Cultural institutions

Royal Library of Belgium

The Royal Library of Belgium stands at the heart of Mont des Arts. It is the national science library of the Federal State of Belgium. It manages an important cultural heritage.

The general collections include, among other things, printed matter and books, newspapers and periodicals, official documents and the Legal Deposit. Since 1966, the Legal Deposit has required every Belgian author to deposit two copies of his/her publication at the Royal Library of Belgium.

The Library also comprises several patrimonial sections: the Valuable Reserve collection, which preserves old printed books (15th - late 19th century), a Maps and Plans section, which holds more than 200,000 maps, atlases and globes, a Manuscript Room with some 35,000 manuscripts (including many codices from the Middle Ages), a Music section which gathers together a number of scores, books dedicated to music and records, and a Medal and Coin Room for the preservation and study of a very extensive collection of numismatic exhibits, such as the Aetna Tetradrachma, the only coin of its kind in the world dating from the 5th century B.C.
In the old residence of Charles de Lorraine, which forms part of the Royal Library, are the Museum of the 18th Century, the Chalcography department and the Print Room.

The Library organises numerous activities to highlight its unique and exceptional heritage, such as for example, exhibitions, lunchtime concerts, open days, guided tours and symposiums.

At the end of 2010, a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of the cultures of the book and the written word will be officially opened: LIBRARIUM. In an original and contemporary scenographic presentation, the general public will be able to familiarise itself with the history of the book, the variety of scripts and styles of writing, the link between text and image, and libraries as places of preservation and memory.

Palace of Charles de Lorraine- Royal Library of Belgium

The former Residence of Charles de Lorraine. Museum of the 18th century.


Paleis van Karel van Lotharingen - Koninklijke Bibliotheek van België
Place du Musée 1/Museumplein 1

T: + 32 (0)2 519 53 11

Reading room: Mon>Fri 09.00>19.00 h - Sat/July- Aug 09.00>17.00 h
Exhibition room(s): Mon>Sat 10.00>17.00 h
LIBRARIUM: Mon>Sat 9.00>17.00 h


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