Folklore Section

Click here for a detailled Expo map




Beguinage viewed from patio

Picturesque views nearby the restaurant ‘Zoeten Inval’

An aerial view of the whole Cheerful Belgium site

Anno 1900: a lovely waitress provides a musician with a pint of real Belgian beer

archers gateantwerp squareroad to brusselsuylenspiegel

The folklore section, that’s where the action was. Even the stylish Ambassador restaurant was also a great place to dance

cheerful belgiumostend pavilion

Cheerful Belgium contained the folklore section and the modern section.

This picture shows the Ostend pavilion which was located in the modern section

service anno 1900hostesses

Typical middleaged Antwerp architecture: Uylenspiegel

An Expo hostess with a colleague

of Cheerful Belgium

Most of the historic replica buildings were mainly occupied by catering and shops.


Here a view of the Antwerp Square, a great place to eat and drink.

Ambassador restaurant

Not only restaurants but also a lot of café’s were part of this section.

Picture shows the Road to Brussel which was equipped with cosy outdour cafés

Picture shows the mayor of Cheerful Belgium and the bench of aldermen in the daily performances of their duties.

Le Cheval Marin

Le Cheval Marin: a remarkable step-gabled house

The House with the 3 Heads

The House with the 3 Heads

Modern section: pavilion of Antwerp

benguinagezoeten invalZoeten Inval

The Chapel of the modern section

View to the modern section with Meli building in the center (Attractions park)


Fokloric parades met with general approval in Gay Belgium

The Martini pavilion

A sunny

Diable au Corps

Cheerful Belgium / Gay Belgium

Vrolijk België / Belgiique Joyeuse


Since Belgium started building world fairs it has been a habit to add a folkloric little town reviving epochs of his history.

In 1958 architects suggested to share their task in adopting each a different period, from the start of the 16th century until the end of the 19th century.


The visitor who gets in trough the Archers Porch and gets out at the fun park is making a sort of walk trough time. To end it a modern section gives, by contrast an idea of the tendancies of our modern painter and sculptors.


Belgium 1900, the first chosen name of this section, was created and organised by 32 Belgian breweries.

About 150 histroric houses, mainly occupied by catering and shops were built on an area of 5 hectares.

Remaining buildings got accommodated by clubs and societies or were used as a service structure.

10 restaurants, 40 café’s and 5 dance halls, received the cheerful visitors with open arms.


Also there was a large party hall, a cinema,  two theatres and a few squares for open air parties. Even a shooting hall for crossbows was part of it.


A real contribution to the historic atmosphere were the daily demonstrations of old crafts such as pottery and ceramics, making bobbin lace and lute building .


But most of all, Cheerful Belgium was the place to be for food, beer and a lot of fun !



Cheerful Belgium


The historic part of this section got set up as a real little village with small alley’s between the historical buildings. With cozy courtyards and squares, it was the perfect location for street parades, popular parties, folk dancing and other public amusement.


The modern part gave cause to contrast with the historic part thanks to futuristic buildings like the Antwerp en Ostend pavilions, the Martini building and the ultra modern Expo chapel.


Historic Section

  1. Rue D'Ostende

  2. Rue Du Theatre

  3. Chaussee De Bruxelles

  4. Place Uilenspiegel

  5. Place Du Doux Accueil

  6. Place Des Archiducs

  7. Place Ducale

  8. Grand Place

  9. Cour Du Diable Au Corps

10. Benguinage


Section 1900

11. Galerie De La Belle Epoque

12. Montagne De La Cour

13. Place Du Fourquet

14. Rue De Theatre


Section Moderne



Gay Belgium Occupants


This list contains the members of the  “co-operative society of Belgique 1900”:


Brasseries & pubs

  1.  Brasserie d' Alken

  2.  Brasserie des Alliés

  3.  Brasserie Artois

  4.  Brasserie De Blieck

  5.  Brasserie Breda

  6.  Brasserie Caulier

  7.  Brasserie Chevalier Marin

  8.  Brasserie Le Coq d'Or

  9.  Brasserie Le Cornet

10. Brasserie De Gheest

11. Brasserie de l'Ecluse

12. Brasserie Exelcior

13. Brasserie Grade

14. Brasserie De Haecht

15. Brasserie Hougaerde

16. Brasserie Imperial

17. Brasserie Ixelberg

18. Brasserie Jack-Op

19. Brasserie Kruger

20. Brasserie Labor-Hainaut

21. Brasserie Lamot Limited

22. Brasserie Leopold

23. Brasserie Maes

24. Brasserie de la Marine

25. Brasserie Martinas

26. Brasserie Meiresonne

27. Brasserie La Perle

28. Brasserie Piedboeuf

29. Brasserie Roelants

30. Brasserie Vandenheuvel

31. Brasserie Wielemans

32. Brasserie Zeeberg


Stores & Shops

1. Chocolaterie Victoria

2. Photoexpo

3. Cristalleries du Val St. Lambert

4. Pottery Hutois

5. Ceramics of Namur

6. Grand Marnier


Ohter Occupants

About sixty remaining buildings were occupied by the privat sector, clubs and associations like ‘Manneke Pis’.


Large Restaurants



Le Compas

Le Charlys


Belgian Authorities

Province of Western Flanders

Province of Antwerp

Province ofLuxembourg

Province of Namur

Province of Limbourg

Province of Liege



Cabaret L'Orient

Cabaret Casanova

Cabaret du Diable au Corps




Modern sectie

Pavilion of Ostend

Pavilion of Antwerp

Celebrity Bar

Martini Club

La Belvedere

Art Gallery

Expo Chapel


Gates / Entries

Gate of Gay Belgium

Archers Gate

Modern Section bridge

Heysel Gate