Hidden Belgium: Rue de la Cigogne

Hidden Belgium: Rue de la Cigogne

This medieval alley paved with bumpy cobblestones is one of the last relics of old Brussels.

Reached through an 18th-century gate with a tiny chapel on top dedicated to St Roch, the narrow passage runs between workers’ houses that have somehow survived untouched.

The current residents have created an urban hideaway that looks like an Ardennes village, with wisteria growing up the walls, plants in pots and bicycles propped outside the front door.

There are lanes like this to be discovered all over Brussels. You find them as you walk around Ixelles, Saint-Gilles and Uccle. But also in the heart of the city just a few steps from the grand boulevards.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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