Pavillons d’Octroi - Porte d’Anderlecht 1000 Brussels +32 (0)2 279 43 83

The Museum is closed

Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 a.m > 05.00 p.m

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Our visitors often ask us whether they will see rats at the museum. Out of curiosity and fascination, but mostly out of fear. After all, the rat has long had a bad reputation. Yet this little nibbler is extremely fascinating. Sewage workers will even tell you that it is a very useful animal.

Since 2020, the museum has been thinking about the optimal use of its permanent exhibition space. This reflection resulted in a study on the museum’s positioning. The study highlighted the need for relevant programming that is now more adequately tailored to specific audiences such as families and teenagers. Each year, the Sewer Museum will therefore present a theme that will span ten months at a time.

Rattus: our first theme year

15.09.23 > 16.06.24

For this first theme year, which runs from 15 September 2023 to 16 June 2024, the museum focuses on the rat. This little mammal has a story to tell at the museum! Today we know more about polar bears and dolphins, while the rat has lived in our immediate environment for centuries!

The aim of this year’s theme is to talk about this species with neither complexes nor prejudices. They may not be wanted, but still managed to adapt incredibly well to the artificial environment of our cities.

Rattus : our exhibition

Rattus norvegicus is the scientific name for a species that goes by many other names: brown rat, Norway rat, city rat or sewer rat. This rodent has found its place in the widespread network stretching beneath our feet. It likes the constant temperature and humidity and feeds on the many food particles that end up in our sewers. Here, this species also finds shelter and a safe refuge from predators.

Like pigeons and mice, rats depend on human activities for their survival, especially on the waste we produce.
A familiar sight in sewers, parks, basements and gardens, these rodents arouse fascination, curiosity but also phobia and even disgust. They rarely leave us indifferent. Over the years, humans have developed increasingly sophisticated techniques to capture and control them, although the ethics of these techniques are often questionable.

Like other urban animals, rats are described as harmful or undesirable. But what do we really know about them? Can we coexist peacefully with this species?

It is time to dispel a few preconceptions and stereotypes about rats. The Sewer Museum takes you on a journey in the footsteps of this little-known rodent, neither wild nor tame.

The exhibition trail

During this tour, visitors fully immerse themselves in the environment. Surrounded by a dark atmosphere, they explore the theme of RATTUS step by step. Strong visual elements act as stimulating beacons in the permanent exhibition. A series of presentations invite playful, participatory discovery. Surprising questions, entertaining interactions and appropriate ergonomics stimulate not only sight, but also touch and hearing. Thus, participants, big and small, become the protagonists of their own visit.



The exhibition is illustrated by beautiful photographs and a video by Thomas Jean, photographer and videographer of Brussels urban fauna.

In recent months, he went in search of these shadowy creatures integral to the Brussels ecosystem. His video and photos allow the public to get up close and personal with these animals.

Thomas Jean was a loved wildlife from a young age. His grandfather, father and brother were as passionate as him and taught him to recognise animals.

Thomas is a passionate autodidact. He is interested in biodiversity conservation in urban environments and how wildlife coexists with humans. On his YouTube channel,La Minute Sauvage, he shares his encounters and observations.

book your tickets here for this exhibition

The Museum is closed: In the event of heavy rain, for safety reasons, the Museum staff reserves the right to refuse access to the covered river and sewer.


Sewer Museum
Porte d’Anderlecht | Anderlechtsepoort
1000 Brussels
T. +32 (0)2 279 43 83

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