Built in the 11th century on the former Coudenberg mound, the former Brussels Palace was for six centuries successively home to the Dukes of Brabant, Dukes of Burgundy, Charles the Fifth and the Archdukes Albert and Isabelle.
Famous for its elegance, charming gardens and art collections, the castle was destroyed by a terrible fire in 1731. The ruins were then pulled-down to make way for the construction of the current Royal Palace as of 1775. Under the cobblestones in front of the current Palace there are impressive remains dating back to that time which were unearthed during major archaeological digs on the site. A guided tour also reveals the cellars of the main building of the castle belonging to the Dukes of Brabant, the kitchens, the famous Aula Magna reception room belonging to Philippe Le Bon then Charles the Fifth, as well as rue Isabelle which links the Coudenberg Palace to the church of Sainte-Gudule. Combine this with a visit to Musée Bellevue devoted to the history of the Royal Family.