The Arcades


The arcade gallery is located under the famous four-in-hand by Belgian sculptors Vinçotte and Lagae. Its brick vaults are a beautiful backdrop for what might be considered as the most beautiful objects in the Museum.

Early in the 20th century two enthusiastic collectors, banker Georges Titeca and Count Robert de Ribaucourt, each bring together objects such as headgear, edged weapons and fire-arms from the 18th and 19th centuries.

The Titeca collection mainly focuses on the French First Empire, the Restoration and the Second Empire. It consists of headdresses, edged weapons, honorary distinctions and an ensemble of rare musical instruments. The latter constitute one of the richest collections of musical instruments of that era.

Count de Ribaucourt was passionate about weapons and prints. In 1939 he presented King Leopold III with his collection, with the wish of exhibiting it. Through the Royal Donation the collection arrives at the Military Museum; part of it is presented here permanently.

The gallery also gives access to the terraces, 65 metres above ground level. The view on the Jubilee Park and Brussels is quite breath-taking. The impressive monument was built between 1880 and 1905, when King Leopold II wished to fittingly celebrate the 50th anniversary of Belgian independence.

The construction and the Jubilee Park

Blueprints were drawn by Belgian architect Gédéon Bordiau. In 1888 a 300-metre hall in glass and metal is built. A few years later, when the Tervuren Avenue is planned, the middle part of the colossal structure is taken down, thus creating two separate halls to the left and to the right of the arcades. The left wing now houses the aviation section of the Military Museum, whereas the right wing welcomes the “Autoworld” museum. 

French architect Charles Girault is asked to complete the build for the 75th anniversary of Belgium. In order to meet the deadline 450 builders work day and night for eight months. The single arch is demolished and replaced by a triple one.

Up till the 1930s the site welcomes numerous events, such as trade fairs, horse-riding competitions and world exhibitions. Today the Jubilee Park houses three museums: the Royal Military Museum, the Royal Museums for Art and History and Autoworld.