Masonic temple of the Cercle des Amis Philanthropes

A. de Ville de Goyet ©

Once home to the studio of King Leopold II's official court photographer Louis Ghémar, the building was converted in 1877 into a temple for the Cercle des Amis Philanthropes (Circle of Philanthropic Friends). Its side façade, while more richly ornamented, blends in seamlessly with the rest of Place des Martyrs/Martelaarsplein. However, the interior is full of surprises, as architect Adolphe Samyn, who had already designed another Masonic lodge, the Loge du Travail in Verviers, devised two Egyptian-style temples for the Amis Philanthropes. The decor is the work of Gustave Janlet, who produced the decorative paintings, Alban Chambon, who created the sculpted ornaments, and Louis Delbeke, who painted the historical and symbolic scenes under the supervision of Jan Verhas. Drawing direct inspiration from Ancient Egypt, the Great Temple is lined with columns featuring campaniform and Hathor capitals, against the backdrop of rearing cobras (uraei) and winged solar discs. This temple was completely restored in 2015. In the Middle Temple, papyriform columns separate panels painted with Masonic scenes or compositions depicting plants. This highly symbolic venue hosts meetings of members of lodges derived from Les Amis Philanthropes – part of the Grand Orient of Belgium and one of the oldest Masonic lodges in Brussels, having been founded in 1798 – as well as many different other lodges. Its members work in pursuit of ideals through a well-organised network. (Listed 22/10/1998)  

Guided tours: 
Sat. & Sun.: 11:00, 16:00
Sat. & Sun.: 14:30 

Practical information

Sat. & Sun. 10:00 to 18:00

Rue du Persil/Peterseliestraat 8 – Brussels

Advance booking not required

Non accessible

Non accessible