The Passa Porta international house of literature was established in 2004 by the literary organisations Het beschrijf and Entrez Lire. Brussels thus received a multilingual centre for the living languages and literature, a place where authors, readers and literary mediators can meet and inspire one another.

Passa Porta became a regular meeting place for talks by authors, writing workshops, literary performances, book presentations and debates, with established as well as yet undiscovered thinkers and writers from throughout the world.



  • The success of the first two editions of the literary city festival Het groot beschrijf results in the establishment of the non-profit organisation Het beschrijf. President: Hugo Weckx. Director: Paul Buekenhout.



  • Literature from the Low Countries: 20 Dutch-speaking authors at the London International Book Fair and the London Festival of Literature, in partnership with the Dutch Literary Production and Translation Fund.
  • Bloomsday 16 June: start of Bloem in Brussel/Bloum à Bruxelles. Twenty-four Dutch-speaking and French-speaking Belgian authors engage in literary bookcrossing, and together write a publication on Brussels. Curators: Koen Peeters and Kamiel Vanhole.



  • Third edition of the literary city festival Het groot beschrijf, in the context of Brussels/Brussels 2000. The first edition with a significant international dimension.
  • Het beschrijf co-organises Literature Express Europa, an initiative of LiteraturWERKstatt Berlin and the European cultural cities of 2000.



  • Letteratura olandese e fiamminga: Dutch-speaking authors at the Fiera del Libro in Turin. In partnership with the Dutch Literary Production and Translation Fund.
  • Het beschrijf presents Flemish authors in European cities: Berlin, London, Copenhagen, Madrid.
  • Colloquium Een Europa van de creatie in La Maison de L’Europe – Bibliothèque Solvay.



  • International series De mythe Europa, commissioned by Bruges Cultural Capital 2002. With Bart Moeyaert, Kader Abdolah, Moses Isegawa, Jef Geeraerts, Andreï Makine, Adriaan Van Dis, Hella S. Haasse, Orhan Pamuk, Jonathan Coe, Ben Okri, Julia Kristeva, Pierre Mertens, H.M. Enzensberger, Cees Nooteboom.
  • Fourth edition of Het groot beschrijf.



  • Les Phares du Nord. Littérature de La Flandre et des Pays-Bas à l’honneur au Salon du Livre de Paris.
  • International literary festival Literair Rendez-vous, in collaboration with Bozar and Promotion des Lettres.



  • Het beschrijf and the new French language sister organisation Entrez Lire take up residence in Passa Porta.
  • Fifth edition of the literary city festival Het groot beschrijf.
  • Kennen Sie Ihre Nachbarn? 18 Dutch-speaking authors in Berlin.
  • Het beschrijf and Entrez Lire open the Passa Porta international house of literature.
  • Hugo Claus is guest at Passa Porta.
  • Start of international author residencies in Passa Porta and Villa Hellebosch: arrival of the first foreign writers-in-residence.



  • Grand Hotel Europe: second edition of the Literary Rendez-vous. With Suite Europe Centrale, a focus on literature from Central Europe.





  • First edition of the four-day international Passa Porta Festival. Opening reading by Antonio Muñoz Molina.
  • Het beschrijf sends Flemish authors to foreign residencies for the first time: Montreal (Quebec), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Käsmu (Estonia).



  • Second reading marathon and presentation of Passa Porta Noble Prize: Kafka Marathon.
  • 21 November: 10 authors celebrate 10 years Het beschrijf in the Royal Flemish Theatre.
  • Start of the series A Stage with a View in La Monnaie/De Munt.



  • Second Passa Porta Festival. Theme 'The world is a workplace'. Opening reading by Péter Nadas, closing with Carlos Fuentes.
  • Publication and presentations of The European Constitution in Verse.
  • Start of the series Writer's Europe at Flagey.



  • Third Passa Porta Festival. Theme 'On the Move'. With among others Jens Christian Grondahl (opening reading) and Orhan Pamuk (finale).
  • PETRA. Colloquium of the European platform for literary translation. Grand Hotel Europe An evening open to the public at Flagey, homage to the literary translator, with among others Michael Cunningham, Alberto Manguel and Dubravka Ugrešić.





  • 1 January: Het beschrijf and Entrez Lire cease to exist; Passa Porta becomes a single structure.


  • 16 October: Passa Porta's ten-year anniversary. 


  • Adrienne Nizet takes over the function of coordinator of Passa Porta FR, formerly fulfilled by Stéphane Lambert.