This is the kind of unexpected, around-the-corner discovery that is well worth your while.
Located at the corner of rue des Francs and avenue des Gaulois, just next to the Parc du Cinquantenaire, you will find a house that stands out for its impressively decorated facade, which is considered one of the gems of Art Nouveau in Brussels.
The house was built in 1905 by famous architect-artist Paul Cauchie and was opened to the public in 1995. (I won’t go into details – it’s best to just visit the house or if you’re not convinced yet, see the website at the end of this post).
The guided tour of the house (only accessible the first weekend of every month, from 11h to 13h and 14h to 18h) starts in the basement (art gallery) and goes up only to the first floor (living room and kitchen), as the floors above are destined for the exclusive use of the owners, who happen to be the excellent tour guides, live in the house and occasionally even entertain a few lucky guests.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of this visit is listening to the friendly owner of the Maison Cauchie speak about the whole renovation process and other miscellaneous stories. Have a chat with him and you will discover, among many other interesting factoids, that he used to color Tintin comics when he worked in Herge’s studio!
For detailed information, history and timeline of the Maison Cauchie, visit the Etterbeek website (sorry, info available in French and Dutch only, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask!)
The address: Maison Cauchie – Rue des Francs, 5 – 1040 Etterbeek. Information: +32 2 673 15 06 or +32 2 733 86 84
Well worth the EUR 4 entrance fee!