The Hergé Museum (Musee Herge) is an ode to the life of one of the most prolific illustrators of the twentieth century. Displaying hundreds of hand drawings, plates, photographs, and documents, the museum aims to shed light on the genius and humor of Belgian artist Georges Prosper Remi, who wrote under the pen name Herge.
How to Get There
The venue is located in the village of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, about 20 miles away from the country’s capital. Visitors can reach the building at 26 Rue Labrador by either taking the train, driving, or taking the museum’s complimentary shuttle from the city of Brussels.
What You Will See
The Herge Museum was created to house the works of Belgium native Georges Remi, a cartoonist and satirist best known for his popular character Tintin. This museum also showed how Remi developed his artwork as the years progressed. Samples of his cartoons and other illustrations filled the whimsical building. The downstairs area featured items from the author’s personal collections including his books, his paintings, numerous records, and various other memorabilia such as souvenirs from his trip to China.
The museum exhibits started with Remi as a young artist and how he chose his career as a comic strip illustrator. Though mainly known outside his native country as the creator of Tin Tin, the section touched on how diverse Remi was. Our son was fascinated by the sections dedicated to his Tintin stories, explaining the conception of these unique characters and how Herge incorporated current events in the scripts for his movies. TinTin fans will love the Illustrator’s Lab – a recreation of a large room of Professor Calculus‘ laboratory – which focused on science in the Tintin books. This section was fascinating since many of Herge’s storylines included elements of science fiction along with fantasy travel.
We found the exhibits interesting as we compared the great Herge to another iconic contemporary of his – Disney. Both started as comic strip artists and proceeded to entertain their readers with their original tales and quirky characters. However unlike Disney, who was a marketing wiz, Herge’s success was much more modest.
Travelers that get hungry while wandering through the museum can enjoy the onsite restaurant. The museum also contains a well-stocked gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs. Bathroom facilities are likewise provided for guests at this site.
Given that the museum is solely an indoor venue, it shouldn’t matter too much what time of the year one chooses to visit. Those arriving by car should know that there is a parking garage under the nearby shopping center where they can leave their vehicles.
Travelers should also note that the venue does not allow photography in some portions of the museum. We found the available audio guides informative and helpful in bringing the museum to life for our son with autism.
Tickets and Hours of Operation
Adult admission at this museum costs 9.5 euros. However, entry is only five euros for kids between the ages of seven and fourteen. Discounts are available for groups, seniors, and large families traveling together.
This establishment is open between the hours of 10:30 am and 5:30 pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the museum opens and closes a half hour earlier than it does the rest of the week. The Herge Museum is open every day of the week except Monday. It is also closed on New Year’s Day and Boxing Day.
Autism Travel Tips:
- The upstairs area had many dark spaces with brightly lit pictures and information that stand out against the blackness. The recessed lighting elements near the floor helped us see our feet enough to walk. Those with issues with dark spaces may want to bring a flashlight.
- The museum wasn’t that crowded when we visited. Family members who dislike crowds can breathe easy in this location.
- The building had an elevator, so those with mobility issues can safely go down to the lower areas.
- The museum had a coatroom where people can store belongings. This way, parents don’t have to carry essentials with them all over the building.
- The museum was mostly non-interactive. Parents should make sure children know what they are allowed to touch.
- The museum was mostly educational and best for older kids familiar with Remi’s work. We did see an area downstairs with antique toys and a mini theater playing cartoons based on Remi’s characters. Both of these places might be good spots for younger kids to hang out while their older siblings get a better look at the exhibits.