Brussels is considered by many to be the street art capital of the world. There is a huge variety of works all around the city and Brussels street art makes the Belgian capital resemble an open-air museum. For quite some time, Brussels has been experiencing a growing street art boom and like Berlin, urban art has become an important revenue generator for the city. The importance has gained such supremacy that the city has established an official ‘street art route’ and each year, 100,000 euros are dedicated to hosting artists in the field of urban art. Though the entire city is one colourful canvas of expressions, the big five of Brussels street art scene are as follows.
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The five must-see Brussels street art
- Ric Hochet Wall – Located on Rue du Bon Secours, the Ric Hochet Wall is dedicated to the 1950s comic hero, Ric Hochet, a savvy reporter whose adventures include outsmarting charlatans. Painted by G. Oreopoulos and D. Vandegeerde in 1994, the Ric Hochet Wall is a real treasure.
- Odilon Verjus – The Rue des Capucins holds the stylish larger-than-life mural of Odilon Verjus as he helps Josephine Baker down off a ledge. This comic strip is dedicated to the adventures of the missionary, Odilon Verjus, and his timid helper Laurent de Boismenu. Created by Larent Verron, this comic strip often included real-life characters and events, such as Edith Piaf and John Wayne.
- Lucky Luke -The legendary character from the wild, wild, west, LuckyLuke, calls 40 Rue de la Buanderie his home. His murals feature his loyal sidekick, Jolly Jumper, the four Dalton brothers, and his little dog. Painted by Morris, Lucky Luke murals are one of the cutest of Brussels street art.
- Broussaille and his girlfriend – The character of the nature enthusiast, Broussaille was created by Frank Pé. He is featured on Rue de Marché au Charbon, walking hand in hand with his girlfriend.
- The Smurfs – Recently, the little blue Smurfs celebrated their 60th birthday. Created by cartoonist Pierre Culliford in 1958, the Smurfs took the world by storm. Brussels celebrated its birthday by dedicating the brand new Smurf mural opposite the central station.
Some details of Brussels street art on the Comic Book Route
One of the most fun ways to explore Brussels street art is to go down the Comic Book Route. This project began in 1991 as a means to decorate the city with murals while paying tribute to famous Belgian cartoonists. The Comic Book Route showcases over 50 murals and the brochure of the Comic Book Route is available for sale at the visit. Brussels information desks for 2.5 Euros. Here are a couple of the comic book murals that are not to be missed during the Brussels street art tour.
- Tintin – At Rue de l’Etuve is where you will find Tintin, Captain Haddock, and our very own favourite daredevil dog, Snowy. The Rue de l’Etuve is also the home of Manneken Pis.
- Victor Sackville Wall – Located at Rue du Marché au Charbon is the Victor Sackville Wall. The mural depicts the main character Victor Sackville, a British spy on the Rue du Marché au Charbon as it looked during WWI.
- The Scorpion – On Rue du Treurenberg, one will notice the mural of the swashbuckling hero Armando Catalano.
- Spirau – The Spirau mural covers most of the exterior of a five-storeyed building of Rue Notre Dame de Graces of the Marolles district.
- Asterix – This famous Gaul is well depicted attacking a Roman camp, on the wall of a playground on Rue de la Baunderie.
- Olivier Rameau – This one is my personal favourite. Located at Rue du Chêne 9, a fresh, cheerful young man, Olivier Rameau takes off his straw hat and holds out his hand to Colombe Tiredaile, a stunning beauty in a short skirt. This is one of the prettiest murals of Brussels since cartoonist and Oliver Rameau’s creator, Dany is very good at drawing fantastical scenes involving beauties with voluptuous shapes, round breasts, and sensual lips.
- Spike and Suzy – This mural is at Rue de Laeken 111.
- Le Chat – A mural of Le Chat is located on Boulevard Du Midi near the Porte de Hal.
- Manneken Peace (Eikstraat) – This well-known mural can be found in the Eikstraat (Rue du Chêne).
- Music Murals – The Arlequin music store is located on the same street. Here, you will find the music murals that depict Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix.
- The Rainbow Quarter – In the same area, lies the incredible series of LGBTIQ frescoes, as well as several other pieces. Head to the Lollepotstraat (Rue de la Chaufferette) to see them. It takes 4-5 minutes to walk from Manneken Peace to the Rainbow Quarter.
The lesser-known pieces on the Comic Book Route
- Young Albert work on Rue des Alexiens
- The mural of the Japanese lady, Yoko Tsuno, one of the first heroines of Belgian comics can be seen at Rue Terre-Neuve.
- Thorgal mural is at Place Anneessens 2.
- The Scouts of the Beaver Patrol mural can be seen at Rue Blaes – Rue Piereman.
- The Billy and Buddy mural is on Rue du Chevreuil.
- Quick and Flupke can be seen at Rue Notre-Seigneur 19.
For the latest Brussels street art, look beyond the central area
The comic book walls are mostly everywhere in central Brussels. Central Brussels includes areas like the Sablon, Marolles, and Saint-Gilles. Click here to see the comic book route. That was just a preview of my favourites among the Brussels street art on the Comic Book Route. But bear in mind, that there is plenty of stunning street art that is waiting to be discovered outside of central Brussels.
Tips on creating your own Brussels street art walking tour
- 1. Firstly note down the addresses of all the comic strip murals you wish to see in Brussels. Use this official website to get the addresses and the entire list of curated murals.
- Then either use an old-fashioned city map or Google maps to mark out your route.
- Start with the mural closest to where you are staying and then follow the thread.
- Keep in mind that the Comic Book Route has more than 50 murals. So keep your eyes peeled and you will find plenty of other murals to fill in the gaps between the major ones, you selected.
- The pro tip for a self-guided Brussels street art tour is to shortlist the ones you wish to see.
NOTE – “Writings on the Walls” is an ongoing series in which I hope to collate awesome street art from around the world. If you wish to collaborate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can take it from there.
Follow the rest of the street art series
- STREET ART IN COLOGNE
- STREET ART IN SINGAPORE
- KOCHI STREET ART
- STREET ART IN DELHI
- STREET ART IN CAIRO
- STREET ART IN FAYYOUM IN EGYPT
- STREET ART IN DAHAB
- STREET ART IN MUMBAI
- ZAGREB STREET ART
- BANGALORE STREET ART
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