Ommegang parade returns to Brussels Friday 1 July

Ommegang parade returns to Brussels Friday 1 July
Illustration picture shows the 'Ommegang Oppidi Bruxellensis' historical parade in the city center of Brussels, Wednesday 29 June 2022. More than 1400 performers will participate in a historical reenactment of the entry of Charles the fifth (Charles Quint - Keizer Karel) in Brussels in 1549. BELGA PHOTO HATIM KAGHAT

The Ommegang show is a UNESCO world heritage event, which takes place in the heart of Brussels. Now, after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the annual spectacle is back on 29 June and 1 July at the Grand Place.

A sort of Renaissance parade, the Ommegang celebrates the arrival of Emperor Charles the V and his son Phillip the II to Brussels in 1549.

A parade features 1,400 actors in stage costumes, as well as folk and historic groups, horses, puppet theatre, giants, and flags. The show will bring the story to life and recreate a Renaissance atmosphere in the city's historical centre.


In addition to the 1,400 extras, the show features dozens of horse riders, crossbowmen, archers and fencers. Magistrates and members of the Seven Noble Houses of Brussels, a Belgian aristocracy that still exists, will participate.

It is a historical show that preserves and celebrates elements of the show such as the Oaths of the Crossbowmen and the Virgin of the Victories.

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The Ommegang became a UNESCO world event in 2019. Originating in the 14th century, the procession was revived in 1930.

Practical information

The show got underway on Wednesday 29 June with a parade from Parc Royal to the Grand Place.

A performer outside Palais Royal before the procession started on Wednesday evening. Credit: Orlando Whitehead

It will take place again on Friday 1 July. The procession commences with Charles V's carriage leaving his former residence at the Royal Palace at 20:15. It continues from the Parc Royal accompanied by archers, harquebusiers and fencers towards Sablon at around 20:40.

At around 20:50, the full historical procession moves from Sablon through the streets of Brussels to the Grand Place where another show takes place.

There will be a 'Renaissance village' in Parc Royale, where public can visit a market, equestrian jousting, fights between knights and entertainment for children as well as buy Ommegang beer and food.

Additional information here.

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