This was a time when Brussels was bustling ...


Do you dream of immersing yourself in the Brussels of yesteryear, so different yet sometimes so similar to that of today. If you are nostalgic for the Belle Epoque, this will interest you. A video, which is freely available on the internet, shows how the main sites in the capital looked at the beginning of the last century.

This film, shot in Brussels in 1908, restored and colourised, takes us on a walk along the main avenues of the city, in the time of Victor Horta and Camille Lemonier. The city's great emblematic buildings attract the attention of pedestrians who have witnessed their construction: men in bowler hats or top hats, ladies in long dresses or skirts and sophisticated hats stroll in front of the Stock Exchange, wander on Place Poelaert with its Palace of Justice newly without scaffolding, on Place de Brouckère with its Anspach fountain, in front of the late Gare du Nord facing the Garnier Opera House on Place Rogier, the Place Sainte-Catherine with its lively fish market, the fabulous and unmissable Grand-Place with an amusing look at the bandstand in the middle, the Parc de Bruxelles with children in short trousers and ribboned boaters and the arcades of the Cinquantenaire. Finally, we leave the city for a tram ride through the Forêt de Soignes to the Belgian Congo Museum, now the recently renovated Royal Museum for Central Africa.


A real time machine, this short eight-minute film allows us to relive a not so distant and yet so different era, which appeals to us with its quiet nonchalance and apparent insouciance.