First of all, check out the Tok Toc Knock festival, (website or here). It’s an interesting initiative taking place almost once a month. The ‘Life in the former European Union‘ exhibition by Thomas Bellinck is part of the festival’s May edition. Although it is a temporary exhibition, it presents itself as a museum – the ‘Domo de Eŭropa historio en ekzilo’ (Esperanto) – and I really believe it deserves to be treated as one. The museum building is a former school that was abandoned and left alone for several years. You can still see the numbers on the doors that used to identify the different classrooms. The creators of the museum have done a bit of work on the building itself to adapt it to the exhibition, so it’s surprising that the building will return to its abandoned state in a few weeks. It would make for a great cultural centre.
Finding the place – and the museum reception – is an interesting experience and I believe a nice addition to the incredible journey that is the museum exhibition. The address is rue du Clocher 22 and you’ll see a sign with the name, ‘Domo de Eŭropa historio en ekzilo’, just outside the building. It looks a bit abandoned, and as I said it was until recently, but trust me and go inside the gates. You’ll find a door on your right that looks closed but has the same sign, open it and climb the stairs to the second floor, enter the door in front of you and follow the corridor, where you’ll find a very ’70s waiting room with two nice girls: that’s the reception, it’s not a doctor’s waiting room I swear.
This gives you a little idea of the atmosphere of the whole museum and I won’t say much more about the exhibition because you need to experience it yourself. Once you’ve bought your ticket (€10 or €6 for under 26s, over 65s or Etterbeek residents) you get a number and you’ll have to wait for your turn: the visit is individual so you’re not allowed to go in with your friends. I know it sounds annoying but it really isn’t, you get the chance to deeply experience the museum by yourself with your own rhythm and thoughts. The only thing I found a little frustrating sometimes was the fact that the graphs and some other tags were only in Esperanto, leaving me with the curiosity and doubt of its meaning.
Once you’ve finished your journey, peek into the last gap on the fourth floor and enjoy the bar. The view is beautiful, the drinks excellent and you have to chat with the barman for the perfect end to your incredible experience.
A last suggestion: if you haven’t yet visited the Parlamentarium (website), do that first and then come to this museum, you won’t regret it!
Open from 09/05/2013 to 14/06/2013
Wednesday > Friday:
17:00 > 21:00 (last admission 20:00)
10:00 > 21:00 (last admission 20:00)
Location: Kloktorenstraat 22 rue du Clocher, 1040 Etterbeek
Limited number of visitors
Access is difficult for people with limited mobility. Info: 02 210 11 12.
As the journey is an individual one you might want to do a reservation to be sure not to wait too long (website) otherwise you can visit the documentary ‘In Europa’ by Geert Mak in the GC De Maalbeek right next door (rue du Cornet 97 – website).