THE ABANDONED, DECAYED AND FORGOTTEN!

LAKEN CRYPT

AUGUST 2007 - 37 PHOTOS
DECAYED, AWAITING RESTORATION

SLIDESHOW I THUMBS

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To offer a solution for the large shortage of graves on the cemetry of Laken, the council of the city of Brussels decided to create a underground sepulchre gallery. This was based on initiative of the public works of " Emile Bockstael". The principle that is applied exists from to categorise the coffins in separate, hermetically closed niches, so that no fragrance can escape. Particular to the Laekens sepulchre galleries was the underground construction, concrete niches were built of high panels placed besides each other to create partitions, the metal coffins would be horizontally placed in. The proposal of Bockstael was adopted in 1876 by the municipality Council of Laken and in 1878 a first gallery in use was taken. By the use of this formula six new galleries were moored. The network of underground paces has a central admittance porch with a staircase designed by the work shop of Salu. In function of the needs the pace scheme was further extended and made accessible in 1890, by an double access slope contactably by the large alley.

In the period 1919-1928 a extension of four galleries was once more carried out. In total the sepulchre gallery of Laken has largely one and a half hectare of surface and more than 300 meters pace. And this greatness was never exceeded.

After more then 20 years of decline the graveyard will receive a large amount of euro's for the restoration of this protected monument. The galleries will be made impermeable, the broken sepulchres will be repaired and the inscriptions on the stone panels can be read again after carefully cleaning and clearing of the carves. After the restoration it is the intention to open the Laken crypt for the public once again. Hopefully the restoration will soon start. But one can imagine the works will take some time to keep the origin as close as it was.