Although the Royal family no longer call the Royal Palace (or Palais Royal Bruxelles) home, it is where the King and Queen still have their offices and the King carries out his duties as the head of state. The building also houses state rooms where large receptions are held and also living quarters for visiting dignitaries.
The Palace was built in 1775 on the site of the former Coudenberg Palace which was built in the 11th and 12th centuries, but burnt to the ground in 1731.
The Palace is at the southern end of the Parc de Bruxelles, at the northern end is the Palace of the Nation which houses the Belgian Parliament. Between them they are said to reflect Belgium’s constitutional monarchy.
Over summer the Palace is open to the public. On show are fantastic State Rooms like the Goya Room with its Goya inspired tapestries, the imposing Throne Room with bas-reliefs by Rodin and the well-preserved 18th century Large White Room. The Mirror Room is a highlight with an artwork by Jan Fabre involving the carapaces of a million Thai gem beetles stuck to the ceiling.
Great tour! We started on time with 2 other couples at the Godiva Shop on the Grand Square and really saw as much of the highlights of Brussels as you could see in 4 hours. Not only did our tour guide take us through the numerous fabulous chocolate shops, we got a sense of history of Brussels and its famous landmarks (the Manneken-Pis, the Royal Palace, City Hall, etc) as we walked from one shop to another. Making our own chocolate at the Cote d'Or was very fun. The chocolate maker there was quite entertaining. We all had a chance to make our own choc creations and afterwards had some yum hot chocolate. The walking was pretty vigorous up and down hills. My only wish is that I'd had more opportunity to buy chocolate - we went back to a few shops afterwards. Highly recommend.
From Parc train station it is a lovely walk south through Parc du Bruxelles. From Trône train station head west. If you’re catching a tram then numbers 92, 93 or 94 will get you there.