Citizens’ Garden 

Citizens’ Garden

Brussels
Citizens' Garden

Step into a serene, green oasis amid the busy European Quarter. The Citizens’ Garden features benches, lawns and sculptures in the former home of Belgian artist Antoine Wiertz.

Citizens’ Garden

Brussels
Citizens' Garden

Add the Citizens’ Garden to your trip and take a moment to relax in a serene, green oasis amid the busy European Quarter. Just 100 metres from the European Parliament’s official entrance, the garden is in the grounds of the former residence and studio of the 19th century artist Antoine Wiertz.

Trees, benches and lawns invite you to stroll or rest. The garden has some original features, such as an imitation-ruin column of Italy’s Paestum temple. Sculptures of historic European philosophers and artists emphasise the historic nature of the grounds. The garden also has a music pavilion and sometimes hosts events.

The garden opened to the public for the first time in September 2020 thanks to investment and renovation by the European Parliament.

Explore the Citizens’ Garden with a series of free lunchtime concerts, weekdays at 13.00 in September and October 2020.

The artist’s enormous studio is now the Wiertz Museum and is free to visit. It belongs to the Royal Fine Arts Museum and houses more than 200 of the artist’s works.

Opening hours

Autumn – Winter September October – March
8:00 – 19:50 8:00 – 17:50
Autumn – Winter
 
September
8:00 – 19:50
October – March
8:00 – 17:50
Spring – Summer April May – August
8:00 – 18:50 8:00 – 20:50
Spring – Summer
 
April
8:00 – 18:50
May – August
8:00 – 20:50

History

Antoine Wiertz first moved to the site in Ixelles in 1850 and developed the concept of the studio, the house and the garden himself. Large parts of the house and studio were constructed in 1850-1852, though the site was only finished some years later.

The workshop has always been open to the public and was designed to be eye-catching. The imitation-ruins of Italy’s Paestum temple were visible to passengers arriving at Luxembourg train station and corresponded with the romantic spirit of the time.

On his death, Wiertz gave his works, the studio, the house and the garden to the Belgium state, which opened the studio as a museum in 1866. The studio, house and garden were all classified as listed-buildings in 1997 for their historical and artistic values.

The garden remained closed to the public until September 2020 after it was renovated by the European Parliament.

Antoine Wiertz

Antoine Wiertz (1806-1865) was a Belgian romantic painter and sculptor. Famous for using gigantic canvasses, his paintings and artworks could be more than 11m long, infused with social or philosophical messages. Wiertz is one of the most important representatives of Belgian romanticism and monumental art.

In 1839 Wiertz called for Brussels to be recognised as the capital of Europe. Today the official address of the European Parliament bears his name: Rue Wiertz 60.

Caring for this historic site

Work to redevelop the house and garden began in 2016 and is a public-public partnership between the European Parliament and the Belgian state. A 50-year lease was signed for €1 on the condition that the European Parliament renovate both the garden and house, and open the garden to the public.

The house is currently undergoing reconstruction works and will open in a couple of years.

Citizens' Garden

Rue Vautier / Vautierstraat 62
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

How to get there

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Practical information