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Halle Gate, the fortified gate of Brussels

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The Porte de Hal as called in French) or Hallepoort as called in Dutch is a very old medieval fortified city gate of the second walls of Brussels. Constructed in 1381, Halle Gate is a 14th century gate as developed as the second set of defensive walls that surrounded the Brussels. The gate therefore named as the city of Halle in Flemish Brabant which it faces. The original gate there includes a portcullis and drawbridge over a moat. The structure that is still visible at the time. There for an unforeseen reason the other six gateways and the defensive wall were demolished, however, the Halle Gate somehow survived as it was used up there as a prison. Sometimes it was used as custom house, grain storage and a Lutheran church.

The architect Henri Beyaert restored and modified this 13th century structure as between the 1868 and 1870, and added to it more the austere medieval tower with more romantic Neo Gothic embellishments. The outer entrance of the gate that is towards the Saint-Gilles, is now close to its original appearance. At front of the inner gate, at towards the city of Brussels, Beyaert added a circular tower as been topped by a conical roof, involving a monumental spiral staircase. Beyaert even added turrets and a large roof.

In 1847 the Halle Gate made a property of Belgium’s Musée Royal d’Armures, d’Antiquités et d’Ethnologie (Museum of Armour, Antiquity and Ethnology), now famous as a the Royal Museums for Art and History. By 1889, the Halle Gate was felt too small to keep the most of the collection; therefore remaining items were transferred to the   Cinquantenaire Museum. However it kept on showing the armour and weapons. In 1976, the building was in too much risky position to fall due to the dangerous condition of disrepair and thus was closed down. Finally renovations started, the Gate was once again started in 1991. However, it this time too faced the lack of money however museum there kept some temporary article and collections. In March 2007 a new repair work started and the park finally reopened for the public in June 6, 2008. The museum now keeps the exhibits about the history of the building, and of the city of Brussels and its defence. The primary part of the museum on each floor includes as Armour and Armaments, the Gothic Room, the Guilds Room and the roof space for the smaller exhibitions.

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