The Porte de Hal, or Halle Gate, is what remains of the city’s second fortified wall, making it one of the most historic structures in Brussels. Built to defend the capital city in 1381, it guarded the interior with a medieval drawbridge and moat. Though many of the other structures from this time period have since been destroyed, the Porte de Hal was used as a prison, thereby still standing and recalling an earlier age. The stonework and style of the gate’s tower still looks like it was lifted straight from the Middle Ages.
The museum goes into detail about the city’s fortification, history, and folklore. Various weapons and armor are on display, including the parade armor of the Archduke Albert of Austria. Here visitors can learn in depth about the trade guilds and battles that make up the history of Brussels. Three stories up a winding staircase take you to the Battlement, with panoramic views of the city.
The Porte de Hal is located in the city center, open Tuesday to Friday from 9:30 am to 5 pm and on weekends from 10 am to 5 pm. Adult admission costs €5. The closest metro stop is fittingly called Porte de Hal.