Did you know that in 1839 the Royal Library of Belgium was housed in the Palace of Charles of Lorraine? The Palace now hosts KBR’s temporary exhibitions.
Charles of Lorraine was the governor of the Austrian Netherlands from 1744 to 1780. He was an avid art and science enthusiast and collector. His palace, the construction of which started in 1757, later housed the Royal Library’s reading rooms.
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.