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Walking around Brussels with Tintin

For the past 30 years, the City of Brussels has honoured the most important characters and authors of Franco-Belgian comic strip, on its walls. In Brussels, Tintin and his friends are obviously to be found on the facades, but the city is full of other treasures.
If there is only one city to be in if you are a comic strip fan, it is Brussels. The capital is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Comic Strip Cartoon Trail.
The genesis of the Comic Strip Trail dates back to the early 1990’s. The City of Brussels led a firm fight against the large advertising posters that were blighting the city centre. Once these posters had been removed, they revealed dilapidated facades that had to be restored. This was the catalyst for the creation of the first comic strip fresco. Over the years, they have multiplied and Tintin soon joined the gang.
Tintin and his friends can obviously be found on the facades, but the city is teeming with other unique places linked to our young reporter, which you should discover as soon as possible.

Brussels Park

Rediscover the familiar landscapes from King Ottokar’s Sceptre by strolling along the paths of the Park of Brussels. There is no doubt that it inspired Hergé.

© visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Remy 2022

King Ottokar’s Sceptre

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace, the construction of which was completed in 1829, served as Hergé’s model for the sketch of the Royal Palace of Muskar XII, king of Syldavia, in King Ottokar’s Sceptre.

© Moulinsart - 2022

King Ottokar’s Sceptre. © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Quick and Flupke fresco

It is in the gags of these two mischievous urchins that we find the deep traces of Hergé's youth in Brussels.
An amusing detail is that Quick and Flupke appear in one vignette in Tintin in the Congo and another one in The Shooting Star.

The Shooting Star
© Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Place du Jeu de Balle

Since 1873, the Place du Jeu de Balle has been home to numerous second-hand and antique dealers. More than 500 stalls take over the “Old Market" every day, offering professionals and amateurs alike a multitude of treasures. At the beginning of The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin goes to the flea market and discovers the model of The Unicorn ship, container of so many mysteries.

© visit.brussels - Jean-Paul_Remy 2022

The Secret of the Unicorn. © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Tintin fresco (Gare du Midi)

On the occasion of the centenary of Hergé's birth, a fresco was installed in the Gare du Midi. It featured an image from the black and white version of Tintin in America, published in 1932.

Tintin in America
© Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Les Éditions du Lombard (Le Lombard)

Just outside the Gare du Midi, you will find the "Tintin building" of Le Lombard Publishing House, which published Tintin magazine for many years, and which is now a listed building. The sign featuring the busts of Tintin and Snowy on top of the Lombard building was installed in 1958 and is now one of the most famous symbols of Brussels.

© Dargaud Lombard - 2022
© Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

26 Rue du Labrador (Labrador Road)

Behind this fictitious address of 26 rue du Labrador, there is the reality of 26, rue Terre-Neuve (Newfoundland). Hergé often went there to visit his grandmother. She was probably the source of inspiration for the address of the famous reporter before he moved to Marlinspike Hall.
Nowadays, the address “26 rue du Labrador" does exist, but in Louvain-la-Neuve. It is the address of the Hergé Museum.

Tintin fresco (rue de l'Étuve)

A few steps from the famous Manneken Pis, you will discover an enormous fresco featuring Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock, inspired from The Calculus Affair.

The Calculus Affair
© Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

The Tintin Shop (13 rue de la Colline)

A visit to the Tintin Shop, located not far from the famous Grand-Place, is a must.
Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Saint-Hubert Galleries

In 1941, the Théâtre Royal des Galeries staged the premiere of Tintin in the India, also known as The Mystery of the Blue Diamond (a play which featured some of the characters created by Hergé, in an unpublished story). It was also in front of this theatre that Hergé met Edgar-Pierre Jacobs, the creator of Blake and Mortimer.

© Moulinsart - 2022

© Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Hotel Amigo

Hotel Amigo offers the Signature "Tintin" Suite to welcome its guests into the world of the courageous reporter.
© Hôtel Amigo - Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

La Monnaie

The Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie inspired Hergé in 1948. The interior design of the opera house appears in The Seven Crystal Balls. This was also inspired by the Théâtre des Galeries and the Théâtre du Parc.

© visit.brussels - Jean-Paul_Remy 2022

© visit.brussels - Jean-Paul_Remy 2022

The Seven Crystal Balls © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Hotel Metropole

The Metropole Hotel remains one of the most beautiful hotels in Brussels. It has retained all its authenticity. It appeared majestically in The Seven Crystal Balls.

© Hotel Metropole 2022

The Seven Crystal Balls © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Villa Avenue Delleur

This house inspired Hergé to draw Professor Tarragon’s residence in The Seven Crystal Balls.

© Moulinsart - 2022

The Seven Crystal Balls. © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Musée Art & Histoire, (Art and History Museum)

At the Musée Art & Histoire, you will see the mummy that inspired Rascar Capac's mummy in The Seven Crystal Balls and the Arumbaya fetish from The Broken Ear.

© Moulinsart - 2022

The Seven Crystal Balls. © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Avenue Louise

Although no adventure took place there, a short detour to Avenue Louise will allow you to admire the architecture that can be found in several of Tintin's adventures. The Studios Hergé which were created in the 1950’s were first based at number 164 and then moved to 162.

© Moulinsart - 2022

King Ottokar’s Sceptre. © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

The Royal Observatory of Belgium

Hergé lived not far from the Observatory, so it is not surprising that he was directly inspired by this place for The Shooting Star.

© Moulinsart - 2022

The Shooting Star. © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Tintin statue (Uccle Cultural Centre)

In the Cultural Centre of Uccle you will find the original life-size statue of Tintin and Snowy. It is the work of Nat Neujean, a Belgian sculptor. Raymond Leblanc commissioned it to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tintin magazine.
© N. Neujean - B. Neuman - Sabam 2022. Photo © David Plas. © Hergé-Moulinsart 2022

Stockel metro station

At the terminus of line 1 of the Metro, you will be greeted by two frescoes featuring a multitude of characters all from the famous adventures of the young reporter.

© visit.brussels - Rafael_Pérez 2022

Hergé’s birthplace

Hergé was born on 22nd May 1907 in Etterbeek. He was born at 25 Cranz Street. There is no need to look for this address because the name of the street has changed. Today, you should go to 33 rue Philippe Baucq. You will discover the commemorative plaque affixed in 1986, which states, "Here Georges Remi, the spiritual father of Tintin, was born on 22nd May 1907”.

© Moulinsart - 2022

Hergé’s house

It was at 17 Avenue Delleur that Hergé devised his wildest adventures for Tintin, his star character. He lived there from 1939 to 1953.

© Moulinsart - 2022

Hergé's frescoes at the Saint Boniface Institute

In the autumn of 1922, the Federation of Belgian Catholic Scouts encouraged its troops to renovate the premises that had been made available to them. We are referring to the one which is located on the ground floor of the house next to the chapel. The Unit's troop leader entrusted the project to a certain Georges Remi, the future Hergé, who, at the age of 15, completed the decorating with the scouts of his patrol in the spring of 1923. The budding artist created stencilled friezes with 35 galloping knights one metre above the ground, as well as 52 Native Americans and scouts alternating on all fours, flush with the ceiling.
© Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

The café La Fleur en Papier Doré

The cafe-bar has long been a meeting place for artists and writers. Hergé often visited this cafe (as did Pierre Alechinsky, Louis Scutenaire and Jacques Brel).

© Moulinsart - 2022

Bust of Hergé in Etterbeek

Hergé was born and spent about twenty years of his life in Etterbeek. The municipality therefore inaugurated a bust of the illustrator on Place de Theux, or rather 'Place Hergé'. Since the square and the surrounding streets have been renamed (symbolically) with characters from The Adventures of Tintin.

© N. Neujean - B. Neuman - Sabam - 2022

Fresque Brussels-Luxembourg station

Inaugurated in 2009, an enormous fresco signed by Hergé welcomes you at the main entrance of Brussels-Luxembourg station. This fresco, published in Le Soir newspaper on 27th October 1932, features Quick and Flupke and Thomson and Thompson.

© visit.brussels - Olivier van de Kerc- Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

© Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Africa Museum

In the Africa Museum you will find many artefacts which inspired Hergé's drawings for Tintin in the Congo. The masks, the canoe, the spears and even the leopard man's costume are on display.

© Moulinsart - 2022

Tintin in the Congo. © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Agent 15

On the Place Sainctelette you will come across Agent 15, the famous policeman from The Adventures of Quick and Flupke. In the series, he is subjected to a thousand and one pranks by the two urchins from Brussels. The Place Sainctelette also has a nasty surprise for him…

© visit.brussels - Jean-Paul Remy - © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Quick et Flupke © Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022

Hergé Museum

The Hergé Museum is located 30 minutes from Brussels.
© Danny Gys - Atelier Christian de Portzamparc - Hergé/Moulinsart - 2022
*produced in collaboration with Visit Brussels
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16/01/2022 21:45 PM
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