The Walled gardens of the Hof van Busleyden Museum in Mechelen

29th of June 2018

The new Hof van Busleyden Museum has just opened. Restored thanks to support from the Baillet Latour Fund, the famous Walled gardens provide a fitting finale to the visit.

The new Hof van Busleyden Museum has been able to find a home in a Renaissance town house in Mechelen, the former capital of the Burgundian Netherlands. Here you can re-live the fabulous story of the duchy, as well as discover the treasures and history of the town. The museum presents a series of masterpieces that have been restored with the support of the King Baudouin Foundation. The High Council’s chest dominates the room where the Council met. The table has recently been restored thanks to a fund-raising campaign organised as part of the Quellenstede Fund set up by Christel and Hugo Nys, a fund whose aim is to help the museums of Mechelen preserve the town’s heritage for future generations.

A statuette of Saint Yves, the patron saint of lawyers, magistrates and jurists, welcomes the visitor at the entrance of the High Council’s chamber. It was restored as part of the SOS Polychromies campaign, one of the King Baudouin Foundation’s first initiatives in the realm of preserving the nation’s heritage.

The visit continues with a unique series of remarkable reredos or altar panels. This is, in fact, the only place that brings together such a coherent group of Walled gardens and it is thanks to the Baillet Latour Fund that they have been able to re-discover their former splendour. This fund notably supports the conservation of important works of Belgian heritage.

Without a shadow of doubt, the Walled gardens are an exceptional piece of heritage, so it is of no surprise that they have figured on the Flemish list of masterpieces since 2011. These Walled gardens, which represent an ideal world, a paradise, were made by the Hospice of the Augustine Sisters in Mechelen. In addition to the painted panels and the small polychrome sculptures, they contain small pieces of fabric and silk flowers, metal insignia and bunches of grapes in glass, crystal and parchment, paper and relics, linen and pipe clay and even fragments of bone… These Walled gardens are the result of meticulous work that often took several years to complete.

Praktical information:
Hof van Busleyden
Frederik de Merodestraat 65
2800 Mechelen
Mon-Tue-Fri-Sat-Sun: 10h – 17h
Thu: 10h – 22h
Wed: closed