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“Somewhat dated and poor narratives” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Royal Museum for Central Africa

Royal Museum for Central Africa
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$26.38*
and up
The Brussels Card
Ranked #66 of 391 things to do in Brussels
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Shropshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Somewhat dated and poor narratives”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2013

The museum is a bit of a mixed bag of interesting exhibits and dated items, however I belive it is to go through some modernisation.
There is little that one probably hasn't seen elsewhere if your are a regular natural history museum visitor.
The narratives associated with exhibits are brief and in some cases not present, with all in Dutch/French but with English translations somewhat sporadic.
On the plus side, entry fees are modest and the grounds are an excellent place to walk and/or picnic.

Visited September 2012
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Thank AnIdiotAnywhere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Level Contributor
133 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Go there before the renovation Mid 2013, to see the old fashioned museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 29, 2012

This museum is worth your visit for so many reasons, and you need to be quick as it will close for a major renovation in 2013. Why visit:
- The place is situated in a nice park and palatial building with grand halls full of decorations that make the visit worthwile on its own (and only 4 EUROS entry!!)
- The collection is diverse and quite unique, particularly the large wildlife panoramas full of all manner of animals. Also note the large variety of ethnographic stuff (a huge dug out canoe, musical instruments etc)
- The easy and 'logical' way the museum is organized, no complicated things just grouping of items along themes

But most importantly you should visit the museum because it unabashedly old-fashioned. The museum has a distinct 19th century feel with almost not electronics and little political correctness. Though this paternalistic view of Africa can be a bit over the top its a rare thing to see. The museum probably tells you in equal measure something about Central Africa but also a lot about how generations of Belgians saw Africa (full of wild animals and 'wild people'). I'd imagine the renovation will take away most of the oldfashioned-ness of this place so visit now!

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Martijn t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Improving, but still disturbing”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 26, 2012

Recent improvements have been good at the museum, but it is still disturbingly uncritical of colonial times. The statues in the entrance of triumphant Belgians bringing civilization to the poor Africans are incredibly racist!

Helpful?
6 Thank BelgiumBiztrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great Congo Museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2012

The Royal Museum for Central Africa is in a remote Brussels suburb named Tuveren, but it is a delightful trip out there. The building is a former palace of King Leopold II, and the route travels through "Embassy Row", with lots of interesting buildings housing the embassies of numerous foreign countries. This museum is also known, commonly, as "The Africa Museum" and "The Congo Museum". There are lots of artifacts dating from Belgium's venture into African colonialism, in what used to be known as the Belgian Congo.

This museum contains many fascinating artifacts from Africa. This having been said, it has also been "sanitized" of most references to the notorious atrocities committed by Leopold II, which made him one of the most hated men in Europe. For what it is worth, Leopold II was seduced by all the wealth in Africa, and jealous of all the other European countries which were exploiting this wealth. He proposed that Belgium embark on a colonial adventure, which was REJECTED by the Belgian government. So Leopold II began a private venture, using mercenaries. The Belgian government was forced, years later, to become involved only to clean up the mess that their king had caused. And the scandals associated with Leopold II's cruelty are something about which the Belgians don't want to be reminded. So, this museum is by no means historically complete. Nevertheless, it is a fascinating place for anybody interested in African culture in the 1800s.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank LeClef
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beirut, Lebanon
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Wonderful and Majestic for people who Like Africa,Animals and natural backgrounds.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2012

I spent a really wonderful time here. on your way to museum from Brussels, if you took the tram, you pass by a very wonderful forest before you reach the museum area. when you enter the museum property, its a very majestic natural background which is well organized and have long trees and shrubs on all sides of the area. As soon as you arrive the museum walking , you see a big pool of water facing the museum which is also surrounded by a wonderful natural background. As soon as you enter the museum, you start getting to know Africa in culture,people,Animals and insects. I admired all that as am a big fan of Africa and animals. There is in insects section, tablets screening very interesting & charming organized samples of butterflies which you should take a look on.
Also, you would like taking a picture beside the giant elephant and giraffe .
I just have one remark, that African plants should be more represented then the actual given space.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
Thank HT-LEB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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