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

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrée Doom (10 months ago)
I was surprised and found more than expected .. real content of a museum, and the hall was really well kept ?
Dani Dan (11 months ago)
Interesting museum of the old city walls of Brussels. Free every first Wednesday of the month. Their panoramic view is quite nice too
Axel Kuechle (15 months ago)
This is a very fine museum hosted in the last existing gate of the old wall of Brussels. You learn about city history including rulers like Charles V. Virtual reality headsets illustrate the life in Brueghel's time. Magnificent view from the top of the tower.
Ilja Nachtergaele (15 months ago)
Great thing do to when the weather is worse. Even with corona it's still organised very well. The virtual reality section is also very much worth it. Overall great value
Cezar Neculae (2 years ago)
Very interesting piece of history, especially when discovering the impressive works of fortification Brussels used to have in the past centuries. The Brugel exhibition was a very nice bonus, especially when trying the VR stories of past Flanders.
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