Halle Gate

Last updated
Halle Gate
Porte de Hal/Hallepoort
Part of Second City Walls of Brussels
Brussels, Belgium
The Halle Gate in 2008
Map Bruxelles-Capitale.jpg
Red pog.svg
Halle Gate
Coordinates 50°49′59″N4°20′42″E / 50.8330°N 4.3449°E / 50.8330; 4.3449
Type City gate
Site information
Controlled by Royal Museums of Art and History
Open to
the public
Website Official website
Site history
Built1381 (1381)

The Halle Gate (French : Porte de Hal, Dutch : Hallepoort) is a medieval fortified city gate and the last vestige of the second walls of Brussels. [1] It is now a museum, part of the Royal Museums of Art and History. It is located on Boulevard du Midi/Zuidlaan between the City of Brussels and Saint-Gilles. This site is served by the metro station Porte de Hal/Hallepoort on lines 2 and 6 of the Brussels metro.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Dutch language A West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 24 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third-most-widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

City gate gate which is, or was, set within a city wall

A city gate is a gate which is, or was, set within a city wall.



Original structure

Built in 1381, the Halle Gate is a 14th-century city gate from the second set of defensive walls that enclosed Brussels. It first bore the name of Obbrussel Gate (for "Upper Brussels", now Saint-Gilles). The gate was renamed for the city of Halle (French : Hal), now located in Flemish Brabant, which it faces. The original gate included a portcullis and drawbridge over a moat. Though their military function ended in 1564, these features are visible to this day.

Brussels Capital region of Belgium

Brussels, officially the Brussels-Capital Region, is a region of Belgium comprising 19 municipalities, including the City of Brussels, which is the capital of Belgium. The Brussels-Capital Region is located in the central portion of the country and is a part of both the French Community of Belgium and the Flemish Community, but is separate from the Flemish Region and the Walloon Region. Brussels is the most densely populated and the richest region in Belgium in terms of GDP per capita. It covers 161 km2 (62 sq mi), a relatively small area compared to the two other regions, and has a population of 1.2 million. The metropolitan area of Brussels counts over 2.1 million people, which makes it the largest in Belgium. It is also part of a large conurbation extending towards Ghent, Antwerp, Leuven and Walloon Brabant, home to over 5 million people.

Saint-Gilles, Belgium Municipality in Belgium

Saint-Gilles or Sint-Gillis is one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. It is bordered by the City of Brussels, Anderlecht, Forest and Ixelles.

Halle, Belgium Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Halle is a city and municipality of Belgium, in the district (arrondissement) Halle-Vilvoorde of the province Flemish Brabant. It is located on the Brussels-Charleroi Canal and on the Flemish side of the language border that separates Flanders and Wallonia. Halle lies on the border between the Flemish plains to the North and the undulating Brabant lands to the South. The city also borders on the Pajottenland to the west. The official language of Halle is Dutch.

While the other six gateways and the defensive walls were demolished between 1818 and 1840 to make way for Brussels' inner ring road, the Halle Gate survived as it then served as a military prison. It was at other times used as a customs house, a granary, and a Lutheran church. In 1840, the street just inside of the gate was raised 3 metres (9.8 ft), making it impassable to vehicles.

Small ring (Brussels) small ring road of Brussels, Belgium

The Brussels small ring inner ring road, formally R20 is a series of roadways in central Brussels, Belgium, surrounding the historic city centre. The city centre is usually defined as the area within the small ring; this area is called the pentagon due to its pentagonal shape. The pentagon forms the core of the City of Brussels municipality.

Prison place in which people legally are physically confined and usually deprived of a range of personal freedoms

A prison, also known as a correctional facility, jail, gaol, penitentiary, detention center, correctional center, or remand center, is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state. Prisons are most commonly used within a criminal justice system: people charged with crimes may be imprisoned until their trial; those pleading or being found guilty of crimes at trial may be sentenced to a specified period of imprisonment. In simplest terms, a prison can also be described as a building in which people are legally held as a punishment for a crime they have committed.

Customs authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods

Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting tariffs and for controlling the flow of goods, including animals, transports, personal, and hazardous items, into and out of a country. The movement of people into and out of a country is normally monitored by migration authorities, under a variety of names and arrangements. Immigration authorities normally check for appropriate documentation, verify that a person is entitled to enter the country, apprehend people wanted by domestic or international arrest warrants, and impede the entry of people deemed dangerous to the country. Compare illegal emigration.

19th century restoration

From 1868 to 1871, as the city was being modernised, architect Henri Beyaert, with little regard for historical accuracy, transformed the austere medieval tower into something of a neo-Gothic castle, which fit better with the contemporary romantic perception of the Middle Ages. [1] The outer entrance, now facing Saint-Gilles, is closer to the original appearance. In front of the inner gate, facing the City of Brussels, Beyaert added a circular tower topped by a large conical roof, containing a monumental spiral staircase. The old, rectangular windows were replaced by ogival ones. Beyaert also added turrets, a walkway and new battlements.

Romanticism period of artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that started in 18th century Europe

Romanticism was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century, and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature—all components of modernity. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, with romantic thinkers influencing liberalism, radicalism, conservatism and nationalism.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th to the 15th century

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Ogive roundly tapered end of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object

An ogive is the roundly tapered end of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object. Ogive curves and surfaces are used in engineering, architecture and woodworking.

In 1847, the Halle Gate was included in Belgium's Musée Royal d'Armures, d'Antiquités et d'Ethnologie (Museum of Armour, Antiquity and Ethnology), now named the Royal Museums for Art and History. By 1889, the Halle Gate had become too small to house most of the collection, which was relocated to the Cinquantenaire/Jubelpark Museum. The Gate continued to display armour and weapons.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

2 eme enceinte, Porte de Hal.JPG
The Halle Gate in 1612, by Remigio Cantagallina
Porte de Hal (Hallepoort), Brussels, Belgium (ca. 1890-1900).jpg
The Halle Gate, late 19th century, after restoration


In 1976, the Halle Gate was in a dangerous state of disrepair and was closed. The building received protected status on 13 September 1990. [2] Finally renovations began, and it was reopened in 1991. Further restoration was stalled by lack of money, and the museum only housed temporary exhibitions for several years. In March 2007, a new extensive restoration began. The Gate finally reopened on 6 June 2008, with the "Saint-Gilles" (drawbridge) entrance as the prestigious main entrance to the building.

Heritage registers in Belgium cultural property of Belgium

Heritage registers in Belgium include immovable heritage such as World Heritage Sites, and National heritage sites, but also intangible cultural heritage. The agency responsible for keeping and updating inventories of immovable heritage is dependent on the region, as is the name for the object, which is called Beschermd erfgoed, Biens classés or Kulturdenkmal depending on the language of the municipality of the location.

Right next to the Halle Gate is a metro station with the same name with artworks by the famous Brussels artist François Schuiten.


The spiral staircase Porte de Hal stairs.jpg
The spiral staircase

The museum displays exhibits about the history of the building, as well as of the City of Brussels and its defence. The collection includes the parade armor of Archduke Albert of Austria, Governor General of the Habsburg Netherlands in the 17th century. The main parts of the museum, each on a separate floor, are:

The Halle Gate in 2011,
Sint-Gillis (Saint-Gilles)' side Porte de Hall Hallepoort 2011.jpg
The Halle Gate in 2011,
Sint-Gillis (Saint-Gilles)' side
The Halle Gate in 2011,
City of Brussels' side Porte de Hall Hallepoort 2011 Brussels-side2.jpg
The Halle Gate in 2011,
City of Brussels' side

In art

The Halle Gate was represented, around 1565–1568, by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in his painting The Wine of Saint Martin's Day .

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  1. 1 2 Fun, Everything is (2017-03-10). "Halle Gate | Brussels Museums". Brussels Museums. Retrieved 2018-06-14.
  2. "Bruxelles Pentagone - Porte de Hal - Boulevard du Midi 150 - Porte de Hal". www.irismonument.be. Retrieved 2019-10-27.


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