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From dinosaur fossils to live tarantulas to rare gems, the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences Museum explores the natural wonders of our fascinating planet. The permanent galleries are unique and interesting, including a Gallery of Evolution, Insects Hall, and Minerals Hall. In addition to the permanent displays, the museum features several temporary exhibitions throughout the year, including interactive exhibits. This museum also serves as a research facility.
With its stately facade, opulent interiors and lush, formal gardens, the Royal Palace is a fitting abode for the offices of the King and Queen of Belgium. The individual rooms are lavishly adorned with crystal chandeliers, gilded details, antique furniture, exquisite artwork, and detailed carvings. Of special note is the artwork that adorns the ceiling of the Mirror Room, composed of over a million beetle carapaces inlaid to form intricate designs. Each summer, the palace is opened to the public; a time-honored tradition that grants access to this symbol of Belgium's thriving monarchy.
This Museum first opened in the early 1980s, in what was formerly the Municipal Abbatoirs. In 1892 even an abbatoir was supposed to be a work of art. This museum specializes in modern art and is particularly renowned for its vast collection of original posters. There's a special hall dedicated to the great Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte, elsewhere you can see works by Henri Permeke, André Delvaux and Pablo Picasso. Check website for closing dates.
Egmont Palace was constructed in the 16th-century and completely renovated in the 18th-century by the wealthy Arenberg family. The Belgian government welcomes the international heads of government here and organizes high-level international meetings. For most of us, this building is well-known for its beautiful architecture. The Palace is not accessible to the public, only the gardens and the neighboring Egmont Parc can be visited.
Facing the Egmont Palace, on Rue aux Laines, Egmont Park is home to several sculptures. Of all the statues within, the statues of Peter Pan and that of Price Charles-Joseph de Ligne are much adored. A slice of peace and quiet amid the bustle of the city, the park makes for a nice walk or a short picnic, no matter how old or young you are. Parc d'Egmont also incorporates interesting attractions that seem like they're right out of a fairy tale like an old Gothic well and an Orangerie, to name a few.