Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels  

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The Paleis voor Schone Kunsten (Dutch) or Palais des Beaux Arts (French) is an important federal cultural venue in Brussels, Belgium, commonly referred to as 'Bozar' or 'PSK'. It first opened its doors in 1928 and contains exhibition rooms, conference rooms, a large concert hall, and a movie theater.

Directly after the First World War, the Belgian Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta (1861-1947) began to plan the Centre for Fine Arts. Initially the Belgian parliament denied funding, but in 1922 the Société du Palais des Beaux-Arts was founded and the project could start, albeit with several restrictions: the city supplied a very irregular area on the slope between the higher and the lower part of the city. The main facade had to house shopping facilities. The height was restricted not to compromise the King's view of Brussels' skyline from the Royal Palace.

It took more than a decade to complete the complex that contains a large concert hall, a recital room, a chamber music room, lecture rooms and a vast gallery for temporary exhibitions. Horta created a stunning Art Deco masterpiece. He managed to put together this array of different functions on a rather small building plot with restricted conditions using more than 8 building levels with a large part situated underground.

Since 2002, the Belgian federal instution has chosen the brand name BOZAR which has seven artistic departments: Bozar Expo, Bozar Music, Bozar Cinema, Bozar Dance, Bozar Theatre, Bozar Literature, Bozar Studios and Boxar Architecture. The "Bozar" is home to the National Orchestra of Belgium, the Société Philharmonique/Philharmonische vereniging which invites the world's major orchestras and performers to appear at the Le Boeuf Hall. The finals of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition are held there also.

Performance and other facilities

  • Chamber Music Room
  • Great Sculpture Hall forms the center of the building
  • Henry Le Boeuf Hall , which seats 2,200, is oval in shape and was considered to be one of the world's finest concert halls before renovations in the 1960's effected the excellent acoustics. This default was corrected during renovations in 2002.
  • Recital Room is located on the main level.

See also

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