City of passage between Brussels and Antwerp, the town of Mechelen keeps a treasure that you must visit on your route through Belgium. Based in a Renaissance palace, the Hof van Busleyden museum exhibits works that take us to the time of Margarita de Austria, Erasmus and Thomas More. What secrets does this place keep?
The palace that houses the Hof van Busleyden museum
This palace, of great historical value, was the residence of the humanist Jerome de Busleyden. Today shelters the most important museum in the city of Mechelen. The building was a design by architect Rombout II Keldermans and was built in the 16th century.Courtyard of the Hof van Busleyden Museum - VISITFLANDERS / Flickr.com
Of him they emphasize his reddish color in the main facade, its characteristic tower, the arches and its gray roof. A unique and beautiful set that invites you to take the camera to photograph it from a thousand and one angles.
Since the beginning of the 17th century and for two centuries it was the seat of Monte de Piedad. An institution that granted the most disadvantaged loans without interest. But nevertheless, the palace was razed in the First World War.
A couple of decades later, already in the thirties, the building was faithfully rebuilt. Since then it houses the museum that we are going to visit now.
What to see in the Hof van Busleyden museumHof van Busleyden Museum Room - Peter Meuris / Flickr.com
Recently remodeled, The museum is the main source of information on the history of the city. In this sense, each of the rooms of which it is formed is dedicated to a historical era in the context of the city of Mechelen.
For this, the museum it uses multiple tools, from the most traditional to the use of the most modern technologies. The latest remodeling has included interactive tables, virtual reality and a whole series of technological advances. All this allows the information to reach visitors more easily.
But besides that, the different rooms exhibit some old furniture and other utensils that survived the destruction of the palace in World War I.
The perhaps most striking part of the Hof van Busleyden museum is the collapsed room in which the first owner of the palace met with Erasmus and Thomas More. In it you can still see some original remnants of paint on the walls.
The museum's collectionsTemporary exhibition - LiftMuUp / Flickr.com
The rooms of the museum shelter historical works of art, which allow to get an idea of the history of Mechelen. Here you can see archeology collections, but also applied arts. And in addition, they are exhibited from polychrome works to paintings or alabaster objects.
But this magnificent Renaissance palace, which once was a place where ideas flowed, has revived again by exposing not only historical works. It also hosts exhibitions with modern artistic creations most prominent.
Therefore, in addition to knowing the Renaissance way of life and the way of life of the different power structures of the time, the museum offers a current look. This allows you to enjoy different art modalities and makes it a dynamic center that periodically introduces new exhibitions.
Enjoy the day in the city of MechelenMechelen Market Square
Mechelen is only 30 kilometers from Brussels, so it is a magnificent excursion from the Belgian capital. In addition, the city is perfectly connected by train, so it will not take long to travel.
It is worth the visit not only for the Hof van Busleyden museum. Mechelen lived a great stage of splendor between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. From then on, a rich monumental heritage is preserved. For example, you will see the little castle Schepenhuis, today headquarters of the municipal museum.
As well you must admire the market square. Here are some of the most beautiful buildings in Mechelen. Do not miss the beautiful town hall, the palace of the Grand Council or the cathedral. Precisely from the tower of this temple you can enjoy the best views of Mechelen.
But the city hides other places of interest. If you have time, stroll along Haverwerf Street to see the colorful facades of its buildings. You can also visit a museum about the Holocaust or the Het Anker brewery.