saint-Gilles, is closer to the original appearance. In front of the inner gate, facing the city of Brussels, Beyaert added a circular tower topped by a conical roof, containing a monumental spiral staircase. Beyaert also added turrets and a large roof.

In 1847 the Halle Gate became part of Belgium's Museum of Armour, Antiquity and Ethnology, now named the Royal Museums for Art and History. By 1889, the Halle Gate was too small to house most of the collection, and most was relocated to the Cinquantenaire Museum. It continued to display armour and weapons.

In 1976, the building was in a dangerous state of disrepair and was closed. Finally renovations began, and the Gate was reopened in 1991. Further restoration was stalled by lack of money, and the museum only housed temporary exhibitions.

In March 2007 a new extensive restoration was begun. The Halle Gate finally reopened on June 6, 2008. Finally the St Gilles (drawbridge) entrance was opened as the prestigious main entrance to the building. The museum includes exhibits about the history of the building, and of the city of Brussels and its defence. The collection includes the parade armor of Archduke Albert of Austria.

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Founded: 1381
Category: Castles and fortifications in Belgium

Rating

4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Sandris Bruvelis (16 months ago)
Nice place for those who love medieval age. Reminding somerhing from Game of Thrones series.
Scotty ST (2 years ago)
Do not waste you time for entry fee (€7). Complete disappointment. The place is a depressing place and most of the rooms are large with little items to look at. The info is only in French and Flemish. No English or other languages are found here. So for me I went around not really learning anything as I don’t speak either language. There are bathrooms in the basement and top floor. I do not recommend coming here as there is hardly a view to see out the tiny windows.
Matthew Bishton (2 years ago)
Nice views from the top and some interesting architecture inside. Quite a small museum, but there some interesting stuff. The notes for the exhibits are not in English though
Ivan Pletin (2 years ago)
You will like this place if you are into medieval history. This is the old city gate tower. Inside you will find a small exposition re medieval. There are a few activities for kids. No wifi. Plus, there is a good side view on the top of the tower
Jacopo Freddi (2 years ago)
Really well kept keep. The museum inside is relatively small but tells a lot of the city's history, especially with regards to the walls and guilds. The keep is almost fully available and usually hosts temporary museums as well.
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