The former Old England department store, built in Mont des Arts, near Place Royale, houses today one of the largest museums of musical instruments in the world, with about 8,000 pieces. It is one of the most spectacular Art Nouveau buildings in Brussels, which also features the stunning rooftop restaurant, which is situated on the top floor and is accessible for free.
HISTORY OF THE MUSEUM
The very origin of the Museum of Musical Instruments (MIM) of Brussels is the union of two collections of musical instruments. On the one side, the collection of the Belgian musicologist François-Joseph Fétis. On the other side, the collection of the Indian musical instruments offered to King Leopold II by the Maharajah Sourindo Mohun Tagore. Thus, the so-called Instrumental Museum was created, in 1877.
The museum, which was first placed in an annex of the Royal Conservatory of Music, grew over time with the purchase or donations from various private collections, to the extent that it was necessary to search for new sites of exhibition.
In 1978 the Belgian Federal State purchased the group of buildings that belonged to the Old England department store in order to bring together its collection of musical instruments that were scattered on various sites. These buildings included two different style constructions, a neoclassical one, created in 1774 by architect Barnabé Guimard and the wonderful Art Nouveau building designed in 1899 by architect Paul Saintenoy, one of the jewels of Art Nouveau in Brussels. A third property was added to the architectural ensemble. The MIM officially opened in June 2000.
A GREAT COLLECTION
It is the richness of its large collection with about 8,000 instruments that make this Instrument Museum an institution of international importance. Its collection, organised into four floors, comprises instruments of many different eras and from the most remote places of the world. Many of them include a sound recording available for visitors.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE MIM
The restaurant located on the top floor of the museum is the ideal place to end the tour. It offers a stunning view of the historical centre of Brussels from the dining room and the terrace. Access is free and opening hours are the same as those of the museum.
Discover the Museum of Musical Intruments with the Free Tour in Brussels
Tuesday to Friday: from 9.30 to 17.00
Saturdays and Sundays: from 10.00 to 17.00
Closed: on Mondays and on the 1st of January, on the 1st of May, on the 1st and the 11th of November and on the 25th of December. Ticket sales end 45 minutes before closing doors.
- Normal: 12 euros
- Reduced: over 65 and groups of adults with at least 15 people, 9 euros
- Youth and children between 4-25 years: 2 euros.
- Free: Brussels Card, children up to 4 years and the first Wednesday of each month from 13.00.
- The audio guides (music only) are included in the ticket price.
Montagne de la Cour 2, Brussels
HOW TO GET TO THE MUSEUM
- Train: Gare Centrale
- Metro 1 and 5, Parc / Gare Centrale
- Tram lines 92 and 94, Royale
- Bus lines 27, 38, 71, 95, Royale.
- Parking: Congrès-Albertine
- BELvue Museum
- Fin-de-Siècle Museum
- Coudenberg Palace
- Magritte Museum
- Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium