Belgium has been hiding a treasure for 600 years
Six centuries ago, Brussels belonged to the rich and powerful Dukes of Burgundy. Skilled politicians and cultured patrons, they established a stirring treasure, a unique and fascinating collection of manuscripts: the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy.
These masterpieces, which have survived the ravages of time and of history, have been looked after for you by KBR. The national library of Belgium opened its vaults to share the highlights of this fantastic collection via its new museum: a unique place that offers you the opportunity to share in Europe’s medieval cultural past, and admire beautiful illuminated manuscripts. The sixteenth-century Chapel of Nassau and the various rooms that surround it form the backdrop to the museum.
These days, everyone knows about Jan Van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, but the miniature artists, responsible for producing illuminated manuscripts, are every bit as impressive. So much so that some say that the finest Flemish Primitive paintings can perhaps be found in manuscripts.
It is these original manuscripts that are at the heart of the new museum.
We tell you the history of these books and the era that produced them. You will find out why you shouldn’t trust rabbits, in what way the Middle Ages were hilarious, how mermaids were spotted in Brussels, and discover how history books sometimes lie…
A museum for everyone
Everybody is different, and so is every museum visit. Choose which course you want to follow:
- In-depth tour: Savour the knowledge from Dukes’ library. We offer in-depth information on all the documents on display. Take the time to explore each piece in detail.
- Discovery tour: Everything you need to know, in a nutshell. The explanations are shorter, but equally historically correct.
- Children’s tour: Child-friendly explanations – but secretly also fun for adults.
Do you only have time for a flash visit to the museum? Then have a look at the pieces that are not to be missed. They are marked with a golden hourglass.
KBR museum is much more than just looking at manuscripts. There is also a lot to experience! Manuscript characters dance on the ceiling or whisper stories in your ear.
Do you prefer to get hands-on with history? That’s possible. Design your own miniature, test your copying skills or date a manuscript.
- Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm
- Closed on Mondays
- Closed on 1 January, Easter and Monday 15 August, 1 May, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, 21 July, 15 August, 1 November, 11 November, 25 December
Location & accessibility
Tip: Take the train to the KBR museum!
Use the SNCB code on your online museum ticket to buy a Discovery Ticket and travel to Brussels-Central and back with a 50% discount.
- You enter the museum via the main entrance of KBR (Mont des Arts 28, 1000 Brussels).
- Both the building and the museum are accessible for visitors with disabilities. Holders of a disabled parking permit can find parking spaces in front of the building, at Boulevard de l’Empereur 4.
- KBR is accessible by public transport as well as by car and bicycle.
- Standard : 11 EUR
- Concessions: 8 EUR
- 65+, students, groups of min. 15 people
- <18 years, visitors with a disability (+ 1 accompanying adult), Belgian teachers (Lerarenkaart/carte PROF), jobseekers, ICOM card, museumPASSmusées
Due to the corona crisis it is currently not possible to book guided tours.
- In English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish
- Duration: 1,5 hours
- Max. 15 people per group
- Week: 85 EUR+ ticket at group rate
- Weekend : 95 EUR + ticket at group rate
The brochure is available in 5 languages. Download the pdf version here:
Are you visiting the museum during a day trip? Read more about all the possibilities that KBR has to offer. You can, for example, visit our restaurant, where you have a beautiful panoramic view of the city of Brussels.Discover what KBR has to offer