Designed by Horta to be an architectural bridge between the lower and upper city, the building holds an astounding total of eight levels. A great deal of these stretch on underground, leaving the unknowing bystander outside unaware of the cultural hub’s massive scale. Finding your way through the maze of concert halls, exhibition spaces, multimedia rooms and theatres can prove quite the daunting challenge – which is why BOZAR (its name derived from the French ‘beaux arts’) recommends starting your journey at the main entrance on Rue Ravenstein. And there are plenty of reasons to walk through those glass panel doors.
Besides being one of Belgium’s most prized architectural heritages – one in which art nouveau champion Victor Horta flexed his art deco muscles for the first time – the Centre for Fine Arts bridges more than some geographical height differences. Horta’s palace is a communal one, a temple where all art forms are of equal merit and worshiped for their own specific ways of being. The BOZAR of today knows seven subdivisions ranging from cinema to dance and music, with many of these often freely flowing into each other. A prime example are UFA Film Nights, where classic movies are guided by live music.
‘Free of elitism but without lowering standards’, the Brussels epicenter of culture is, as Horta intended all those decades ago, open to everyone. BOZAR provides lone travelers, true connoisseurs, student excursion groups and families alike not only with a taste of most art forms under the sun, but also a place to come together. The Centre – though majestically housed – is no snooty art organization looking down from upon its hill. It’s an inclusive cultural space that ultimately wants nothing more than to reflect its environment, the international and oh so diverse city of Brussels.
📅Box-office: Tue-Fri 11am-7pm, Sat 1pm-7pm and one hour before each performance
Exhibitions: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm and until 9pm on Thursdays (except during Summer holidays)
Concerts and other events: consult the BOZAR calendar