Did you know about the museum in Brussels that's worth sniffing out?
Yes, we're talking about the Sewers museum in Brussels, which is quite a rarity. The sewer network measures almost 400 km. Each day thousands of cubic metres of waste water flow through a massive underground jungle of kilometres of main and subsidiary sewers.
Visits start at the Pavillon de l'Octroi (Toll house) at the Porte d'Anderlecht built above Brussels' vaulted river Senne, a collector and secondary sewers. You'll learn about the history and the technical side of Brussels' sewers network. And you'll catch a glimpse behind the scenes together with your sewer worker guide. What awaits you on the other side when lifting the lid and going down the drain? How do the collectors work? Oh yes, a rat here and there is all part of the fun.
The first plans to set up a sewers museum originated in the 1970s. Originally the Sewers department gave guided tours to schools and the municipal council. When a temporary exhibition proved to be successful it was decided to set up a permanent museum. This opened its doors in 1988. It attracted around 4,000 curious folk each year. In 2007, following much modernisation and renovation, the new Sewers Museum opened its doors.
Toll houses? These buildings found at the city's old ramparts were where Brussels levied its taxes, or so-called 'gate money', on all kinds of consumables (meat, beer, coal …) going to and from the city.