On Thursday, 26 May (Ascension Day) our museums will be closed in the afternoon.


Emperor Charles V mantelpiece



Our eyes fail us if we try to absorb all the details of this mantelpiece from 1530. In the middle we see Emperor Charles V, dressed in a suit of armour and holding a sword and imperial orb. In the group, he is flanked by his illustrious grandparents, Emperor Maximilian of Austria and Mary of Burgundy. The people with the medallions are his parents, Philip the Fair and Joanna of Castile (Joanna the Mad). The mantelpiece symbolised the power of the Habsburg dynasty. The upper side of the mantelpiece is made entirely of oak. Little alabaster angels adorn the bottom corners. Lanceloot Blondeel designed this mantelpiece. He employed several specialists for this monumental work.