Palace of Charles de Lorraine (Belgian Royal Library)
Housed in the palace of the Governor General of the Austrian Netherlands, the museum opens up 5 decorated rooms displaying 18th-century objects.
Charles de Lorraine, governor of the Austrian Netherlands from 1744 to 1780, was an avid art and science enthusiast. His palace, the construction of which started in 1757, now houses the museum of the 18th century. An impressive staircase, adorned with a statue of Hercules sculpted by Laurent Delvaux, leads up to the first-floor rotunda. The rotunda's paving includes a central rosette made up of 28 types of Belgian marble, a sample of the Prince's collection of 5,000 minerals. This wonderful floor art leads to five rooms decorated with stuccos and silk, where the governor would entertain his guests and take care of state affairs. The objects on display illustrate the life of aristocrats in the Austrian Netherlands and at the court of Brussels in the 18th century: sedans, medals, china and silverware, clocks, Masonic objects, scientific and technical instruments, a music room, etc. Aesthetics, good food and entertainment take pride of place in a museum that also pays tribute to one of the most hedonistic princes our region has ever known.