Permanent exhibition

A museum presents its collections to the public. Officially recognized in early 2014 by the Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, The Brussels Museum of Industry and Labour offers visitors the possibility to discover part of its collection by visiting our new permanent exhibition.


Why this exhibition?

The Industrial Revolution has radically changed the economic, political and social relations of our country. In two centuries, Belgium has gone from being rural and agricultural to an urban society; its economy is now mainly based on the services sector. During this period, Brussels went through a double development: that of a very important industrial city, the first in the country in terms of employment; and that of the capital of an independent state and later of the European Union. As these two facets of the city go hand in hand, a tertiary economic function was ultimately imposed. Consequently, its industrial heritage has been cast aside, at the risk of it disappearing from the collective memory.

La Fonderie was established thirty years ago to safeguard the memory of the industrial past, and to explore its urban and social consequences. The Brussels Museum of Industry and Labour represents the culmination and implementation of its research and activities, which has been enriched with its collections of items saved, bought or donated.

What's there?

A city produces, processes and distributes much of the goods it needs, and Brussels is no exception. We wanted to present four key industry sectors that have created or transformed products made in Brussels: the metal industry, even more important given that La Fonderie settled on the site of the Compagnie des Bronzes; wood, which is essential for the construction and development of a city; textile manufacturing, historically one of the most important sectors in Brussels; and finally, the food sector that nourished a growing population.
Each module is based on two showcase machines that lead to a range of topics: the techniques, the history of a company, working conditions, working from home or in the factory, trade etc. We illustrate the diversity of the sector in question through its products and we focus on a particular type of production: for metal, we talk about car manufacturing, for textiles, hat making.

While we're showing pieces mostly from our collections, the exhibition is also enriched with loan items from partner institutions and private collectors.
The exhibition is in the 300m2 lathe operators room of the old Compagnie des Bronzes. This space was restored in 2001.

Far from being a static museum about the past, we want to make it relevant to you in your daily life by rounding off each module with a video that talks about the current state of industry: what does the Bruxellois like eating today? Do they still make hats in Brussels?

For whom?

La Fonderie does not aim to compete with the major museums in the capital. Our potential as a museum on a human scale enables us to play on our friendly atmosphere, closer contact with visitors, interactivity, etc. This exhibition is a cornerstone for a whole range of educational activities: including guided tours, activities for school and professional audiences ...

This trilingual - French / Dutch / English - exhibition will appeal to a wide audience, irrespective of familiarity with museums, which will certainly find information but also should enjoy discovering industrial Brussels. Our museum is open to everyone and wishes to reach out to another type of audience that is traditionally absent from museums. We have developed a program that addresses those in literacy training or socio-professional education. Located in a poor neighbourhood, La Fonderie wants to be an instrument for local development.

What's next?

Rather than a static exhibition, we have designed this one to be as adaptable and extendable, thanks to the rotation of pieces on show. Our intention is thus not only to ensure their safe storage, but also to allow you to enjoy the other treasures in our collection. Our exhibition is in evolution and new industries will be presented over the coming years.

We wish you a pleasant journey through industrial Brussels!


Opening : tuesday > friday : 10am > 5pm; Weekends : 2pm > 5pm.

Permanent + temporary exhibitions : 5€ - student, +65 year, unemployed and groups (minimum 10 p.) : 3€ - Article 27 : 1,25€ - free for -12 year

Free each 1st sunday of the month

La Fonderie - Museum for industry and work - 27 rue Ransfort - 1080 Bruxelles

informations This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 00 32 2 410 99 50



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