Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History ,Brussels

Another trip to my favorite city in Northern Europe. This is Brussels at its best and we love the museums especially those dealing with history. Brussels has a beauty that should be seen by all history buffs.  I was there with the family and they love it, especially my boys!

The Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and Military History or the Musée Royal de l’Armée et d’Histoire Militaire,is a military museum that occupies the two northernmost halls of the historic complex in Cinquantenaire park. And it is wonderful, highly recommended for the history and military buffs.

The museum has a peculiar time schedule that it closes at noon, and speaks out on public announcement that you can stay in the Aviation hall or the restaurant (very convenient). We didn’t want it cafeteria style food in the resto,and don’t like to wait an hour doing nothing. So decided to come out, boy that took some times, there are no signs to let you out and all door into the museum were closed!!! When we finally ask at the resto they told us there is an exit hallway by the WC lol!! this is the rest room! Never would figure in my life the exit door was by going thru a bathroom /rest room first, but here it is. Oh well we got out,and lesson learned not to get caught at lunch time here. The rest was nice historical ,wonderful ,full of great airplanes, tanks, military heavy equipment, uniforms, and swords, rifles etc from the Napoleonics times to the present. There are presentation of historical events with the equipment use all the time, see the webpage for udpates.

The idea came in the Brussels exhibition of 1910 when a section on military history was presented to the public and met with great success. The museum was originally installed on the site of the Abbaye de la Cambre and moved to the Cinquantenaire Park in 1923. The park is set on the continuation of the Rue de la Loi which starts at the end of the  Brussels Park before the Royal Palace.

You have theme spaces coming from main entrance,going thru a Dutch gallery, then the Belgian war of 1830, a technical area of weaponry and armaments, medieval, Napoleonic era, 1914-1918 WWI era, the Russian gallery , the Tanks (many American tanks here) display in a patio open area in the middle of the building, you have a huge Aviation dept with planes from many countries including Mig soviet era, Navy gallery area, upper level hall Bordieu with light machine guns,a contemporary European conflicts gallery and Belgium during occupation.

in addition, the museum offers a trace of most if not all airplanes lost over Belgium in WWII. Today this record includes 4281 losses from Air Forces of the following nations: Belgium 98, France 100, Britain and Commonwealth 1515, United States 732, Italy 17 and Germany 1819. Research is conducted on over 1000 aircraft losses for which detailed information is still missing

All is house by the parc du cinquentanaire, monumental building, first pushed by King Leopold II idea of bringing Belgium to the forefront of nations. For the 1910 World Exhibition, Louis Leconte collected about nine hundred objects and called his compilation Musée de l’Armée / Museum van het Leger (Museum of the Army). These objects were to give the visitor an idea of the history of Belgian armed forces in the 19C. The exhibition was a big success.

After WWI, things moved very quickly. The collection grew considerably because of numerous contributions by private persons and through the support of several foreign governments. After 1919, the building bulged with so many items that new housing was necessary. A new home for these items was found in the northern wing of the Jubilee site. On June 28, 1923, King Albert I officially opened the Military Museum. Louis Leconte had been dismissed from active military service and was appointed head curator. During World War II, the occupying forces closed the Museum down. After the war, the collections once again opened to the public. Where it continue today to marvel the world of its wonderful displays.

There is a museum boutique shop open every day exept Mondays
9h to 12h and then 13h to 16h45. The Skycafé resto is open from Tuesday through Sunday between 10h30 to 16h20 ,kitchen is open Kitchen 11h30 to 14h ADMISSION IS FREE Closed On Mondays, January 1, May 1, November 1, December 25, and election days . The north wing, has been occupied by the aviation hall since 1972 when the Air and Space gallery was inaugurated.  The collection includes various types of aircraft, both military and civilian, some dating back to the early 20C.

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We actually got there on the tram 25 stop at montgomery and came into it from outside into the park on a glorious walk in town which we love to do once in a city. We got to Brussels by car from France on the N2 and in Belgium on the N6 coming in the RO or rocade(beltway) road to our hotel and then on foot all over, great I am telling you.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Brussels museums

Official War Museum webpage

Tourist office of Brussels on the Royal Army Museum: https://visit.brussels/en/place/Royal-Military-Museum-War-Heritage-Institute

Hope you enjoy it, it is history of all phases of our events over the years. Very well set up , and good welcome.

And remember , happy travels, good health ,and many cheers to all!!!

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