As the seasons change, Brussels' cemeteries take on a new face. Cemeteries in town offer infinite possibilities for unique walks.
These places of remembrance and contemplation are spaces where calm and silence reign. Lush in spring, enigmatic in winter, these atypical landscapes are constantly evolving. However, it is in autumn that they are at their most iridescent. The leaves take on new hues, transforming the cemeteries' paths into lanes for extraordinary walks. Many people walk the trails of these historically significant areas. Join them and take a break from hectic urban life.
A country walk at Evere cemetery
Evere cemetery, the largest in the Brussels-Capital Region, provides an endless supply of walks. Thanks to its park-like appearance, it is frequented during the off-season by hiking enthusiasts. A true haven of peace, it is home to remarkable trees and a diverse fauna.
On either side of the wide avenues of the cemetery, discover majestic tombs of various styles: Art Nouveau, Art Deco... These stand alongside monuments dedicated to events such as the Battle of Waterloo or the Belgian Revolution. On these paths, curious walkers look for the graves of certain famous figures. Among them, François van Campenhout, the composer of Belgium's national anthem, or Charles de Brouckère, the mayor who gave his name to the famous square in central Brussels.
A timeless walk through Uccle-Dieweg cemetery
Abandoned since 1958, Uccle-Dieweg cemetery is the final resting place of its fair share of famous figures, such as architect Paul Hankar, members of the Lambert banking family and feminist Isabelle Gatti de Gamond. Some exceptional residents such as Hergé are buried here. A legend tells us that on All Saints' Day, Tintin comes to pay homage to his creator. Don't miss the opportunity to greet him.
This place of rest has become a haven for hikers. It's a place where time seems to have stopped, and ivy and old flowers have engulfed the tombs. Nature has taken back control or the grounds and gives them a particular atmosphere. Located in the centre of Uccle, walkers go there to get lost on its paths, which have become a favourite playground of the local fox population.
An historic walk at Laeken cemetery
Built in the 13th century Laeken cemetery is the oldest in Brussels. It has a vast network of underground funeral galleries accessible via certain monuments scattered around this open-air museum. This perennial Brussels cemetery is the final resting place of members of the Belgian royal family. In addition to these distinguished guests, this site hosts previous mayors of Brussels but also the tombs of the famous architects Balat and Poelaert. It also accommodates famous singer La Malibran and even one of the original statues of Auguste Rodin's "Thinker" that adorns the tomb of Joseph Dillen.
A little added extra: Autumn brings with it ideal sunlight conditions for those wishing to capture the spirit of the adjacent Gothic church.
An architectural walk in Ixelles cemetery
When you go for a walk back in time through the vast Ixelles cemetery, make sure you take in the remarkable monuments that it houses. Victor Horta is not only buried here, he also designed the sumptuous Solvay family mausoleum. The cemetery is also home to another sculptural masterpiece: the Belgian bluestone tomb of Charles de Coster adorned with a moving statue by Thijl Uylenspiegel.
Located near the military barracks, Ixelles cemetery houses other traces of our history with many military graves (including that of the famous French general, Georges Boulanger). Visitors will also find the graves of many artists and intellectuals such as Jules Bordet, Baron Empain, Eugène Ysaÿe and Camille Lemonnier.
Discover Molenbeek's funerary galleries
Molenbeek cemetery experienced chaotic beginnings. It was the first cemetery opened after the "War of the Cemeteries" between Brussels' Catholics and its liberals, and houses a special feature that intrigues and stops visitors in their tracks. Impressive, U-shaped neoclassical burial galleries turn this cemetery into an extraordinary venue. You access this remarkable architectural ensemble through a pavilion topped with a majestic dome.
As you stroll through the aisles, try to locate the graves of the famous figures who rest here. The cemetery houses several of the commune's former mayors and as well as the remains of Jean Piron, commander of the Belgian brigade who took part in the liberation of Brussels in 1944.