Historical buildings and what to do with them are a hot topic these days. Our current needs are different from what they used to be decennia or centuries ago, meaning buildings dating back to then aren’t always adapted. But as many of them are a part of our common history, they are still worth conserving. And thus we search for new destinations, new ways of using a building, most certainly different from their initial purpose but nonetheless not less important. Hotel becomes co-working space, personal home becomes restaurant, church becomes hotel.
European cities tend to count a lot of those historical buildings and Brussels is no exception. Everyone who has spent some time in the city or who lives there, will be familiar with Hotel Metropole. The building, which sits on the Place de Brouckère, dates back to 1872-1874 and was originally designed by Antoine Trappeniers. It first served the Caisse générale d’épargne et de retraite, was then bought by Brasserie Wielemans-Ceuppens and finally, as of 1895, was turned into a hotel by Alban Chambon. An eventful start without any doubt but then began the golden years for the hotel.
Fast forward to 2020, when the world was hit by Covid-19. Rough times for everyone and sadly, the historic institution than was Hotel Metropole wasn’t able to cope with the consequences of the pandemic. So what to do with its legacy? Well, the owners, the Bervoets family, plan to reopen its doors in the future but when and how remains unclear.
In the meantime, however, the hotel doesn’t have to stay vacant and it won’t. Thanks to Fantastic Brussels, the Hotel Metropole is opening its doors to the public for a very special event. From November 4th until February 28th, the building will be taken over by an immersive experience which visitors won’t easily forget about.
For 45 minutes, those visiting the hotel will be submerged in a vision of Brussels as it once used to be. Every room in the hotel takes you back to another era, from the Belle-Époque to the Golden Sixties and everything in between. Holograms, sounds, lights and so on will all be put to good use, making sure you’re forgetting all about 2022 for a little less than an hour.
- Address: Hotel Metropole, Place de Brouckère 31, 1000 Bruxelles
- Price: 17 euros
- Opening times: every day from 12-10 PM, entry every hour