Ernest Salu’s former workshop
In the golden age of funerary art, the Salu workshops were regarded as probably Brussels’ finest. The first artist in the family was sculptor Ernest Salu, a pupil of Guillaume Geefs. Although he was already plying his trade as early as 1872, it was not until 1881 that he had workshops built near Laeken/Laken Cemetery. The workshops expanded over the years before finally closing their doors in 1984. Salu worked as a stonemason on the construction of the Bourse/Beurs (stock exchange), where he met Auguste Rodin and Julien Dillens. Today, the buildings that once reverberated to the sound of the stonemason’s hammer and chisel have been converted into a museum of funerary art by the non-profit organisation Epitaaf.
This unique complex, where many sculptors came together to work and exchange ideas, has been perfectly preserved and now houses a major collection of moulds and plaster casts that enthrals visitors. Back in the day, the workshop was also a commercial meeting place, where (usually well-off) potential clients could choose their models in the display window, the conservatory or, later on, the fountain room. These encounters sometimes continued in the nearby cemetery which, from the second half of the 19th century, was no longer just a place of commemoration, mourning or reflection, but also a meeting place for members of prominent and less well-known families. (Listed 14/05/1992)
A guide will be on hand to provide further information.
Guided tours of the cemetery: Sat. & Sun. at 10:00 and 13:00.
In cooperation with Epitaaf.
Sat. & Sun., 10:00 to 12:00 and 13:00 to 18:00
Parvis Notre-Dame/Onze-Lieve-Vrouwvoorplein 16, Brussels-Laeken/Laken
By reservation only