Brussels Metro

Brussels Metro

However, inspired by the French and London model, Belgian engineers had been considering such a structure in the heart of the city since 1892, drawing and submitting projects strongly supported by King Leopold II, a modern and visionary character, well known for his taste in construction and particular architectural ideas. Thus, for almost a century, plans for underground networks, their extensions, and feasibility studies were made without obtaining much enthusiasm from the population, who only saw the inconvenience in terms of construction in the city.

A first route was tested in the 1950s from the Gare du Midi. But the major work did not begin until 1965 at the Schuman traffic circle. Opened in 1969 as a pre-metro line with streetcars running between Schuman and De Brouckère stations, line 1 is the oldest of the lines. The pre-metro is the particularity of Brussels, it is in fact lines designed as metro lines, but initially operated by streetcars running elsewhere on the surface, while waiting to reach a length justifying their operation as heavy metro. The central sections of the two existing metro lines were thus initially operated as pre-metro lines. This costly approach, favoured in the 1970s, seems to have been abandoned for a long time in favour of the extension of the existing metro lines and the completion of line 2 prior to their redeployment. The actual operation of the Brussels metro began in 1976, after 11 years of work, with the inauguration of the first line by King Baudouin. Since then, the people of Brussels have learned to appreciate the joys of the metro. In the 1960s, the Belgian government even turned two stations into nuclear shelters because of the tension here with the USSR. This shows the advantages for the city and its inhabitants to have their own underground space in order to circulate freely and above all under cover! These installations still exist but have been hidden from the general public to lighten the atmosphere.

Since then, the Brussels metro has been transformed into an art gallery, allowing travelers to enjoy the exhibitions, as the metro itself represents a museum of modern art. Forty stations have been masterfully decorated by great Belgian artists and more than 80 works of art give the platforms and corridors a very special atmosphere. All kinds of art are represented: paintings, sculptures, photos, claustras, stained glass and all materials: from canvas to bronze and from wood to glass and steel. Music is also present in locations regulated by the Stib, the company that manages the city’s metro and transport systems. In terms of its configuration, the Brussels metro is divided into two metro lines, plus pre-metro lines, and some shorter underground sections, which are covered by streetcars.

A modern means of transport, which has often raised controversy, but has allowed the city and its surroundings to clarify the problems of traffic, traffic jams and congestion that the city, which has experienced significant population growth, had to face.

The Brussels Metro is the first underground metro in Belgium.

It was built in 1892 and opened in 1893, making it the oldest metro system in the world. The original stations are:

  • Central Station (Gare Centrale)
  • Midi/Zuid Station (Gare du Midi/Zuid)
  • Maelbeek Station (Gare de Maelbeek)

What are the different lines?

The Brussels metro consists of the following lines:

  • Line 1: (Maelbeek – Central Station)
  • Line 2: (Midi/Zuid – Central Station)
  • Line 3: (Midi/Zuid – Maelbeek)

How many stations are there?

There are currently 21 stations in total.

What are the fares?

The Brussels Metro is a closed system, which means there are no transfers possible between lines, or even between stations inside the same line.

The fare for 1 zone (1 ticket) is €1.70, while a day pass is €5.00.

What is the history of the Brussels Metro?

The Brussels Metro was built in 1892, replacing a network of trams.

It was the first underground metro system in Belgium.

The original stations are:

  • Central Station (Gare Centrale)
  • Midi/Zuid Station (Gare du Midi/Zuid)
  • Maelbeek Station (Gare de Maelbeek)

What are the different types of trains?

The Brussels metro has 2 different types of trains:
The old type: These are the original trains, built in the early days of the metro.

They have been very durable so far, but they can be difficult to operate.
The new type: These trains have been built since 1960.

They are less complicated to run and more reliable.

What are the platforms?

The metro stations are made of stone.

The platforms are made of wood.

What are the different types of stations?

The stations on the metro are called termini.

What are the benefits of the Brussels Metro?

The Metro is a very convenient for the city’s inhabitants.

It is extremely affordable, and provides easy access to all of Brussels’ main sights.