Belgium has produced more comic-strip creators than any other country, and one of the world’s favorite comic characters flowed from the pen of Georges Remi, who breathed life into Tintin and his trusty terrier Snowy in 1927 under the name Hergé.
Tintin’s outlandish adventures are published in over 70 languages, and more than 200 million copies of all 24 titles have been sold around the world. Hergé is now commemorated at his own museum just outside Brussels.
The building itself was designed by French architect Christian de Portzamparc and the architecture is all part of the attraction -- a sparkling white, minimalist and box-like contemporary affair. One exterior wall of the building comprises a massive image of Tintin, while another bears Hergé’s distinctive signature. Although there are more than 800 original plates and drawings of Tintin on display in the museum, there are also samples of Hergé’s other graphic design and cartoons to be seen, taking their rightful place alongside an in-depth profile of the artist’s life.
Real aficionados can also follow the Tintin Trail around Brussels or buy copies of the cartoons from the Tintin Boutique just off Grand-Place at rue de la Colline 13.
The Musée Hergé is about 20 miles (30 km) southeast of Brussels in Louvain-la-Neuve and is accessible by public transport, shuttle bus or special tour. Admission is €9.50 (€7 for students and seniors), and opening hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. and weekends until 6 p.m.