The La Fleur en Papier Doré small maisonnette style house dating from the middle of the 18th century was once home to the convent of the sisters of Saint-Vincentius but somewhere in the first half of the 20th century changed vocation. Owned by Geert Van Bruaene (nicknamed le petit Gerard) the pub “La Fleur en Papier Doré (French) or Het Goudblommeke in Papier (Dutch)” became the meeting place of the surrealistic scene of Brussels. Paul Rouge, René Magritte, Louis Scutenaire, Marcel Lecomte, Charles Plisnier, Paul Mariën, ELT Mesens, Georges Remi (Hergé) and a lot of others gathered in the cafe and made it famous. Inside you can still find a photograph where a number of the above mentioned posed for eternity in front of the pub. The pope of surrealism, Rene Magritte, organized in this pub, well before he got famous, his first exposition of drawings and paintings.
Outside of La Fleur en Papier Doré
After the war some members of the Cobra movement visited the cafe such as Pierre Alechinsky, Christian Dotremont, Marcel Mariën, Paul Colinet and Jean Dubuffet, beside Flemish writers like Louis Paul Boon, Simon Vinkenoog, Jan Walravens and Hugo Claus. The last person mentioned in the list celebrated here in 1955 in a rather tumultuous manner his first marriage.
All these great minds created under the guidance of the inimitable Geert Van Bruaene this disconcerting melting pot of antics and kitsch such as you can see today. Some citations written on the walls of the pub like: ‘ Philologue, il est permis de se taire dans toutes les langues’ or ‘Chacun a droit a 24 heures de liberté par jour’, perfectly reflect the state of mind of these glorious days.
Entering the Het Goudblommeke in Papier pub
Until now the “Het Goudblommeke in Papier or La Fleur en Papier Dore” remained a scene where several poetical and cultural events take place. This rich history didn’t escape to the attention of the Brussels Government which proceeded in 1997 to the protection of the facade, the roof, and the first three rooms on the groundfloor as well as parts of the furniture, all the paintings, drawings and aphorisms.
Location of the La Fleur en Papier Doré café:
Photos of La Fleur en Papier Doré:
View across the café from the room in the back
Example of some of the citations written on the wall
The decorations on the walls are abundant
Poetry (among many other things) on the walls
Bar located in the middle
Room in the center
The mix of Antics & kitsch
The old fireplace
Prose and poetry sessions are often held in this establishment
A very surreal decor
On my way out