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“Wonderful placed related to Belgian History” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Museum for Central Africa

Royal Museum for Central Africa
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US$26.35*
and up
The Brussels Card
Ranked #66 of 391 things to do in Brussels
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful placed related to Belgian History”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 September 2013

Always nice to pass by ! Nice exhitions, Interesting wokshops. Well undertained ! A place to be on Sundays/

Visited April 2013
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Thank coeurguilaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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162 reviews from our community

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Tervuren, Belgium
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Extremely outdated decor (but will be renovated soon!)”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 August 2013

Being inhabitants of Tervuren, we took the chance to visit the museum for free before it would close its doors in November for a thorough renovation. And it really, really needs the renovation. Entering through the gates from the Tervuursesteenweg, the side walls of the palace seem to have been neglected. Anyway, at the front (facing the Park of Tervuren) and in the halls inside, the palace is still able to retain its grandeur. There was an option to use an audioguide throughout the museum, but I was tired of having to walk around with information constantly flowing into my ears, so we declined. The exhibitions in the front wings were rather disappointing. Even if there was a wealth of beautiful handicrafts to be displayed, they were placed inside outdated wooden cabinets with glass, as if they haven't been touched for decades. And I regretted not taking the audio guide, because there was no textual information, except for a few tiny, worn out A4s with slightly irrelevant information, tucked away in between cabinets. So it was a guessing game most of the time. There was stuffed African fauna on display as well, but the background "scenery" needed refurbishing, especially the dried and dead grass. The elephant was impressive, but sadly enough its skin was wearing and tearing. On the other hand, the insect collection was stunning because of the sheer amount of butterflies, beetles, spiders... and other rooms with temporary exhibitions about colonial life and the Vonpischmeyer collection were better taken care of. The hall with several statues of king Leopold and others would have been more beautiful had the paint not been flaking off the ceiling. The shop had a plethora of items, but each dusty and outdated... We were about to leave the museum after visiting it, when we noticed an almost hidden entrance to a completely new section: the Congo Basin exhibition. I was absolutely wowed by how modern and creative it looked. If this is how the museum will look like after the renovation, I will definitely want to visit it again!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank rofthecastle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
55 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Good, but nothing exceptional”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 August 2013

Rather interesting exposition and good park around.
Before the TV-era this museum was much more attractive, I guess. Now it looks more like a shadow of national geografic. But in any way, there are tons of interesting exponates - so for families with teens it must be interesting to visit.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Irina_Il
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
North Wales, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
550 reviews
188 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 301 helpful votes
“Hopefully we will come back when the Museum is fully renovated!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 August 2013

Pick up the 44 tram at the Montgomery metro station. You can not use one of your brussels tickets as it goes beyond the boundary so If the machine on the platform is not working ask the tram driver to sell you a return. Sit back and enjoy the ride past Palais Stocklet, big mansions, forest and parks. The museum building is very impressive and well worth a walk round the outside if you have the time. It is set in lovely gardens with fountains and lakes. The locals were walking dogs, pushing Granny in a wheel chair, picnicking, strolling and sat reading. The Museum cafe has standard snacks and also interesting African food, we had the Prawn Curry (8 HUGE Prawns) and the Chicken yassa, with coriander and lemon, both were served with lots of rice and were very tasty.. There is also a cafe on the side of the lake in the gardens, leave the museum by the front door and walk straight forward down to the lake and turn right, it's at the end of the lake. The museum is a fascinating mish mash of original Leopold the Second exhibits (2 charming stuffed crocodiles) and a new exhibition on the Congo river. I am not keen on stuffed animals but children will probably love them. I found the spears, statues, charms, canoes, tv clips and pottery. The Stanley exhibition was interesting despite the fact that some of the artefacts had been removed for another exhibition and the board said he was born in Benbigh which should have read Denbigh! Give this Museum a go its well worth visiting for many reasons.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
Thank VanessaRoad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Brilliant, but roll on 2015”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2013

A vast, complex and fascinating museum and beautiful grounds in the outer suburbs of Brussels. A former royal palace, it covers Belgium's complicated and hotly debated relationship with its central African empire, focusing obviously on the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Put simply, the museum contains a great number of stuffed animals and artefacts from the Congo coupled with momentos such as banners of the Force Publique and symbolic statues of Belgian beneficence towards the conquered Africans that are rather problematic for modern sensibilities.

The museum's authorities are in the process of modernizing the museum and it will be fascinating to see how it changes over the next couple of years. In short, I find the museum compelling and one of the most interesting historical sources in all of Europe. It ought to be on every visitor to Brussels' must-see list.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Atkino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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