For the quaint house itself & its contents: unfortunately, I couldn't see its content (it was the point of my visit, though *sigh*). I was interested in Erasmus as a spirit...
For the philosophical garden & the botanical patch... both are nice place to enjoy for the quietness, their "greenness". The area is nested in some trees although a gate looks onto the street & only a plaque could inform about which "house" it was. Erasmus house...
I'm wondering though how it looks in summer... as it is mostly known by academics & intellectuals, I suspect it wouldn't be that packed in spring & summer. This protection, I thought, would be reinforced for Anderlecht being off the main tourist track. I particularly liked the philosophical patch with some chairs, benches where to sit & meditate about each of the Erasmus "sentences" that are sprinkled over the garden... in boats... (pic.3 & intro page)
You could go there alone, to meditate, or simply to chill out under the shades of the trees.
You could also bring friends there... "Ubi Amici, Ibi Opes"... "Where there are friends, there is wealth."
Musée de la Maison d'Érasme
Rue du Chapitre, 31
Tél. + 32 2 521 13 83
Open: Thursday-Sunday 10am-5pm
Writing the comment months after the visit, I still can say it was a nice stroll, very serene area. For the name "Anderlecht" bearing some bad reputation (areas mostly inhabited by Turks, Morrocans use to have the reputation to be unsafe, violent, "strange" ~ what can I do with that ?), local people (let alone the tourists) cannot think of it as an area to visit. Still...
Myself, I wouldn't have thought about strolling there until I happened to read something about the Humanists, Erasmus. This brilliant man had some short stint in the area, hence the existence of the Erasmus house (see tip below) in Anderlecht. Then, I documented about other things to do there for an afternoon... and I did this: walking off la Collegiale. La Collegiale is the church of Saints Pierre et Guidon.
Around the Church: the beguinage, Anderlecht's academy of fine arts (sthg I never suspected to exist!) & the small place where lies one or two estaminets. If you follow your stroll in the little cobblestoned street right to the pub, you'll plunge into the tranquil flair of this poetry and art street, under the shadow of la Collegiale.
I love this little pedestrian street, the poetry & art displayed on the facades of the houses surprised me ! Some washed out Picasso facades... I do think they couldn't be that nice if not washed out. They could have been more kitsch... ;-) but reading the words, you forget about "kitsch" !
Also, the Church itself is beautiful, worth a glance, well-kept. That was at least my impression from the parochy. Could not enter inside.
Was there only one thing I could do in Anderlecht that day, it would be to squat the surprising philosophical garden at the Erasmus House. To nip over a boat to another. It was really a place where to meditate, in peace, over those free-thinking Erasmus maxima... It was great to be hoisted up by your own thoughts, fruits of your meditation, to another sphere: of acceptance of others, of differences, of world vision... a move that is all triggered by the maxima which are nested in the boats...
And sometimes in your stroll in the middle of the boats, you have a halt... just to listen to the birds, to "smell the rose"...
**I'm a citizen of the world, my homeland is everywhere, or rather, I am foreigner to everyone.** That's Erasmus. I have to admit, though, that I would stick to the first & third affirmations... I still cannot consider "everywhere" as my homeland.. and as I haven't been to everywhere yet, I cannot say I feel good everywhere.. Still, "Home is where I feel good" (or "where the heart is" ?).
Great Erasmus, the first "European" spirit ever & a seasoned traveller... to name but a few qualificatives.
Some Picassos copies... or looklikes... or forgery. I didn't linger much time on those art (forgery) pieces... The poetry was my favourite..
The one I liked was this "Sprechen ist silber. Schweige ist gold" translated as in French "La parole est du temps, le silence de l'eternité". For who understand French, you'd be interested in reading their explanation about it... or read the plaque on picture 3
Cannot remember the name of this cobblestoned street. It is off La Collégiale, check pic 1.. you can even the see the church's spire from this street...
But it was surprising to see some art (forgery, sometimes) and read some poetry in this street. Well, its physical appearance, the serenity of the place gives it a small countryside village flair... but in fact, it's in Anderlecht. Far from the tourist track but still urban...
My visit to Anderlecht is not the classical visit of an area. Well, my motive was to visit Erasmus house. But then, I sought for something else to see. Hence, I visited La Collegiale Saints Pierre et Guidon (not as completely as I wished though) and had a nice stroll around to see a surprising Art & Poetry street. A stroll for an afternoon. Not more.
Fondest memory: La collegiale
Erasmus House & its philosphical & botanical gardens.