Brussels House Peculiarities Brussels

Image by Renata Riva

Brussels House Peculiarities – Shoe cleaners

While walking in the streets of Brussels we all tend to look at the pavement because it’s very uneven and difficult to walk on, let alone if you are wearing high heels. But Brussels has lots to offer if we manage to raise our eyes. The houses, all over, have their own 1900 style: narrow and tall, red bricks on the façade and… “shoes cleaners” (decrottoir – dung remover).

If you have ever paid attention to the lower side of the houses, you surely haven’t missed out on seeing some “holes”, most of them with metal “chains”. Have you ever asked yourself “what’s this?” Well… put yourself back to the beginning of the 1900s… roads were not paved, there were no cars, but horses taking people around. Belgium is a country where it rains quite often… easy to think that when walking around, your shoes would get very dirty, full of mud… would you enter your house with muddy shoes? Not really… so here is the invention… shoe cleaners right next to the front door!

In Brussels there are hundreds of different types… from now on, don’t only look at the pavement, but also at the buildings!

(the one pictured is in Rue d’Irlande 52, Sint Gilles)

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Details about this spot



Rue d'Irlande 52, Brussels

Opening Times

24 hours daily


Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)