Winter Garden of the Ursuline nuns
An Art Nouveau gem
Resplendent Art Nouveau
We have no idea what prompted the Ursuline nuns in Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Waver to make the rather bold decision to build this truly magnificent Art Nouveau building. After all, this style was considered hyper-modern in 1900. And yet, this enchanting Winter Garden with its colourful stained glass cupola was considered the most stunning feature of their boarding school, for young girls from good families. What’s even more intriguing is that nobody knows who designed the Winter Garden. And yet the architect’s design skills are unparalleled.
Don’t believe us? Well, come take a look for yourself because this is Art Nouveau at its most resplendent.
It’s always spring in the winter garden
Entering the Winter Garden feels like a never-ending spring. Just look around at the enchanting interaction between light and colour! Rays of gold shoot across the multi-coloured glass cupola. It has a Morning, Day and Evening side, which are popular themes in Art Nouveau. The glass panes are simply teeming with plants and animals. And because it is a garden after all there are also several ferns, plants and flowers.
Step into a different world
The Winter Garden is part of a magnificent listed complex, which is a stunning mix of architectural styles including Art Nouveau with neo-Gothic elements, neo-Empire style and Art Deco. It’s as if you have stepped into a different world. Names like the Empire Corridor, the Alpine Room, the La Fontaine refectory, the Piano Gallery and the Grand Staircase will spark your imagination.
An unforgettable experience!
€ 12 | standard admission per person
Free | Children up to 12 years
There is a two-hour guided tour every Sunday in Dutch and in French and/or English depending on participants. (Reservations are required and must be done beforehand at the latest by midnight on the previous Saturday).
There are no guided tours from 15 December until 15 January onwards, as well as on Easter Sunday and on Heritage Day(2nd Sunday of September).
Max. 20 people
€200 for a regular 2-hour tour.
€140 for a short visit of 1 hour.
More than 20 people
€ 200 + € 10 p/p from the 21st participant, for a normal guided tour of 2 hours.
€ 140 + € 7 p/p from the 21st participant, for a short tour of 1 hour.
Group visits are possible all year round by appointment, except on Sunday afternoons and during both closing periods. There are no guided tours from December 15 to January 15, from July 15 to August 14, Easter Sunday and Heritage Day (2nd Sunday September).
Not all parts of the building are wheelchair accessible. Visitors with reduced mobility should bear in mind that there are a few stairs along the way.
For additional information, you can download the flyer here.
How to make a reservation
It's appreciated to notify the Winter Garden in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org.
By public transport
Take to the train to Mechelen. At the station, switch to bus 510 (1.25 p.m.) or 511 (1.50 p.m.) from platform 11. Get off at the church of OLV-Waver, which is 200 metres from the entrance.
The Winter Garden is located between bike junctions 35 and 36 of the cycle path network. Request a free map (Dutch or English) from Visit Mechelen (email@example.com).
Parking is free and nearby (P1 or P2). Not every sat-nav will take you right to the entrance. We recommend using no. 22 as a coordinate (opposite the entrance).