CLOISTER GARDEN OF THE HOPITAL NOTRE-DAME A LA ROSE
Place Alix de Rosoit
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Hidden behind a high wall of whitewashed bricks you will find the secret garden – a former cemetery for nuns converted into a herb garden, where a few tombstones still lie.
In the south-west corner of the garden are the remains of the former hospital distillery, also dating from the 18th century. Next to it, beneath the thick foliage of a small raised garden, lies a huge, perfectly preserved 19th-century icebox made entirely of bricks. The ice was cut during the winter from the River Dendre and stored there in such great quantities that by the following August there would always be more than a metre of it left. It was used for compresses, refreshing drinks and for preserving meat, and was still working up until the First World War.
Open: the gardens are accessible as part of a trip round the Notre-Dame à la Rose hospital: from the first weekend of April to the last weekend of October.
Last entry at 5.45 pm.
Guided visits to the gardens possible on request (FR and NL). Booklet available (FR and NL).
Access: By motorway: approaching from Enghien: A8, exit 29, then take the N57 towards Lessines - Train: Lessines station + bus 87B; get off at the Grand-Place stop.
Tourist information on the town LESSINES