House of European History

The House of European History takes visitors on a journey along the path of Europe’s history and challenges them to contemplate its future, and all of this in the 24 official European Union languages.

To give visitors a better understanding of the tumultuous events of the 20th century, the permanent exhibition focuses firstly on the convictions and beliefs that defined the 19th century – Europe’s ‘entry into modernity’ – before moving on to consider Europe’s descent into war and destruction.
This is followed by the search for a better life in an increasingly united Europe.
Visitors are encouraged to think about the Europe of today, the status and position of the European Union, and the part that everyone plays in shaping Europe's future.

Visitors can also visit the temporary exhibition "Fake for Real: A history of forgery and falsification , open until 30th January 2022.
  • The House of European History is easily accessible by train (Bruxelles-Luxembourg station), bus or metro.
    The nearest metro stops are Maelbeek and Schuman on lines 1 and 5, and Trone on lines 2 and 6.
  • 1,5 Schuman - 2,6 Trône / Troon

In recent years, examinations of forgery have proliferated across various academic fields and disciplines, so much so that it is now possible to speak of something like “forgery studies” as a coherent enterprise. Studies of this sort have revised some traditional narratives, particularly older triumphalist tales of the emergence of philology, historicism, and “rational criticism” in Renaissance Europe. Since at least the eighteenth century, if not before, Renaissance critics—including Lorenzo Valla and Erasmus—were celebrated for their debunking of forgeries, and their supposed attacks against falsification and dogmatism alike. Yet forgery and falsehood still flourished in the Renaissance, just as they do in our own age. This talk will use the new insights of forgery studies to examine the complexities of criticism itself, and the paradoxes it often entails. When, if ever, are forgeries good to think with? And how ought critics respond to the ubiquity of forgery across historical periods? Finally, what light can Renaissance scholarship shed on our current situation in the early twenty-first century? Frederic Clark is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Southern California. He is a cultural and intellectual historian who specialises in the afterlife of classical antiquity in medieval and early modern Europe. He received his BA from Harvard University, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and his PhD from Princeton University. His research examines how the reception of the ancient past has informed—and continues to inform—practices of humanistic scholarship, including approaches to forgery and the critical tools used to detect it. Clark is the author of The First Pagan Historian: The Fortunes of a Fraud from Antiquity to the Enlightenment (Oxford University Press, 2020), and co-editor of Thinking in the Past Tense: Eight Conversations (University of Chicago Press, 2019). His articles have appeared in such venues as The Journal of the History of Ideas, Viator, Past & Present, and The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, among others.

This online event is part of the Europalia TRAINS AND TRACKS festival, organised to celebrate the European Year of Rail, 2021. The invention of trains during the nineteenth century in Europe contributed to industrialisation and urbanisation, and allowed for the rapid movement of goods and people. As railroads crossed borders, long distance travel became possible for all social classes, resulting in mass transit, migration and tourism. How did the invention of the railway transform space and time? What role did trains play in the emancipation of women during this period? Can rail transport play a part in today’s fight against climate change? During this online debate, researchers, historians and scholars will explore these topics by examining the social, economic and cultural impact of trains and railways on European societies and culture, from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present day. Join us for a lively discussion and take part in the debate with your own questions and comments. Featuring: Andrea Giuntini - Associate Professor of Economic History, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia Anna Despotopoulou - Professor of English Literature and Culture at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Jan Musekamp - Visiting Associate Professor at the Department of History and European Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh. Marie-Noëlle Polino - Responsible for heritage and public history projects at the SNCF (French national railway). Moderator: Kieran Burns, Curator at the House of European History Introduction by Constanze Itzel, Museum Director of the House of European History. Language: English