The facade of La Madeleine is the only surviving part of the large covered market built in 1847 on the plans of the architect J-P Cluysenaar and inaugurated in 1848. It was the first covered market in Brussels, with the exception of the small flower market designed a short time previously by the same architect in the Galeries Saint-Hubert. It was also one of Brussels’ first large metal constructions.
The Madeleine market was destroyed in 1957 and gave way to the festival hall of the City of Brussels. The cut stone façade, whose elevation is inspired by the Loggia dei Lanzi in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, was kept as the front of a new building.
For fifty years, the hall welcomed a host of festive and cultural events of all kinds. The venue is also known to the public for its receptions. It is notably where, for a long time, the city’s officials would gather for their annual dance, the Bal des Fonctionnaires.
After being operated for several years by the Casino of Brussels, the City of Brussels has officially entrusted the management of the Salle de la Madeleine to Brussels Expo.