It is the private house and atelier of the famous Belgian architect Victor Horta, built by himself between 1898 and 1901 in Saint-Gilles, a southern district of Brussels. It is one of the key works of Art Nouveau, by his great predecessor. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. Today, it houses the Horta Museum, where much of the original furniture and decor of the building is exhibited.
THE HORTA MUSEUM HISTORY
Built in the Rue Américaine of Saint-Gilles, the house-museum and the atelier of Victor Horta are two characteristic buildings from the heyday of Art Nouveau. The rich decoration of the inside, full of mosaics, windows and murals, has been very well preserved.
Both buildings were designed as a whole, linked with each other. Although both of them were provided with its own individuality as a way to separate the professional and the private spheres, they were perfectly integrated as a whole, both in façade and in internal organisation.
A very recognisable element of Victor Horta are the stairs, which truly are the backbone of the whole construction. The stairs start in the center of the main hall, and they structure all the space of the house as they grow in height.
Another characteristic element of Horta and Art Nouveau style is the use of light. The light gets into the building through the huge windows of the front and rear façades, together with the light coming from the impressive glass ceiling at the end of the stairs. Thus, a lighting effect is created from the central stairwell to every single corner of the house.
With a façade of white stone of Euville, large windows and the continued presence of wrought iron, the home and studio of Victor Horta is a key to understanding the Belgian Art Nouveau. It is a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2000, the same as other buildings created by this famous architect, such as the Hôtel Solvey or the Hôtel Tassel.
After its construction, Horta expanded and changed some rooms until 1919, when he decided to sell both buildings. He then moved to Avenue Louise. The commune of Saint-Gilles firstly bought the family home building, where it opened this museum in 1969. Then, the commune bought the adjoining building (the atelier), thus completing the Horta Museum.
BRUSSELS, CITY OF ART NOUVEAU
Brussels is called "City of Art Nouveau”. In order to deeply understand the importance of this style and how it has shaped the personality of the city, there is nothing better than visiting the House-Museum of Victor Horta. There, you will clearly see the grandeur of Victor Horta, considered by many to be the father of Art Nouveau, where every single detail of his buildings is designed with care. There is harmony and continuity from its floor mosaics to the ventilation system and even in a simple doorknob. That is the Horta style.
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Another prominent building of Art Nouveau in Brussels designed by Victor Horta is the Cartoon Museum
More information: Brussels Capital of Art Nouveau
MUSEUM OPENING HOURS
- Open: Tuesday to Sunday from 14.00 to 17.30. Mornings reserved for groups.
- Closed: Mondays, January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st, Ascension Day, November 1st and 11th and December 25th.
- Ticket office closes at 17.15.
- Normal: 8 euros, combined
- Reduced: students and seniors, 4 euros
- Free: Brussels Card, children up to 12 years.
Rue Américaine 25, Brussels
HOW TO GET TO THE MUSEUM
- Train: Gare du Midi
- Metro: lines 4 and 3, (Horta)
- Tram: lines 81, 91, 92, 97 (Place Janson)
- Bus: line 54