Tucked away in the heart of Brussels is Maison de la Bellone, an arts center that represents the city’s past and present in both form and function.
The venue was built around 1697 by sculptor and architect Jean Cosyn, who is best known for designing Brussels’ Grand Place.
La Bellone (as it’s often referred to) was named after Bellona, the Ancient Roman goddess of war, whose figure towers over the main door. The facade is also decorated with motifs celebrating the 1697 Battle of Zenta, an important Austrian victory over the Turkish Empire.
The house was acquired by Nicolas Bally and his wife Gertrude de Smeth immediately after its construction, though not much is known about the couple, nor how they used the estate. The building was acquired by the city in 1913 and has undergone several restorations in the nearly 100 years since, including the 1995 addition of its distinctive glass roof by architect Olivier Noterman.
Today, a hall and a covered passageway open up to a courtyard where the curved glass roof protects the house and provides a space for events ranging from exhibitions to meetings to musical performances. La Bellone also serves as a cultural center, information center, and arts library.
Update: Maison de la Bellone is closed until August 18, 2018.