This year, the Carolus V Festival is celebrating its tenth birthday and has decided to
reinvent itself for the occasion as Brussels Renaissance Festival (BRF). The BRF will take place over three weeks, from 19 June to 11 July, in several iconic locations in the capital.
There will be guided tours, lectures, exhibitions, life-size games and much more… It’s a great opportunity for visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in this key period of Brussels’ history.
For the past 10 years, the Carolus V Festival has been honouring the glorious period of Emperor Charles V’s reign. This year, visit.brussels decided to rethink the event’s organisation and change its name. This year the Brussels Renaissance Festival (BRF) will take place over a more concentrated 3-week period from 19 June to 11 July, letting visitors enjoy the event to the full.
The BRF’s programme is part of the «European routes of the Emperor Charles V» cultural network. This tourist and historical itinerary is recognised by the European Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe. It brings together the places that marked the reign of Charles V and the cities he passed through.
A complete immersion in the Renaissance
The heritage and history of 16th century Europe are highlighted through a series of festive, cultural and family activities organised at various locations in the Brussels-Capital Region. Through tours, activities and walks, visitors can relive various key moments of life at the time of Charles V and rediscover the richness of the era’s architectural heritage, as well as Brussels’ vestiges from the Renaissance period.
A wide range of activities will be offered. From guided tours to exhibitions and life-size games, there will be something for all tastes and ages. Visitors can look forward to a total immersion in the era of Charles V, the most powerful emperor of the 16th century.
New in 2021
The KBR (Royal Library of Belgium), a rich source of documentary heritage from the period thanks to its collection of written material, will be joining the festival this year. In addition to offering visits of its popular permanent collection, the museum will organise, among other things, quill-writing workshops to familiarise the public with this ancient technique.
To mark the Urban Archeology Days, urban.brussels will invite visitors to discover this fascinating discipline and the rich heritage of the Brussels-Capital Region. The monumental and emblematic City of Brussels Town Hall on Brussels’ sublime Grand-Place will reveal its secrets through bewitching guided tours.
The public will also be invited to solve a 500-yearold crime in the exceptional setting of the Coudenberg Palace. Rounding off the festival in style, the Renaissance weekend at the Maison du Roi gives the public the opportunity to go back in time by dressing up in some of the most beautiful clothes from the period and discovering its customs and habits through captivating stories.
All of this is just a preview of all the activities that will be offered to visitors by numerous venues and museums during these three weeks dedicated to the Renaissance in Brussels.
“I am delighted to discover the former Carolus V Festival’s new look! The Brussels Renaissance Festival makes our European historical heritage accessible to the general public. People of all ages will be able to discover this fascinating period through a series of activities organised in various locations in our region. I congratulate visit.brussels for this new project which immerses visitors in the wonderful world of this rich and fascinating era!” says Rudi Vervoort, Minister-President of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region.
“There is a resurgence of interest in our heritage and history among the general public. Giving an event like this a new lease of life demonstrates how we can make it attractive, intriguing and captivating for local residents and visitors alike. The people of Brussels are curious by nature, so we are opening the doors to places that are usually inaccessible, such as the spires of the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula and we are providing some context for the visits by combining them with the Archaeology Days”. says Pascal Smet, Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Urbanism and Heritage.
All activities organised as part of the event will take place in compliance with the health measures in force.
You’ll find more information on the entire festival programme at www.brf.brussels