In 1900, Belgian King Leopold II commissioned architect Henri Maquet to design the first royal gallery: an L-shaped, closed and covered walkway between the royal villa and a large octagonal salon. Nowadays it is known by the name ‘Venetian Galleries’, referring to Venice’s classicist architecture. When the Belgian royal family decided they would no longer use their coastal residence, Ostend was given the concession of the entire complex and resolved that the building be used for cultural purposes. The city renovated the Venetian Galleries between 1998 and 1999 and converted them into exhibition space.
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