Summer in Brussels offers many interesting places to visit and the House of European History is one of our favorites! Nestled in the heart of the EU district, just behind the European Parliament and right in the renovated Eastman building in the beautiful Parc Léopold, this place looks very special from the moment you see it.
This modern museum is made as a place to debate, question and reflect on Europe’s history. From myths and discoveries to the chaos and cohesion of the 20th century, the House of European History takes visitors on a journey along the path of Europe’s history and challenges them to contemplate its future. The exhibits are available in all 24 official European Union languages and its tailored resources are available for schools, families and groups, offering a fascinating experience for all. The museum is completely free and a visit normally takes around 90 minutes.
Tip 1: Family Discovery Spaces
Families with kids are welcome at the House of European History! Various activities give children challenges as well as gently encourage them to walk in the shoes of the people featured in the exhibitions and reflect on how many issues are still relevant today. The environments and activities allow small groups of family visitors to talk and engage with one another about the objects and ideas they have encountered in the galleries.
The Family Discovery Spaces also allow younger visitors to have fun while visiting. Families can smell, touch and live history as never before as they discover Europe’s past. Activities include a 1960s travel agency role-play game, a costume gallery and reimagining how robots and submarines will change our world. Discovery spaces are open during the opening hours of the museum, but there are also special facilitated sessions (costume-fitting, role play games, etc) on Wednesdays (14h-17h) and weekends (10:30h-11:30h / 14h-17h).
Tip 2: Lunchtime on Tuesdays
The House of European History offers engaging and thought-provoking lunchtime tours – every Tuesday from 12:15 to 13.00. The 45 minute tour, in English, leads participants on a journey through European history, highlighting objects that explain and epitomise the phenomena that have shaped the continent. No booking is required.
Tip 3: Once inside of the House, don’t miss the lovingly restored art deco paintings of animals in the “Fables room”, based on stories by French author Jean de La Fontaine!
Education, learning & activities
The House of European History provides a diverse programme that prompts visitors to question their understanding of European history and its legacy in the contemporary world. Exhibitions, multimedia guided tours, educational resources, workshops and seminars are just some of the offerings that create a captivating experience. Using original and replica objects, immersive and interactive environments appeal to different senses – sight, hearing, touch and sometimes even smell.
The House of European History is located in Parc Léopold, the 25-acre park, situated on the site of the former Royal Zoological Garden. It was opened to the public in 1880. The area is very relaxing, green and features a beautiful lake with a host of wildlife, as well as an outdoor picnic and seating area. The building itself has been painstakingly renovated in line with its 1930s origins, when it was a dental clinic for disadvantaged children.
To read more and get all the practical information, visit the website of the House of European History.