It’s not a secret anymore, I love walking around Brussels to discover the different districts and communes of the city. At the beginning of this year, I went to Schaerbeek. Schaerbeek is a commune I don’t know very well and I was surprised to see that it is full of places full of history, art nouveau architectural nuggets, beautiful churches and also a magnificent Josaphat park, very different from the other green spaces in the capital. Without a doubt, Schaerbeek deserves to be part of your next itinerary or detour in Brussels. To discover Schaerbeek on foot, I found a walking tour with a “Music Walk” playlist. I was completely seduced by the atmosphere, the music and this walk in the middle of the Schaerbeek neighborhoods. I wanted to share this experience and give you all the details about the itinerary further down in the article… Let’s go !
Walking tour in Schaerbeek: Itinerary
1. The town hall and the Place Colignon
My Schaerbeek walk starts here: on the Place Colignon. A place that surrounds the majestic hotel communal. Inaugurated with great pomp and circumstance on July 21, 1887, the town hall of Schaerbeek is one of the most beautiful in the capital (in my humble opinion)! Free guided tours of the town hall are organized every first Saturday of the month – starting in April, so this will be a good opportunity to go back. All around the town hall, houses with beautiful facades. It’s also on this square that you can find the Boentje café, a zero waste café that also offers local dishes and great brunches (I can’t wait for restaurants to reopen).
2. The neo-Gothic church of Saint-Servais
The starting point of the itinerary is the impressive Saint-Servais church. Located just above Avenue Louis Bertrand, the neo-Gothic Saint-Servais church was built between 871 and 1876. It is by far the only church in the commune. I will also mention the Royal Church of Sainte-Marie (place de la Reine) which is not very far away and deserves a little look.
3. Avenue Louis Bertrand
The avenue Louis Bertrand is, one can say, a museum of new art in the open air. And, believe me, that’s an understatement! What makes this avenue so beautiful and unique? The facades of all these houses. At the beginning of the 20th century, architects outdid themselves to build the houses in order to win one of the many facade competitions organized at the time. Sgraffiti, ceramics, turrets, stained glass and curved ironwork enliven the street. The buildings of Schaerbeek architects Gustave Strauven, Frans Hemelsoet and Henri Jacobs reflect their love of art nouveau. For lovers of photography and architecture, this is a famous playground.
4. Josaphat Park
The Josaphat Park is known as the “green lung of Schaerbeek” and is clearly a park “like no other”. And for good reason, you walk through woods, ponds and wild animals. In a few seconds, you completely forget that you are still in the city. In normal times, the park is lively and it is certainly the meeting point of the Schaerbeekers.
5. A look at the details
Throughout the walk through the neighborhoods of Schaerbeek, I loved photographing the styles of the houses, the little details and then also… the doors! I found that almost all the doors were unique and beautiful. We get used to what we have in front of us without realizing what makes us unique. I think the people of Schaerbeek can be proud of the style and architecture that adorns their community.
6. Style and architecture
I’ll finish with some pictures of brick facades, in the style of “home”. A style and architecture that seems almost “normal” when you live in the capital, but it’s worth sometimes to remember how lucky we are to enjoy it every day 🙂
This article does not contain, of course, everything you can see and visit in Schaerbeek. Schaerbeek is a large municipality and I still have many things to discover. If you have time, don’t hesitate to visit the Maison Autrique (a house designed by the young Victor Horta), the Halles de Schaerbeek (Rue Royale-Sainte-Marie) and several museums (the Clockarium Museum & the Musée Schaerbeekois de la Bière, among others).
If you have other addresses to share, feel free to comment!
To visit Schaerbeek with music
The starting point of this musical tour is the Saint-Servais Church, on the Sint Servaas Kerk van Schaarbeek, Louis Bertrandlaan, 1030 Schaarbeek. I advise you to first go to the town square of Schaerbeek, with the town hall, which is a real architectural masterpiece. After having made the turn of this place, one moves in direction of the Church Saint-Servais and then on the famous avenue Louis Bertrand. We connect our earphones and launch the playlist.
- To launch the playlist, open the site of Beursschouwburg
- Itinerary proposed by Fatoosan*: discover it here (*Fatoosan is one of the founders of SUPAFLY COLLECTIVE, a group of Belgian hop dancers.)
- In this article I slightly adapt the proposed itinerary to lengthen the tour a bit (I am currently preparing an illustrated map)
To visit Schaerbeek differently:
Schaerbeek walk and info: Website of 1030.be
See also « 10 000 steps in Schaerbeek »