Galerie des Princes aka Passage du Prince, Brussels


The Passage du Prince is slightly the poor cousin of its illustrious neighbours in the Galeries Royales. Its glass ceiling is somewhat more modest, its shops not quite so ostentatious. And it is only one storey high, so the ceiling also doesn’t pull the gaze upwards as it does in the other Royal arcades.

But work was underway to renovate this arcade in the Galeries St Hubert, and it does have a couple of tenants, plus a story or two from its past making it worth a separate entry in this Arcades Project.

Galerie (or Passage) du Prince cuts off the Galerie du Roi at right angles and heads out onto rue des Dominicains.

There were just four main units occupied at the time of our visit: the bookshop Tropismes, which looked like a real emporium, in this arcade since 1984; there is a magnificent art gallery, where the paintings on the wall are probably for sale and look like they’d fetch a price beyond my pockets; there is a stylish home décor shore, and a restaurant at the Dominicains end of the arcade. The other units were either empty or under repair work, so a revisit might be needed later this year…

Google Maps (in EN version anyway) does not have an entry for Galerie du Prince. However a couple of the shops in this arcade have got mentions on Google Maps so this map will take you to those shops direct rather than the arcade itself.

My favourite shops today

The Tropismes bookshop comes equal top with the extraordinary art gallery and shop opposite. The bookshop is one of those deep bookshops with nooks and crannies you could lose yourself in for hours; the gallery is jaw-droppingly stunning, AND it has an arty staircase, which probably replaced the original spiral staircase but still looks good through big glass windows of the shop unit.

My pick of the arcade’s past

When Victor Hugo escaped Paris to avoid arrest, he came to Brussels with his lover of the time. He stayed in apartments in the Grand Place. His lover had to make do with lodgings in the more modest Galerie du Prince.

This arcade in films or books

I have yet to find this particular arcade in any film or book, but if you spot it anywhere do get in touch.

What’s your favourite shop in the arcade today?

What memories do you have of visits in years gone by?

Have you got any good stories to add on the past of this arcade?

Have you seen Passage du Prince in Brussels in any film or book?

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