Royal Salon at Brussels-Central Railway Station

Royal fauteuil by Delvaux.

In the summer of 2021, the NMBS / SNCB via Train World and the Wallonia-Brussels Federation (officially the French Community in Belgium) held an art exhibition by Myriam Louyest in the Royal Salon of Brussels-Central Railway Station.

But public transport enthusiast Simon, Danny and I mostly went for the Salon. 

The Royal Salon was inaugurated on October 4, 1952. The design is by Maxime Brunfaut, a former student of Victor Horta. This reception room is one of Central Station’s best kept secrets and was mainly used during the 1958 World’s Fair to receive foreign delegations.

Royal lift.

The outside entrance at Cantersteen / Kantersteen is almost unnoticeable. The door inside the station is discreet, but visible. It’s a large double wooden door, with Belgium’s coat of arms above it. The door is surrounded by Labrador granite. 

Door in the station. Photo by Thanh.

The space surprises with its dimensions and refined finishes, including upholstery and seats from the Delvaux leather luxury goods house. 

The light grey Arabescato marble, whose veins subtly enter into a dialogue with the gilded elements, dominate the decor.

Marble and Leo Belgicus.

In 1952, Baudouin (or Baldwin) was King of the Belgians. The king also had his own toilet room with gold-plated taps. The space was owned by the court, but was transferred to the NMBS / SNCB years ago. The elevator is broken and the works of art have been removed from the walls, but everything else is in good condition. 

As far as people concerned can remember, Baudouin used the Salon just once, when opening the station. 

Some art objects were removed since. The seats were repaired not so long ago, and the space is also regularly cleaned by the station’s cleaning teams.

Kings and trains

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