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Place Royale to get new look, becoming partially car-free

17:46 27/10/2021

Place Royale in Brussels’ museum quarter is set to become partially car-free as plans for the renewal project have been approved, upon certain conditions, by the consultative committee.

The famous square that is flanked on one side by the Magritte Museum and on the other by Saint-Jacques-sur-Coudenberg church is difficult for pedestrians to manoeuvre as it lacks crossings and is dominated by fast-moving cars as well as two sets of tram tracks.

The plan sees trams and cars restricted to one side of the square, the museum side. Green space will be added under the iconic statue of Godfrey of Bouillon. The other side, in front of the church, will become a pedestrian zone.

A plan to resurface and limit traffic in the square has been dragging on for years. In 2014, Brussels’ investment fund Beliris first proposed the design. Brussels-City council – most notably the liberals – was not crazy about the idea and wanted to see a resurfacing that kept the square pretty much as is.

A new socialist-led city council has now approved the original plans, according to urban renewal city councillor Ans Persoons ( A consultative committee has also given it the thumbs up, under certain conditions.

Those conditions include how the public transport platforms will be incorporated and ensuring that the entire square is resurfaced uniformly. It has also pointed out that the new square must be completely waterproof as the Aula Magna, a remnant of the former Coudenberg Palace, lies underneath it.

When the project will start and how long it will take is not yet known.


Written by Lisa Bradshaw


Frank Lee

This being Brussels, the project is likely to start in 20 years, last a half-century to complete, and cost the taxpayers 7 billion euros.

Oct 28, 2021 15:32

Totally unnecessary! I am a frequent user of the place (tram or pedestrian use) ... I see no problem at all.
On top why this stupid green space? One has very big green space two steps further! On top this is totally against the historical heritage of the Place Royale, who, of course never had a green space. Well... under Napoleon , before the Godefroid de Bouillon statue there was a ... Freedom Tree!
If green space is necessary: why not adapt the Place Poelaert?
Wagt is really necessary: the traffic lights at the crossing Musée Magritte/Old England is very badly timed. The many crossers have to wait there for hours!

Oct 29, 2021 12:08