Sunset at the Abbey

Before the EuroCup final started tonight, I went for an evening walk to one of my favorite spots in Brussels: the Abbaye de la Cambre. At the end of Avenue Louise and at the bottom of Rue de l’Aurore, this is a calm place in an otherwise hectic city.

Founded in 1201, slightly crumbling, not perfectly cared for and with more than a flaw or two, it is a charming spot. The Abbey itself is rarely open, though if you go on a Saturday or Sunday you can sometimes duck in for a glimpse of the intimate Gothic interior before a wedding takes place. (Tell-tale flower petals always trail around the entrance afterwards.)

St Boniface, namesake of one of the most popular squares for expats in town, lived at the Abbey for 18 years and is buried in the church. Severely damaged in several wars, the Abbey we see now is the result of French reconstruction in the eighteenth century.

Besides the Chapel, a military school, the Belgian National Geographic Institute, a visual arts school and local boy scouts chapter are housed in the series of buildings here.Terraced gardens and an evaporating pond are also found sprinkled around the property.

Armed with my trusty Instagram, I filtered some of these pictures like crazy, but this orange light is quite fitting for the late midsummer light you see around the Abbey. Next time you are in Brussels, make sure to walk down to the Abbey for a picnic or a late evening stroll. It really is worth it.

Photo credit: JessinBelgium. You can find more images of the Abbaye stroll on Instagram: jessinbelgium.

  1. And if you’re hungry, get a tasty quiche or a pie from nearby ‘Les Tartes de Françoise’ ( – you won’t regret it!

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