Tintin, the young intrepid reporter from Belgium has, over the years, captured the hearts of the young and old alike. Millions of people across the globe have grown up on the adventures of Tintin and his faithful dog Snowy. The adventures of Tintin, which have been translated into 80 languages and sold nearly 400 million copies to date, have enthralled generation after generation of readers, the world over. It has even been adapted into a big budget animated film by none other than celebrated Hollywood director Steven Spielberg.
There is no better place to get up and close with Tintin and his friends than the Belgian Comic Strip Centre in Brussels. The latter, which lies in the heart of Brussels, is housed in a beautifully restored warehouse that was designed in an Art Nouveau style by renowned architect Victor Horta in 1906.
At the Belgian Comic Strip Centre you are likely to be overwhelmed by the life-size models of different characters from the Tintin book series. Be it the red-headed Tintin who overcomes all odds thanks to his indomitable spirit, his faithful dog Snowy who gets him out of trouble on many occasions, his best friend Captain Haddock, the absent-minded physicist Professor Calculus and the two bumbling detectives Thomson and Thompson. While at the Centre, visitors will also get to see popular comic book characters that originated in Belgium like the Smurfs, as well as popular European ones like Asterix.
At the Belgian Comic Strip Centre one also gets to learn more about Georges Remi (1907-1983), the Belgian artist who wrote and illustrated the adventures of Tintin under the pen name Hergé. The latter, who first created Tintin with a few deft strokes of his pencil in 1928, drew Tintin for almost 54 years. The Centre displays over 400 original Tintin templates that were created by Hergé. They all bear the hallmark of his immaculate attention to detail.
The Centre, which draws over 200,000 visitors every year, is one of Brussels’s top tourist attractions. It includes both permanent and temporary exhibitions, a notable library, a large bookshop, a brasserie and restaurant, and a delightful reading room in which children and adults alike can enjoy.
If you are planning to go to Brussels, do pay a visit to the Belgian Comic Strip Centre. If not, you are truly missing out on something special.
For more information, visit their website.
– Sanjay Sivadas
Pictures courtesy of Belgian Comic Strip Centre