Academy Palace

The Academy Palace (French: Palais des Académies, Dutch: Paleis der Academiën) is a neoclassical palace in Brussels, Belgium. It is situated on the Place des Palais/Paleizenplein, next to the Royal Palace of Brussels and Brussels' Park. Today, it houses five Belgian academies including the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.[1][2][3] In English, the Academy Palace is also often called the Academy House.[4][5]

Academy Palace
Palais des Académies  (French)
Paleis der Academiën  (Dutch)
Front view of the Palace
Location within Brussels
General information
Architectural styleNeoclassical
AddressPlace des Palais / Paleizenplein
Town or cityB-1000 City of Brussels, Brussels-Capital Region
Construction started1823 (1823)
Completed1828 (1828)
Design and construction
ArchitectCharles Vander Straeten, Tilman-François Suys


The Palace of William II

The rather austere neoclassical palace and its stables were built between 1823 and 1828 for Prince William II of Orange in recognition of his brilliant action on the battlefield at Waterloo, from funds granted by the nation. It was the joint work of two architects, Charles Vander Straeten (1771–1834) and Tilman-François Suys (1783–1861), at a total cost of 1,215,000 florins.[6]

The princely family of William of Orange and his princess, Anna Pavlovna (1795–1865), sister of tsars Alexander I and Nicholas I, occupied the palace a scant two years before the Belgian Revolution of September 1830 forced them to flee to the Netherlands.

From 1830 to 1839, the palace was under sequestration by the newborn Belgian state, and a detailed inventory was drawn up. The public was allowed to tour the palace, and its interiors were considered the most sumptuous that had ever been seen in Belgium. An agreement on 5 November 1842 ceded the structure to the Belgian State, while its contents, adjudged the personal goods of William, were shipped to his Palace of Soestdijk in the Netherlands.

After housing the 1st Regiment of Chasseurs-Carabiniers in 1848–1852, and having been refused by the Duke of Brabant when offered to him in 1853, the palace remained in use for public festivities. The architect Gustave De Man, a member of the Académie Royale de Belgique ("Royal Academy of Belgium"), was entrusted with transformations, finished in 1862, which fitted the building to house the Musée Moderne ("Modern Museum").

The Academy Palace

By a royal decree of 30 April 1876, the palace was put to the disposal of the two existing Belgian academies, the Académie royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique ("Royal Academy of Science, Letters and Fine Arts of Belgium"), which had been founded in 1772, and the Académie royale de Médecine de Belgique ("Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium") founded in 1841. Three further academies came to share the space: the Académie royale de langue et de littérature françaises de Belgique ("Royal Academy of French Language and Literature of Belgium"), founded in 1920; the Koninklijke Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België founded in 1938, called since 1999 the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten ("Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts"); and the Koninklijke Academie voor Geneeskunde van België ("Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium") also founded in 1938.

Since 2001, the palace has been listed as a protected monument.[7]

See also


  1. "THE ACADEMY PALACE" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 July 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  2. "Dernières nouvelles". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  3. "The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium (RASAB)". Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  4. Academy House Archived 2014-06-06 at the Wayback Machine on p.4, at
  5. Academy House in Brussels, at
  6. "Coudenberg - Former Palace of Brussels, Belgium". Archived from the original on 2014-02-24. Retrieved 9 February 2014.
  7. "Bruxelles Pentagone - Palais des Académies - Rue Ducale 1 - VANDER STRAETEN Charles". Retrieved 2019-05-19.

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