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Galleries of the Laeken Cemetery

Galleries of the Laeken Cemetery

Galleries of the Laeken Cemetery

More than three hundred meters of underground burial galleries extend beneath the cemetery of Laeken.

The alderman for Public Works and the later mayor of Laeken, Emile Bockstael, ordered the construction of the underground burial gallery in 1875. This was to solve the acute shortage of space in the Brussels cemeteries.

The burial galleries were continuously expanded until 1928. The burial cells have been stacked on top of each other on either side of the galleries so that 4,500 bodies now rest there.

A hundred years after their construction, the underground tunnels were in a terrible condition: rainwater seeped in from all sides, causing the maze of galleries to slowly but surely collapse.

The situation became so dire that part of the one-and-a-half-hectare burial galleries was closed to the public in the 1980s.


It was not until 2013 that the galleries were completely renovated.

Since 2017, visitors can descend again. The marble statue 'Lady Fortuna with Child' was beheaded promptly after the reopening of the galleries.

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