Venue & accommodation

The EAHN 2012 organizing committee is pleased to announce that the organization’s Second International Meeting will take place in the Palais des Académies, Brussels, from 31 May-3 June 2012.

A leading scholar on the building, Francis Strauven (Universiteit Gent, emeritus), has generously provided us with a brief introduction to this distinguished historic venue: The Palace of the Academies is the seat of five Belgian royal academies: two academies of science and fine arts (the French-speaking ARB and the Dutchspeaking KVAB), two academies of medicine (the French-speaking ARMB and the Dutch-speaking KAGB) and the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature (ARLLFB).*

Still, the palace was not designed as an Aedes Academiarum but as a princely residence. It was built for Prince William of Orange, the crown prince of the then Kingdom of the United Netherlands, a union of the Netherlands and Belgium which lasted from 1815 to 1830. The young prince had been an adjutant of Wellington, had distinguished himself by his heroic deeds in the English campaigns against the Napoleonic troops in Spain, and had played a crucial role in the Battle of Waterloo where Napoleon was finally defeated. With his cheerful character, he proved in many respects to be the opposite of his father, King William I, a rather dour, frugal and calculating ruler unliked by the Belgians.

The Belgians hinted that they would prefer to be ruled by the prince rather than his father and this desire found official expression in the proposal of the Belgian States General in 1815 to build a palace for the prince in Brussels, long before considering building a Royal Palace. William I was firmly opposed to this bill, rightly understanding that the initiative was aimed at installing his son as a kind of viceroy in Brussels. But after five years of resistance, the king eventually gave in. The project was entrusted to Charles Vander Straeten, an architect who had already built the Prince’s country house in Tervuren. The palace was designed in 1821-23, and constructed from 1823-28.

Vander Straeten, an outstanding exponent of Belgian neoclassicism, produced one of the purest buildings of the late Empire period. Based on an axial plan, it can be considered a perfect application of J.N.L. Durand’s composition theory, but is by no means marked by Durand’s dry utilitarianism. Vander Straeten accommodated the palace to the extant classical context of the Warande city park and the adjacent Place Royale (both c. 1782), but at the same time he distinguished it in several ways. Unlike the surrounding mansions, uniformly plastered and painted white, the palace was executed entirely in natural stone and its façades articulated with an elegant Ionic order.

The prince and his family lived in the palace only one year before the Belgian revolution took place. The Royal Academy of Sciences, Letters and Fine Arts and the Royal Academy of Medicine moved into the building in 1876, but in the meantime its interior had been thoroughly transformed. The palace was restored and renovated between 1969 and 1976 by the architect Simon Brigode. Currently it is undergoing a new restoration campaign, with completion planned for early 2012 in time for the EAHN conference in spring 2012.

*The Dutch-language counterpart of the latter, the Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde (KANTL), is based in Ghent.

Source: Francis Strauven, ‘Palais des Académies, Brussels: Venue for EAHN 2012’, European Architectural History Network Newsletter, 3/ 10 (September 2010): 14-16.
Resotel has been appointed as the official accommodation agent for EAHN’12.
To book your hotel room online, please click here.  
We kindly ask you to contact the accommodation agent DIRECTLY for all questions related to hotel accommodation:
6 avenue van Nieuwenhuyse
B-1160 Brussels
Tel. 32-2/779.39.39
Fax 32-2/779.39.00
Contact: Natasha Krasicka

Overview of hotels voor EAHN2012
Please note that room rates may differ (cheaper) on 1 and 2 June than indicated in the table below.


Rate single / double

Capital Hotel *** Chaussee de Vleurgat 191, 1050 Brussels

90,00 € / 100,00 €

Villa Royal *** Rue Royale 195, 1210 Brussels

96,00 € / 111,00 €

Hotel La Madeleine ** Rue dela Montagne20

100,00 € / 120,00 €

B-1000 Brussels
Hotel Le Dôme  *** Boulevard du Jardin Botanique 9-12-13  

110,00 € / 120,00 €

B-1000 Brussels
Aparthotel Citadines Toison Or *** Avenue dela ToisonOr51

112,00 € / 125,00 €

B-1060 Brussels
Hotel Stanhope **** Rue du Commerce 9

118,00 € / 138,00 €

B-1000 Brussel
Hotel Astrid Centre *** Place du Samedi 11  

121,00 € / 146,00 €

B-1000 Brussels
Hotel Aris Grand Place *** Rue Marché aux Herbes 78-80

123,00 € / 148,00  €

B-1000 Brussels
NH City Centre **** Chaussée de Charleroi 17  

128,00 € / 148,00 €

B-1060 Brussels
Hotel Renaissance **** Rue du Parnasse 19 

132,00 € / 152,00 €

B-1050 Brussels
The Hotel (Ex Hilton Louise) **** 38 BoulevardWaterloo

142,00 € / 172,00 €

B-1000 Brussels
Hotel Chambord *** Rue de Namur 82
B-1000 Brussels

147,50 € / 167,50 €


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