Faced with a rapidly expanding population and, in 1866, a cholera epidemic, the municipality of Uccle developed Dieweg Cemetery on one of the sides of the Saint Job Valley. Originally covering a surface area of 7,100 square metres, it was used until its closure in 1945. Today, it constitutes a veritable open air museum of funerary art as well as a gravel garden filled with an altogether surprising collection of flora and fauna. Indeed, the lack of maintenance over a certain period encouraged the growth of European oak, glossy buckthorn, rowan, sycamore and sessile oak. Rampion bellflower, meadow geranium and stinking willie took over the unmown plots of grass. Almost 202 different varieties have been recorded to date on the 3-hectare site. The acidic, sandy soil is ideal for silver birch and foxgloves while bluebells, Solomon’s seal and periwinkles have developed in the undergrowth. Wild garlic, yellow corydalis and sandwort have colonised dry areas of the cemetery. Finally, the presence of European centaury, fleabane and a variety of sedge grass, the only one of its kind in Belgium, all add to the exceptional environment. Another reading of the plants in this veritable Garden of Eden involves those featured on its tombs, such as sculpted poppies, whose opium alludes to sleep, the evergreen foliage of ivy symbolising immortality, or a rose, a petrified transfiguration of the blood of Christ, the heavenly dew of redemption… (Listed 16/01/1997)
Guided tour. Saturday only at 14h00 (duration: 2 hours). Starting point: entrance to the cemetery. In Dutch only. In cooperation with Natuurpunt Brussel.
Walking tour “Uccle/Ukkel. It’s greener than you think”.