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Den Gulden Rinck

Nicolaas Rockox and Adriana Perez both lived in Keizerstraat even before they married. They remained there for a time after their wedding at the home of Adriana’s father, the Spanish merchant and banker Luis Perez. In 1603, they then jointly purchased their splendid house, Den Gulden Rinck, on the other side of the same prestigious street, from a German merchant. The building can be traced in the archives back to 1532 while a corbel piece bearing the date 1560 was found in the gallery around Den Gulden Rinck’s interior garden.

Following Rockox’s death, the house was inherited by his nephew, Adriaan van Heetvelde, with the stipulation that when there were no further heirs, it was to be sold on behalf of the poor. This is what eventually occurred in 1715, when Frans van Simpelvelt moved into the house and had its Renaissance façade remodelled in the style we see today. The date ‘1715’ visible on the front of the house refers to the remodelling. The building subsequently changed hands numerous times until 1949, when it was bought by the ‘Artiestenfonds’. It was configured as a museum, featuring mainly ‘neo’ or revival styles, on the initiative of Benoit Roose. KBC purchased the Rockox House from the Artiestenfonds in 1970. At the same time, the non-profit organisation ‘Museum Nicolaas Rockox’ was established under the bank’s auspices to take charge of the building’s restoration. It continues to manage the property today as a witness to a grandiose past. The Rockox House opened as a museum in April 1977.