Restfulness near Schuman railway station

Every day we are flooded with overcrowded subways, busy motorways, popular meeting places that give you a feeling of fuss and expose you to many external stimuli. In large cities such as Brussels this is a very common fact, but do not forget that there are always and everywhere places that allow you to empty your head and release you from the daily crowd. With a network of buses, trains, trams, cars, and fully booked planes, you sometimes feel powerless and limited as a pedestrian to cover long distances. Do not be disappointed, because sometimes you do not have to drive or fly miles to experience a self-fulfilling day. Even on a gray Wednesday afternoon near the metro Shuman railway station there are a lot of inspiring and spirit-expanding places to experience, that are also within walking distance of each other. Grab your pair of shoes and explore unknown territory.

Overrun of car traffic and noise pollution

This is the Rue de la Loi, located in the European quarter and the economically and politically important network of the European Union with building complexes such as Berlaymont and Justus Lipsius. The presence of cyclists, businessmen, armed forces, pedestrians, cyclists and even people who use an electric scooter will not go unnoticed after you leave the ingenious and modern Shuman railway station. It’s time to turn off in a narrow side street to escape the fast passing vehicles and cyclists and other pedestrians coming in all directions with all the accompanying noises of ringing bells, conversations and brakes that are heavily drowned.

©Lance VDD

Square Marie-Louise

Via rue de taciturne, a narrow long street with vehicles parked on both sides, after 550 meters of walking, we reach Square Marie-Louise. When entering the park will bump into owners with their dogs, people who get their daily required amount of nicotine by smoking a cigarette, parents with young children and a buggy and elderly people who read the newspaper on a park bench while admiring the environment. At first glance it seems like any other park, but soon you change your mind because of the presence of sculptures that carry a part of the history of Brussels with them. What this small-scale park, completely surrounded by apartments and terraced houses, makes so inspiring is the presence of statues of different historical figures and a black rock-shaped fountain that sends liters of water into the air.

©Lance VDD

Stand still for a moment at the phenomenon of a black rock formation fountain in the pond that spouts water high into the sky. The light hissing sound of the rising water and the mass of ducks have an appeasing effect.

Square Marie-Louise is also filled with statues and the statue of Lieutenant-General Louis Bernheim is one of them. Louis Bernheim reached the age of 69 and played an important role during the first world war as a Belgian soldier and general. Further, he was also well-known as one of Belgium’s topmost soldiers of Jewish origin.                                                                                

©Lance VDD – Statue Louis Bernheim

Birth of a nation is a white marble statue created by Marius Vos that reflects the feeling of joy and radiance. The reason why this artwork is so special and unique is because of the comparison of a newborn baby with the origin of a country. A very remarkable work of art close to one of the park’s three entrances.

©Lance VDD – Birth of a nation

Coffee break in Dame de Pique

After a walk of 10 minutes through the narrow streets of Saint-Josse-Ten-Node and passing numerous hairdressers, clothing shops, snack bars and restaurants, you reach the main road Chaussée de Louvain. The waiting for the green light, the passing of numerous road works and the sloping road, which is dominated by taxis and hurried car drives ensure that you no longer want to stroll outside. For the people who head for Asaphat Park on the Chaussée de Louvain, they can rest their feet and quench their thirst in café and bar Dame de Pique. The wooden bar lined bar, modern bar stools, light gray comfortable sofas and three gambling machines give you immediate sense to enjoy a hot cup of coffee. The waitress with Turkish origin will be happy to welcome you. Choose a drink, snack or take a gamble on a slot machine.

©Lance VDD – Dame de Pique
©Lance VDD – Dame de Pique

Whispering presence of the wind and chirping birds in Josaphat Park

If you decide to walk down the Avenue Chazal from Saint-Josse-Ten-Node,  you walk by a sign that says Entrée Prévost-Delanay which announces the entrance of an impressive piece of green area in Schaerbeek. You are now in the bustling Josaphat Park, which is only 2.1 kilometers away from Madame de Pique and accessible between sunrise and sunset.

History tells us a pilgrim returning from Palestine was confounded by the similarity between the site of the current park and the valley of Josaphat at the gates of Jeruzalem. The name of the park refers to a fomer king of Judea, which means God’s judgement. Because of the urbanization of the Boulevard Lambermont and Avenue Chazal, the waterfall is completely dried up, but the possibility of a beautiful view that lies between shrubs, has been preserved.

©Lance VDD – Moving Silence

Josaphat Park is a public park, which spread over an area of 20 hectares. It’s a convenient and well managed site where walkers, families and runners meet in a fascinating diversity of plant vegetation, flower meadows and ponds, but well as a breeding ground for pigeons. Because of the open lawns and the well-trimmed trees and crops along the pathways, it is always clear during the day and you feel the presence of the sun.

To stimulate plant growth and biodiversity, a strict maintenance is done by the Green Spaces and Cleanliness service.

Another remarkable sight that you will find in the park is the statue of Boreas, which was a Greek God of the North Wind. The existing dynamics, detailed facial expressions and realistic body proportions make this statue a real masterpiece. This monument is a creation by Joseph Vandamme and dates from 1922. The park is full of surprises and is more than worth every step you take.

©Lance VDD – Boreas

Crispy and satisfying lunch at Delly Ness

Besides the fact that Saint-Josse-Ten-Node has a lot to offer in terms of nature and historic sights, it is also possible to have a reasonable lunch. Delly Ness is a hypermodern sandwich bar that is kept open by Ness, a spontaneous and warm-hearted woman of Turkish origin. Delly is a shorter form for delicious, what the Turkish specialties really are. The menu is extensive and goes from Turkish breakfast with fruit juice to homemade lasagna. In the event that you cannot choose between the various delicacies, then I advise you to use the Sandwich Parmesroquette to the fullest. This sandwich is a crispy composition of a white baguette with a mix of grilled chicken, parmesan, olive oil, dried tomatoes and arugula.

Opening hours:
Monday-Friday: 7:30 AM – 16:30 PM
Saturday: 9 AM- 16 PM

©Lance VDD – Delly Ness
©Lance VDD- Delly Ness

Square Ambiorix

What you will undoubtedly experience is that the more you wander, the more green spaces you will discover. The number of idyllic places is higher than you could have ever expected. They even apply to  large cities that are crammed with immensely high buildings, where the railway network, motorways and weak road users continually cross each other and where urban elements predominate. Another example is Square Ambiorix, a round shaped park surrounded by densely populated houses and apartments and hotels. This place represents a coherence of walking paths with the numerous presence of various colorful flowers on the side,
wooden benches that always guarantee a beautiful view of the fountain and 19th-century sculptures. Sit down on one of the benches available and experience the charm of this park.

©Lance VDD
©Lance VDD

Parc du Cinquantenaire

As an important relaxation place, however, we should not forget this urban park that is located at the end of Rue de la Loi. The construction of the triumphal arch started on 4 January, 1905 and was completed in the same year on September 27. The arches were designed by the French architect Charles Girault, who has obtained both Royal Gold Medal Award and the Prix de Rome in Architecture. The 30 hectares area, which is
is easily accessible and is at a short distance from the Merode and Schuman railway stations, additionally offers a diverse range of numerous varieties. It’s an illustrious location for a culture and history enthusiast, because of the visitable Military museum, Art and History museum, AutoWorld and Mosque , who wants to visit the leisure and pedestrian square. Of course,  you can also choose to take a relaxing walk through the remarkably large recreational area.

©Lance VDD

A stunning evening in Jazz Station

After admiring and the compensation of pristine public parks  it is perhaps time to discover a different aspect of culture, in other words music. And not just music, but jazz. You can hear this well, also this is all possible outside the center in places where you are not overwhelmed by a crowd of people.
Jazz station is an entirely restored ancient station fully dedicated to jazz. These old-fashioned radiating facades immediately catch the eye when you wander around the Chaussée de Louvain. But you can never make a truthful judgment before you really know a place.

©Lance VDD

From the first moment you arrive, you feel a mysterious atmosphere and you notice the railway running parallel to the concert hall. The entrance is indicated by a luminous sign on which Jazz station is clearly illuminated. The corridor is dark and is decorated with pictures of various historical jazz artists hanging on the window. Book a ticket, or buy one at the box office and be amazed by the musicality of the jazz event.
For adults, a ticket costs 10 euros, for a student 8 euros and it’s even free for young adults and children under 12.

Filippo Bianchini quintet stuns Jazz station

On Wednesday 6th of March 2019, the Filippo Bianchini quintet went to the jazz station to give the audience a refreshing performance. Their album Le Voyage was heard that night from 20:30 PM. The program of the evening which included a seven-part album Perduto Amore, Inch’Allah, Une Larme Aux Nuages, La nuit Tombe La Neige, Sans Toi Ma Vie and  Le Voyage. Filippo Bianchi played the tenor sax, Nicola Andrioli played the piano, Armando Luongo played the drums, Jean Louis Rassinfosse played the double bass and last but not least Jean-Paul Estievenart played the trumpet and fulfilled the role of a special guest.The variety of solos, passion and challenge during music ensured a deafening musical interplay. The performance of the soloists and sound quality that is obtained by the professional technical team was greatly appreciated by the small and enthusiastic audience.

©Lance VDD

Before, during and after a concert the bar is always open to enjoy the musical performance. The bar staff will be happy to welcome you to have a drink together in the presence of the relief of your mind while listening to jazz and blues.

©Lance VDD

Let your foot measure the size of the swinging scores and forget about all your worries and stress, because in the jazz world, getting energy is central, without getting tired of it.

As you can see, there are numerous ways to escape from the crowds near the busy center of the Schuman railway station, both culturally, gastronomically and naturally. Discover these peaceful and often unknown places of interest if you are lost in the urban and cramped Sint-Joost-Ten-Node and Schaerbeeck. You will realize that there is a lot of life in the hidden corners.

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