Walking Tour

From the bottom to the top of Saint-Gilles: the colourful village in the town

A. de Ville de Goyet ©

This walking tour will take in some of Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillis' lesser-known Art Nouveau buildings and pay tribute to some less celebrated but highly creative architects and artists.

Starting at Porte de Hal/Hallepoort, we will proceed along Rue César Depaepe/César Depaepestraat and Rue Fontainas/Fontainasstraat and on to Avenue Jean Volders/Jean Volderslaan and Rue Vanderschrick/Vanderschrickstraat. Here we find a unique set of 19 houses with protected status, including the magnificent café/restaurant La Porteuse d'Eau. The complex was designed by prolific architect Ernest Blerot, working for a widow by the name of Elson. Each façade is colourful and ornate, featuring different sgraffiti, mosaics, stained-glass windows and doors, among other decorations. The café was restored in 1998, with further restoration work being requested by Blerot's descendants since 2020.

From there, we will continue along Chaussée de Waterloo/Waterloosesteenweg towards Parvis de Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillisvoorplein, stopping in front of some interesting, recently restored buildings, including the Aegidium and the Maison du Peuple/Volkshuis (House of the People). The tour will then continue to the Barrière/Bareel, with its Water Carrier statue and fountain. Walking along Avenue Paul Dejaer/Paul Dejaerlaan, which includes some beautiful façades created by Gustave Strauven among others, we will finally reach Place Van Meenen/Van Meenenplein, home to the impressive Saint-Gilles/Sint-Gillis Town Hall. This building, boasting a surprising interior decor, is an architectural gem showcasing the skill of various eminent sculptors and painters.

In cooperation with Culturama.

Practical information

Sat. at 11:00 and 14:00 (Dutch) & Sun. at 10:00 (French), 11:00 (Dutch), 13:00 (French), 13:30 (Dutch), 15:30 (French) and 16:00 (Dutch) (duration: 2 hours)

Starting point: Porte de Hal/Hallepoort opposite Rue Haute/Hoogstraat, Boulevard du Midi/Zuidlaan 150 – Brussels

Advance booking required. Up to 18 people per tour.