Arms and Armour Gallery

A spectacular collection of edged weapons and armours shows the (technical) evolution of armament.

The gallery illustrates a period stretching from the Middle Ages till the end of the 18th century. The core of the collection comes from the dukes of Burgundy and the Spanish Habsburg family, who had their heyday under Emperor Charles (1500-1558). Charles V headed an empire “in which the sun never set”. He managed his affairs from his palace in Brussels, amongst others.

The set-up presents the defensive armament of the mediaeval knight. The protection was first limited to a simple coat of mail and slowly evolved into a full armour, over partial equipment covering the upper body or the thighs. In the 17th century appear leather coats worn with gloves, protection for arms and legs, a cuirass and a burgonet.

Weapons have always been examples of state-of-the-art technology. Old weapons (artillery, fire-arms or edged weapons) are no different in that respect.

Weapons are not only linked to warfare, they are also used in times of leisure. A beautiful child’s armour, tournament weapons, hunting weapons and powder horns testify to that.