The old Brussels cemetery on the Dieweg is one of the most romantic spots in Brussels.
Abandoned in 1958, its old stone tombs are covered in ivy and moss. Some people come here to wander among the dilapidated gothic chapels, crumbling stone angels and sad faded photographs of the dead. But others are drawn by the rare species of moss and wild flowers that flourish in this untouched urban wilderness.
Founded in 1866, the cemetery is dotted with mysterious tombs bearing Hebrew inscriptions from the time when this was one of the few cemeteries in Belgium to allow Jewish burials.
It takes some time to track down the tomb of Hergé, the Belgian illustrator who created Tintin. He was buried here in 1983, long after the cemetery had officially closed down.
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.