The cemetery of Laeken is the oldest of the Brussels Region. Originally a pilgrimage place to worship Maria, it recently underwent the most important renovation of a Belgian cemetery ever and the works were completed in 2017.
It is an open-air museum of silent funerary art and the resting place for many personalities that shaped the young and dynamic Brussels of the 19th century.
Its underground burial galleries are over one hectare and the only example of this kind in Northern Europe.
The Laeken cemetery also hosts one of the original bronze casts of ‘The Thinker’, one of the most famous sculptures in the world by the Frenchman Auguste Rodin. Another celebrity – La Malibran – one of the greatest opera singers of those days, found her final resting place under the protective branches of a centuries-old weeping beech. Important politicians, entrepreneurs and benefactors also have their grave here, along with many other artists.
Near the entrance you can visit the original studio of Ernest Salu and sons, the grave makers who sculpted many of the romantic tombs. The deceased members of the royal Belgian family are buried in the Royal Crypt, under the Our Lady’s Church, the monumental neo-gothic church that is the focal point of a site whose grandeur has been carved into stone.
Written by Thomas Sennesael, translated into English by Patricia Fridrich
Tips for #whattodo on a #mixedweather #weekend in #Brussels ? How about visiting the #burialgalleries at the #laekencemetery ? It’s a unique example of that kind in transalpin Europe – and you can at the same time visit one of the original copies of the #thinkerofrodin – and the #royalcrypt in #notredamedelaeken just next to the #cemetery ( a work started by #josephpoelaert which he gave to his pupil architect when starting works at the #palaisdejusticedebruxelles ). You can also walk to the #maisondelacreationbruxellesnord to experience a #dimanchealamaison #dimanchedansledesert with #bookswapsalon and many other activities ! There are plenty of reasons to pass the #canaldebruxelles and #visitlaeken See #laekenbrussels (link to website and agenda in bio) to check out everything that’s going on #inourneighborhood #weekendinlaeken #livelovelaeken #seemybrussels #welovebrussels #visitbrussels 📸 by @fredboudart 👏