One of the things I loved about Brussels was the abundance of Art Nouveau architecture. In fact, Brussels is considered to be the birthplace of the Art Nouveau movement. You'll see examples of it all around the city once you start looking for them.
One day, I looked out my kitchen window at the building across the street and noticed a bit of Art Nouveau detail above the windows and was inspired. So in my last few weeks of living there, I decided to map out an Art Nouveau tour for myself. I researched online and compiled a list of must-see addresses. But the funny thing is that several of the photos here are of shop or cafe fronts I just happened to walk by. Or, in the case of Cafe Le Perroquet - where the Art Nouveau is in the interior details - somewhere I just happened to pop into for a coffee.
Some are subtle, with just a few vine-like bends in the iron railing. Some are explosions of Art Nouveau, from the curve of the front step to the tops of the rounded windows and everything in between.
Flower Shop ~ Rue Royale 13
Antique Shop ~ Rue Madeleine 8
Facade of a building in the Ixelles area of Brussels
Les Hiboux (next door to Hannon) ~ Avenue Brugmann 55
Detail of les hiboux (the owls) above the front door
Old England Building ~ Rue Montagne de la Cour 2
Ceiling detail inside Old England
Old England was originally a department store but now houses the Museum of Musical Instruments.
Cauchie House ~ Rue des Francs 5
Detail of the mural
Monsieur and Madame Cauchie
Private Applied Arts Courses
I'd say they did a pretty bang up job on their advert there, wouldn't you? If the building facade - which was designed by them - is anything to go by, I suppose they're pretty qualified to give art lessons.
Now, the following building is the one I took Suze to see and it was covered by scaffolding. One weekend later, however...scaffolding be gone. Jason and I found ourselves in the general area on our last weekend in Brussels and since we were nearby, I wanted to take him to see the square. We walked up and this was staring back at me in all its Art Nouveau glory. Of course, I was a total asshole and emailed Suze a photo from my iPhone with the subject line "Jealous?" I'm a bitch like that.
Saint Cyr House ~ Square Ambiorix 11
Amazing symmetrical brickwork
The remainder of the photos (except the bus stop) are all Victor Horta creations. Horta is generally known as the father of Art Nouveau. He took Art Nouveau inspiration from the decorative arts and applied it to architecture. The detail in some of his work is awe-inspiring.
Detail of Autrique House ~ Chausee de Haecht 266 (1893)
Even the mail slot is distinctly Art Nouveau
Every minute detail attended to
The interior of Horta's house was like nothing I've ever seen. These facade photos barely skim the surface. Unfortunately photos are not allowed inside. Probably because there would be total gridlock, with people just standing around taking photos of every single corner of every single room. It's that amazing.
This is a photo I found online, of the stairwell in Tassel House, just to give you just a tiny taste of what the interior of a true Horta designed building is like.
So there you have it. Cribs...Art Nouveau edition.