Europe tour with Art Nouveau



One Response to “Europe tour with Art Nouveau”

  1. fzheng01 Says:

    Art Nouveau/Art Deco Tour
    The commune of Ixelles sprung up around the avenue Louise, which King Leopold II commissioned to connect the Bois de la Cambre woodland with the city center. Art Nouveau town houses and upmarket boutiques border the avenue, while tree-lined residential streets lead down to the etangs d’Ixelles (Ixelles ponds), with their weeping willows, ducks and swans, and endlessly circling joggers. Further south, streets bustling with greengrocers and Portuguese restaurants eventually give way to the more staid European quarter, which teems with besuited bureaucrats.

    A Good Walk
    Start outside Ixelles, in the neighboring commune of Uccle, at the Musée David-et-Alice-Van-Buurenfor a mixture of Art Deco style and fine art. Then head a bit north to the Rond-Point Churchill and go left along the affluent avenue Winston Churchill until you reach place Vanderkindere. From here, turn right and head down avenue Brugmann, past a remarkable assortment of Art Nouveau houses. Look particularly for Brunfaut’s Hôtel Hannon, at the intersection of Brugmann and avenue de la Jonction, and the charming redbrick Les Hiboux next door.

    Cross chaussée de Waterloo and head up chaussée de Charleroi, then head right onto rue Américaine to the Musée Horta to see Art Nouveau at its source. Continue on rue Américaine, then turn left onto rue du Page, crossing place du Chatelain and turning left onto rue Simonis. Take a right onto rue du Bailli, then turn left onto rue du Livourne. Turn right onto rue Paul-Émile Janson, stopping at No. 6 to see the Tassel house, also designed by Victor Horta. At avenue Louise turn right, keeping your eye open for the Hôtel Solvay at No. 224, which is generally considered Horta’s finest work. (As it’s a private home, you can only admire the exterior.)

    Cross the street and walk down rue Lesbroussart toward place Flagey. Here you can see a 1930s radio building generally called Flagey — an Art Deco gem shaped like a ship. Turn left up the chaussée d’Ixelles and take the fourth right onto rue Jean Van Volsem to get an eyeful of Toulouse-Lautrec’s vivid posters at the Musée d’Ixelles. Retracing your steps to avenue Louise, continue on to the roundabout and turn left onto rue de la Monastère. Pick up avenue Bernier, cross avenue de la Hippodrome, and you’re on rue du Bourgmestre. The Musée des Enfants is on the left, a good stop if you’re with kids who need to burn off some steam. If you like, circle back east to the Abbaye de la Cambre for a quick walk around the grassy grounds. Wind up at the Musée Constantin Meunier for a look at art addressing the tough working-class life of the 19th century — a sharp contrast to the neighborhood’s glossy boutiques.

    Plan on at least three hours for this walk, including time for the museums and 15- to 20-minute walks between sights. Overall, this area is quieter on weekdays. Keep in mind that most of the museums are closed on Monday.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: