Map - Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert (Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert)

Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert (Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert)
The Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries (Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert, Koninklijke Sint-Hubertusgalerijen) is an ensemble of three glazed shopping arcades in central Brussels, Belgium. It consists of the Galerie du Roi or Koningsgalerij ("King's Gallery"), the Galerie de la Reine or Koninginnegalerij ("Queen's Gallery") and the Galerie des Princes or Prinsengalerij ("Princes' Gallery").

The galleries were designed and built by the architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar between 1846 and 1847, and precede other famous 19th-century European shopping arcades, such as the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan and the Passage in Saint Petersburg. Like them, they have twin regular facades with distant origins in Vasari's long narrow street-like courtyard of the Uffizi in Florence, with glazed arched shopfronts separated by pilasters and two upper floors, all in an Italianate Cinquecento style, under an arched glass-paned roof with a delicate cast-iron framework. The complex was designated a historic monument in 1986.

The galleries are located in the block between the Rue du Marché aux Herbes/Grasmarkt and the Rue de la Montagne/Bergstraat to the south and east, the Rue d'Arenberg/Arenbergstraat and the Rue de l'Ecuyer/Schildknaapsstraat to the north, and the Rue des Dominicains/Predikherenstraat and the Rue des Bouchers/Beenhouwersstraat to the west. This site is served by Brussels Central Station.

The Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries were designed by the young architect Jean-Pierre Cluysenaar, who determined to sweep away a warren of ill-lit alleyways between the Rue du Marché aux Herbes/Grasmarkt and the Rue Montagne aux Herbes Potagères/Warmoesberg and replace a sordid space where the bourgeoisie scarcely ventured into with a covered shopping arcade more than 200 m in length. His idea, conceived in 1836, was finally authorised in February 1845. The partnership Société des Galeries Saint-Hubert, in which the banker Jean-André Demot took an interest, was established by the summer of that year, but nine years were required to disentangle all the property rights, assembled by rights of eminent domain, during a process that caused one property owner to die of a stroke, and a barber, it was said, to slit his throat as the adjacent house came down.

Construction started on 6 May 1846, lasting for thirteen months, and the 213 m passage was inaugurated on 20 June 1847 by King Leopold I and his two sons. In 1845, the Société named the three sections of the new passage the Galerie du Roi/Koningsgalerij, the Galerie de la Reine/Koninginnegalerij and the Galerie des Princes/Prinsengalerij. The ensemble, called the Passage Saint-Hubert ("Saint-Hubert Passage") has borne its present name since 1965.

Under its motto Omnibus omnia ("Everything for everybody"), displayed in the fronton of its palace-like facade, the Saint-Hubert Galleries attracted people of fashion. Brilliantly lit, they offered the luxury of outdoor cafés in Brussels' inclement climate, in an ambiance of luxury retailers that brought to Brussels the true feel of a European capital. In the premises of La Chronique daily newspaper, on 1 March 1896, the first public showing of moving pictures took place of the cinematographers Lumière, fresh from their initial triumph in Paris.

A theatre inside the Galerie du Roi, the Royal Theatre of the Galleries, was designed by Cluysenaar and opened 7 June 1847. It became one of three royal theatres of Brussels, alongside the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie and the Royal Park Theatre, playing operetta and revues. Its interior was rebuilt in 1951. Another theatre, the Théâtre du Vaudeville, located in the Galerie de la Reine, was inaugurated in 1884 as the Casino Saint-Hubert.

The Royal Galleries were designated a historic monument on 19 November 1986. In 2008, they were submitted for World Heritage inscription and are included in UNESCO's "Tentative List" in the cultural heritage category. Nowadays, the King's Gallery is home to the Museum of Letters and Manuscripts, which honours the greatest men and women of art, history, music, the humanities and science.

Map - Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert (Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert)
Country - Belgium
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Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Northwestern Europe. The country 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 30528 km2 and has a population of more than 11.5 million, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world and the 6th most densely populated country in Europe, with a density of 376 /km2. Belgium is part of an area known as the Low Countries, historically a somewhat larger region than the Benelux group of states, as it also included parts of northern France. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi, Liège, Bruges, Namur, and Leuven.

Belgium is a sovereign state and a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organization is complex and is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds. It is divided into three highly autonomous regions: the Flemish Region (Flanders) in the north, the Walloon Region (Wallonia) in the south, and the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is also home to two main linguistic communities: the Flemish Community, which constitutes about 60 percent of the population, and the French Community, which constitutes about 40 percent of the population. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons. The Brussels-Capital Region is officially bilingual in French and Dutch, although French is the dominant language.
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