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Cluysenaer was the young architect who designed the gallery in 1836. It was
constructed in 1846 and inaugurated in 1847 by King Leopold and his two sons.
The covered shopping arcade was 213 meters long. It was the first glassed-in
shopping center in Europe and featured a glass barrel vaulted roof and used
Italian Neo-Renaissance architecture. There are three parts, the King’s Gallery,
the Queen’s Gallery and the Prince’s Gallery. It protected customers from the
bad weather. Today there are 54 luxury boutiques that feature chocolate shops,
restaurants and cafes and upmarket shops such as jewelry stores. When it opened
it became a favorite meeting place for artists and intellectuals like Victor
Hugo and Alexander Dumas.