Erasmus House

A. de Ville de Goyet ©

The Erasmus House, constructed between 1450 and 1515 and regarded as one of the oldest surviving private houses in Brussels, owes its name and fame to humanist Desiderius Erasmus, also known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, who spent time here in 1521. It was restored in 1932 by architect Charles Van Elst, who took an unabashedly historical approach to his work, and then became a museum dedicated to the Renaissance giant. The exhibition chronicles Erasmus's life and the intellectual world of the Renaissance through a collection of artworks. A triptych from Hieronymus Bosch's studio complements engravings and paintings by Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the Younger, Cornelis Metsys and Joos van Cleve as well as murals from the 17th century. A rich collection of precious 16th-century books and original editions of Erasmus's works charts the thinking of this great mind. With its reconstructed period interior, the museum illustrates the history of the Renaissance. At the back are a garden of simples, a garden of medicinal plants that was created by René Pechère in 1987, and a philosophical garden, designed by Benoît Fondu in 2000 and featuring installations by contemporary artists. The Erasmus House and its gardens serve as a venue for conferences, concerts, workshops and exhibitions, making them a major cultural hub for the municipality. (Listed – 25/10/1938)

  1. Guided tours “Erasmus House and its philosophical garden” (duration: 45 minutes), including the temporary exhibition FAste - Make haste slowly (5 May - 29 October 2023), featuring ceramic works inspired by Erasmus’ Adagia, created by the artistic duo FAste (Caroline Andrin and Étienne Fleury).
  2. Workshops “Discovery of living Latin”: What is an adage (saying)? When was the expression coined? During these two workshops, we will be exploring Erasmus’ monumental Adagia, as part of the temporary exhibition by FASte, “Make haste slowly”. We will see that these simple phrases, rich in meaning, have lost none of their relevance, despite the five centuries that separate us from the Prince of Humanists.
    We will be offering a short introduction to Latin using ten of these Adagia, discussing the etymology of many Latin words and some basic grammar concepts. With the more experienced, we will read the corresponding Latin passages, to delve deeper into the meaning of these short phrases.
    2.30 p.m.: for participants at a beginner level
    4.30 p.m.: for participants with a basic knowledge of Latin

“Snark!” game tour for children aged six to ten: The new game tour at the Erasmus House focuses on the animals featured in the works of the permanent collection. Animal representations in ancient art are at the heart of this game tour. The tour does not only focus on the works and their details, it is also a fun way to learn about history, art and the Renaissance period. All children aged six to ten, accompanied by an adult, can take part in this very special hunt to discover the real, invented or hybrid animals hidden in the museum’s many works. Following that, you can invent your own fantastical creature based on real animals, just like the famous painter Hieronymus Bosch did. Draw the animal and be sure to give it a very original name! The game comes with an educational kit containing a wealth of answers.

Practical information

Sat. and Sun., 10:00 to 18:00

Rue de Formanoir / De Formanoirstraat 31 – Anderlecht

Reservation only for guided tours and workshops

Non accessible

Non accessible