The Erasmus House, beguinage, and collegiate church of Saints Peter and Guido form a magnificent historical ensemble, right in the heart of the commune. Erasmus House – in which the famous philosopher and scholar stayed from May to October 1521 – is one of the oldest Gothic houses in the Belgian capital. It hosts a sublime collection of paintings, prints and sculptures by 15th-17th century masters like Albrecht Dürer, Hugo Van der Goes, Cornelis Metsys… not to mention portraits of Erasmus inspired by Hans Holbein and Quentin Metsys. A rich collection of 16th century books is a nod to the singular humanist’s thinking.
A medicinal plant garden – designed by landscape architect René Pechère – presents around one hundred medicinal plants that were known to 16th century physicians. Beyond it stretches a philosophical garden that is home to the works of contemporary artists like Marie-Jo Lafontaine and Bob Verschueren.
The beguinage of Anderlecht is Belgium’s smallest. Founded in 1252, today it consists of two wings framing an enclosed garden with its own well. It housed beguines right up until the French Revolution and has been completely and lovingly restored, meaning it could, once again, be re-opened to the public! A new museum project is currently in the pipeline and should be finalised in autumn 2023.
Erasmus House & Beguinage Museums
Location: Rue de Formanoir, 31, 1070 Anderlecht