The Library of the Dukes of Burgundy comes to life


A brand new museum in the Chapel of Nassau

A new museum is due to open in the heart of the Royal Library in 2020. The sixteenth-century Chapel of Nassau and the various rooms that surround it will form the backdrop to the ‘Library of the Dukes of Burgundy’. The museum offers you the opportunity to share in Europe’s medieval cultural past, and admire the most beautiful illuminated manuscripts.


A story, a history

Presently, almost 300 original Burgundian manuscripts are being stored in the Royal Library. They were created between the end of the fourteenth and the end of the fifteenth centuries and are counted among the master works of French and Flemish miniature art. Names such as Willem Vrelant, Jan de Tavernier, Simon Marmion or Lieven van Lathem may not ring any bells, but in their time they were veritable celebrities and just as famous as Jan Van Eyck or Rogier van der Weyden, our renowned ‘Flemish primitives’. The spotlight is shone on all areas of medieval thinking: literature, history, science, morality, religion, and philosophy, along with law, poetry and chivalric literature.


“The beauty of the illuminated manuscripts from the Library of the Dukes of Burgundy is matched only by their rareness.” - Bernard Bousmanne, curator of the Manuscript Department


A modern experience

It is these original manuscripts that are at the heart of the new museum. The ‘Burgundian’ experience comes together throughout the museum and along the multi-media route, and it extends through the rest of the building too. The Library will be more than a scientific institution, it will become an experience and a place to meet. Visitors will be able to view these masterpieces from the Royal Library’s collections, but they can also enjoy stunning views of the magnificent garden at the Mont des Arts or take in the majestic views of the historic centre of Brussels. We’re livening things up, on the Mont des Arts and in the city!


A museum for everyone

With the support of all partners, our aim is to have a museum that is within everyone’s reach, both figuratively and literally. The Royal Library wants to play an active role as a forum for social and cultural life in Brussels, where everyone – regardless of age, generation, potential and culture – can come to learn, ponder, study, experience and relax.



Chroniques de Hainaut
Traité sur la salutation angélique
Roman de Gérard de Nevers