Overhaul of Franciscan monastery ruins at Brussels’ Bourse
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Overhaul of Franciscan monastery ruins at Brussels’ Bourse

Credit: Cabinet Pascal Smet

The ruins of the former Franciscan monastery in the centre of Brussels next to the Stock Exchange building – the Bourse – are being completed renovated before being reopened to the public.

The plans for the Bruxella 1238 museum, where the remains of the 13th-century monastery lie, were unveiled on Thursday during a visit to the renovation site by Brussels Mayor Philippe Close and Brussels State Secretary for Heritage and Urban Development Pascal Smet.

The archaeological site is mainly known among both residents and tourists for the large glass constructions which stick out next to the Stock Exchange building itself, allowing nosy passers-by to peek in and take a look at the collection, where traces of the graves remain visible.

During the renovations, the glass constructions will be taken down and the ceiling of the site will be made level with the street. Fortunately for those who are curious, a few peepholes will be added, including one above the tomb of Duke John I of Brabant.

Credit: Cabinet Pascal Smet

Inside, the museum itself will also be refurbished, as a new entrance will be created, located in the Stock Exchange building itself, where a timeline shows the history of the Franciscan monastery and its monks will be placed.

The collection itself will be improved as well, as new soil samples and technology can even be used to explain which plants or crops grew in medieval Brussels.

Within the Bourse building, large-scale works are underway as well, including an open passageway through the building and a beer experience centre on the upper floors. The works are expected to be completed in the second part of 2023.