Tag: Hendrik Beyaert

Humming of bees in the museum

In the next few years the National Bank building, dating from the 19th century, will undergo a major transformation.

Out of the attic and into the museum – showcasing our collections

Following the Museum’s temporary move to boulevard de Berlaimont, the decision was taken to showcase certain items from the collection that fit best into the new museum space or which had simply not yet been shown to the public.

Brussels, m’as-tu vu? Exploring the Hôtel du gouverneur

Did you know that the Governor of the National Bank of Belgium has an official residence within the Bank itself for the entire duration of his mandate?

The Bossuet tapestries at the National Bank of Belgium

The Museum of the National Bank of Belgium, located in the Bank’s original building in the rue du Bois Sauvage, still houses a number of original elements well visible to visitors. This time, attention is drawn to the picturesque tapestries in the General Meeting of Shareholders’ room.

The Museum’s façade

Before looking at the Bank’s oldest façade in detail, a few more words on the Hôtel of the Governor itself. The Old French word, “hôtel” has been used since the 18th century to signify the urban residence, temporary or permanent, of a person of high rank, in this case the Governor of the National Bank of Belgium. The statutes of the Bank stipulated that the Governor should live in the capital; in return, the Bank was to be responsible for the cost of furnishing and maintaining his town residence.

The Compagnie des Bronzes and lighting at the Hôtel of the Governor

On 5 May 1850, King Leopold I gave royal assent to the bill providing for the creation of the National Bank. After being located initially in the rue Royale, the Bank decided in 1859 to construct its new headquarters in the rue du Bois Sauvage on the north side of the collegiate church of Saint Michael and Saint Gudula.

Henri Beyaert (1823-1894)

Henri Beyaert was one of the most influential architects that Belgium has ever known. With prestigious projects such as the Petit Sablon park and the Concert Noble in Brussels or Tournai station, he became decidedly famous. However, the reason for this portrait lies in his designs for the National Bank, especially the Bank’s Hotel in Brussels, the building in which the museum is housed, and the Antwerp branch of the Bank, depicted next to him on the banknote.