Belgian Comic Strip Center

#12 in Best Things To Do in Brussels
Belgian Comic Strip Center picture
Alex Guibord/Flickr

Key Info

Zandstraat / Rue des Sables, 20

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
3.4scorecard
  • 3.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 3.5Atmosphere

A couple of hours at the Belgian Comic Strip Center, or the Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinee, are a treat for kids and the young-at-heart. After all, Brussels is home to the legendary explorer, Tintin, who is just one of the many characters represented here. The museum's collection is made up of 7,000 original plates and drawings, including 100 smurf drawings currently on display in the Peyo Exhibition. You can also find sculptures of characters including Porco Rosso, Gaston and Lucky Luke spread throughout the museum. If you didn't see what you were looking for on display, check in the extensive library.

Recent visitors enjoyed their experience at the Belgian Comic Strip Center and especially liked learning about how comics are created, while others reported feeling nostalgic getting to see and learn so much about comics they grew up with. Travelers were also impressed with the beauty of the building and suggested those not interested in comics should still stop by just to see the architecture. Though keep in mind, the building is constructed out of a lot of glass — some visitors cautioned it can get really hot on summer days and recommended wearing light clothing and bringing water.

The Belgian Comic Strip Center is located less than a mile north of the Grand-Place and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission costs about €10 EUR for adults and €3.50 EUR for children. Go to the official website for further details.

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#1 Manneken Pis

This little boy has put Brussels on the tourist map; people travel to this city from all over the world just to catch a glimpse of him urinating. The legend behind the Manneken Pis (which translates to little peeing man in Dutch) varies widely depending on who you ask. One popular story is of a little boy relieving himself on a witch's doorstep. Catching the boy in the act, the witch wished to punish him by turning him into stone, forcing him into that compromising position for eternity. A local, who witnessed the entire incident, ran to the boy and replaced him with a statue in the nick of time, making the boy miss the curse entirely. Another very popular story is that of a little boy stopping Brussels from meeting its demise. Enemy forces, intent on destroying Brussels, lit a small fire with the hopes it would spread and burn the city to the ground. A wandering little boy, who apparently really needed to go to the bathroom, saw the fire and put it out with his natural resources, thus saving the city. 

While the statue itself is of a child in the nude, he has been the recipient of about 800 different costumes, a tradition that began when Maximilian II Emanuel gave him a soldier's uniform in 1698. Since then Manneken Pis has been many things, including Santa and Elvis. Those interested in learning more about Manneken Pis should take a trip to the Museum of the City of Brussels, where more than 100 of his outfits are on display. The museum also has a digital archive of every single outfit that Manneken Pis has worn for visitors to view.

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