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“An Excellent Museum in a Horrible Setting!”
Review of Herge Museum

Herge Museum
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Tintin Comics Tour to Hergé Museum from Brussels
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Just outside of Brusells, continue the celebration of cartoons at the Herge Musee (Herge Museum). The museum is dedicated to the creator of Tintin, following him and his life, including his personal experiences.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“An Excellent Museum in a Horrible Setting!”
Reviewed April 4, 2014

We went to visit the Museum on the 30th March 2014. We were having a long weekend in Brussels and, as I am a huge fan of Tintin, I thought it would be a good idea to go to Louvain-la-Neuve to visit the museum.

I have to say that if you are thinking about going by train (as we did) you should be prepared to spend at least an hour to reach your destination and this is only if you change at Ottignies. If you don't want to change trains, then it would take you at least an hour and a half. I was rather shocked to learn about the time length of the journey as Louvain-la-Neuve is not far from Brussels. Once we arrived we couldn't believe our eyes, the town is horrid; a place with no character whatsoever, and with a main square which is totally barren, no trees, no plants, no flowers...just concrete all around you. We quickly made our way towards the park were the museum is situated to find the "woods" dirty, full of rubbish. It looked as if this nice architectural building had been placed there just to make the location seem better...however, it just doesn't work at all.

Once inside, the museum is beautifully arranged. You can get and audio-visual set (that is included in the entrance prize) that gives you far more information than the one written next to the displays. You start by taking the lift up to the third floor and making your way down. The exhibition is very well displayed and there is just the right amount of information to make your visit a very pleasurable experience. I find that sometimes when visiting certain museums, the amount of information is far too much for you to take it all in on a single visit.

The exhibition explores Herge's life, focusing in how he created the diverse characters for his comics and where he found inspiration to create them. Also, the museum shows the multifaceted character of Herge, showing his early interest in advertising. Yet, most of the exhibition's theme is Tintin. If you are not interested in Tintin, or don't find it particularly motivating I would suggest you visit the 'Centre Belge de la Bande Dessinee' at Rue des Sables 20, where you can find more general information about comics without having to focus so much in Tintin. Also the museum is housed in a magnificent Art Nouveau building designed by Victor Horta.

Personally, I thought the museum Herge was brilliant and it did really take me back to my childhood when I used to read the Tintin comic books imagining that one day I would also travel the world in search of adventures! I thought my time in the train to reach the destination was worth it. So if you are a hardcore Tintin fan, don't let the journey or the town itself put you off going to visit the museum, it is a well worth experience and you won't be disappointed.

My only critique of the Herge Museum is the fact that you are not allowed to take photos inside. Although I do understand the reasons why, it is a shame you are not able to photograph the building as I thought it was a very well designed one. Also, as a fan of Tintin, I would have appreciated the possibility of having some life size models of the characters with which to have been able to take a picture with. I know it sounds silly, but I love this kind of 'souvenir'! Instead, I don't have any photo in this amazing space, apart from the one outside which doesn't really make justice to the beautifully designed interior of the building. Also, the surrounds are quite grim!

I didn't have lunch at the museum's restaurant, but I did manage to have a coffee to help me cope with the lengthy train journey back to Brussels, and I can say it was a very good coffee. I saw some people's food and, although I can't tell you how it tasted, I can say it look quite inviting to me.

So, what did I make of my visit to the Museum Herge? It was worth it, and one of my favourite places I visited during this weekend visit to Brussels. If you loved and enjoyed Tintin books as a kid, then I would recommend you take some time to come and visit. It will really take you back!!!

Visited March 2014
3 Thank GalicianGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
356 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 514 helpful votes
“A nice museum for fans, but it will not convince you”
Reviewed March 28, 2014

if you are not a Tintinophile already. I think to go from Brussels unless you are a hardcore aficionado would be bizarrely wasted, unless you wanted to check out the experiment that is Louvain-la-neuve as a town created from scratch a few decades ago. If you go by car, my advice is to park for free at the Ibis Style hotel parking lot, cross the street and you are there in less than 10 minutes.

The museum is architecturally very successful and has a great infrastructure (restaurant, shop, lockers for coats or bags etc.). The problem is that it showcases the comic art of Hergé of which one is either already a fan or not; if yes, you will like or love it, if not, this museum will not introduce you to the Tintin universe, because it preaches to the (many, many) converted. Tintin is lost on me; I neither see the charm of the characters nor the interesting text nor subtext, but this is me - I knew Tintin as a child but never liked it especially (as for adventures far away and exotic, I much preferred what turned out to be the Carl Barks adventures in the Disney Duck context).

The museum, created by Hergé's inheritors, is also extremely temple-like; Hergé is praised well beyond any objective significance (basically as a pinnacle of Western literature), and even if you take comics as a genuine art form, as Belgium is inclined to do, I just do not think Hergé is it. I have to also confess that both the suppression of Hergé's poltical views early in his life in the museum and those views themselves (for many years if not decades, he was basically a professionally right-wing, if not crypto-fascist, journalist; see any Wikipedia entry or Google it) as well as the highly problematic depiction of many if not most cultures and races beyond Northwest Europe (Conglolese! Japanese!) does not play well with me, and this is not entirely ameliorated by drawing entertaining cartoons and having some commendable views later.

For sure you should visit if you stay, even if for a day or two, in Louvain-la-neuve; it is by far the main attraction here, and on a certain level it is interesting precisely of what it is and what it not is. In that sense, the museum's flaws are very instructive to see, but any non-Tintinologist coming here should read up on Hergé for 10-15 minutes *before* entering the museum, because the museum will not tell you the true story.

Visited March 2014
Thank Aethelred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lisbon, Portugal
Level Contributor
68 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The mecca of all Tintin worshippers.”
Reviewed March 25, 2014 via mobile

Absolutely lovely museum inside a state of the art building with a beautiful immersive exhibition which gives you a great insight into Hergé's work and specially the impact Tintin had all over the world and specially in our childhood memories. The audioguide is a locked ipod touch with very accessible content and little games. He exhibition does a great job of making you travel through the various albums and giving you new information about them. The museum's store is an absolute temptation, but the coolest items are only for wealthy, hardcore fans. We went there on a peaceful Sunday afternoon which meant the museum was very quiet and with few visitors. We took the train from the Gare du Midi (1h trip, more or less), but it's very worth the trip if you love Tintin as much as I do.

Visited March 2014
Thank Luís A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Much better than stripmuseum in Brussels”
Reviewed February 25, 2014 via mobile

Fantastic interactive audiovisual handheld guide brings Herge, Tintin characters and their context to life. Great range of exhibits in weirdly wonderful building. Bit difficult to find parking and rest of town uninteresting but definitely worth the half hour trip from Brussels. So much more interesting for children than the Stripmuseum which is totally non interactive and where all the cartoons are in French without translations.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Rebecca G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Fantastic experience!”
Reviewed February 16, 2014

I didn't know too much about Tintin but my husband is a fan. I went along and actually had a really good time learning about Herge and the characters he created.

It's not that long but it does depend on how much or little time you want to spend reading and admiring the work.

The audio guide is fantastic and has little quizzes too. The venue does have lockers that are free (you have to pop a few Euros in as a deposit so make sure you have some handy). Unburden yourself and leave all your bags, coats and phones in the locker and free yourself up for a comfy journey into Herge's world.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank Candice H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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