Paul Delvaux and "his" Watermael station
"I would have loved to buy an old railway station," said Paul Delvaux, the Belgian Post-Impressionist, Expressionist and Surrealist painter.
The man who painted ethereal women, skeletons and stations, loved trains! Before settling in Veurne, where he remained until his death, he lived in Watermael-Boitsfort, a green municipality in south-east Brussels from 1950 to 1984.
During his walks, his gaze often fell on Watermael station, which opened for passenger services on 10 June 1866. It was originally called the Watermael-Berg stop, but has had its current name since November 1883. Designed by Emile Robert in 1864, its construction was part of the growth of public transport at the time. This passenger station, with its alternating strips of red and white bricks, is one of the recurring subjects that inspired Paul Delvaux, who lived nearby.
The exterior was renovated in the late 1990s and early this century. The roofs and cornices were renovated in 2001, as was the beautiful glass roof that had sheltered so many travellers from bad weather. The interior of the building has been converted into a multi-purpose hall that can host cultural events.
Today, the station is no longer in operation. It is a quiet stop where trains stop once every hour. From there, you can reach the city centre in just 15 minutes.