From April 23rd to May 1st, a wide range of participating institutions will open their doors in downtown Brussels with a unique Panorama Program. Hidden roof terraces and passageways are open to the public, indoor and outdoor hot-spots are marked with the Panorama Viewers. A unique program of performances, guided tours and workshops lets you discover the Mont des Arts.
Panorama Mont des Arts is the first festival organized by the Mont des Arts association since the Picture Festival. It constitutes the kick-off of a series of biennials up till 2030. ‘Panorama’ is the theme of this year’s edition. After all, the most photographed panorama of Brussels is located in the heart of this neighborhood.
Back in 2019, the non-profit association Mont des Arts started a series of biennials (until 2030) which highlight this central neighborhood of Brussels. The first Picture Festival which had illustration as main theme attracted 20,000 visitors. This year, the Panorama Festival invites the public to experience the Mont des Arts in a new way: seven themed routes, along which panorama viewers are set up to act as both beacons and information carriers, lead visitors to discover hidden places and unexpected perspectives. The festival pass gives access to the program inside and outside the cultural institutions of Mont des Arts.
The Mont des Arts area is a jewel located at the center of the Belgian capital. Every year, it welcomes more than 2,000,000 visitors, both Belgian and foreign tourists and schools, and offers commuters, conference participants and walkers, passers-by and photo enthusiasts the opportunity to take a break in the heart of the city.
Founded in 2001, the non-profit association Mont des Arts is simultaneously committed to diversity, density, quality, dynamism and accessibility of the site, and to highlighting the cultural, economic and religious activities of its institutions. As an important link between the upper and lower parts of the city, it forms a unique heritage. The Mont des Arts gathers also 16 institutions supported by the Brussels-Capital Region, the City of Brussels and the Federal Government. To achieve its aims, the association has drawn up a master plan with the redevelopment of certain important public spaces, as well as the organization of a number of festivals, up till 2030.
With a ten-year master plan (2020-2030) for the redevelopment of its public space, Mont des Arts is a unique privileged site. Its exceptional historical and architectural setting is not very transparent and the accessibility of its heritage should be brought back to light. In this area, ideally located between the historic city and the commercial city, close to the central station and public car parks, engaging for tourists and photographers as well as for passers-by and commuters, with a historic garden and footpaths, 16 cultural, religious and economic institutions have worked closely together to make the space even more attractive, and to make its rich and varied heritage more widely accessible.
During the Panorama Mont des Arts Festival, 7 routes offer the public the opportunity to take a new look at already known places or to discover hidden and unnoticed places by the hurried passer-by. On the basis of themes as diverse as music, history, future, panorama, hidden passages, sculptures and angels, the visitor will discover unknown aspects of the city.
Each of these routes crosses both exterior and interior spaces (museums, churches, squares, gardens, etc.), and is indicated by panorama viewers, which can be discovered at one’s own pace. Visitors will also have the possibility to sign up for specific activities offered by the various institutions. Finally, families can enjoy activities during a special “family” weekend. On the website, visitors will find all information needed to make the choice and prepare the route, and the activities of their choice. Each route will be easily identified with a color.
1. Blue: Panoramic route
2. Red: Historical route
3. Green: Sculpture route
4. Pink: Angel’s route
5. Yellow: Futurist route
6. Brown: Hidden route
7. Orange: Musical route
All explanations will be given on the panorama viewers (about fifty, set up inside the institutions as well as in the outdoor area): these multicolored milestones, specially designed for the festival and placed along the various routes, have peepholes through which one can discover an image that gives a new view of the viewpoint where the viewer is located.
Billboards at the Mont des Arts form the gateway to the festival. They display all practical information and the seven thematic routes.
During the festival, many institutions will host special events for which a separate admission ticket must be purchased. By following the link of that specific part of the program, you will be taken directly to the booking system of the organizing institution or event.
During the weekends, the Heritage Classes offer entertainment around a large scale model to learn about the history of Mont des Arts since the Middle Ages. During the first weekend of the Panorama Festival, the skyline of Brussels can be discovered in a creative way with the team of “Patrimoine à roulettes” from the rooftops of the Magritte Museum and the KBR (Albert restaurant).