Etterbeek is an ancient rural village that grew up beyond the suburbs of Brussels. The constructions were born around Chausée de Wavre outward with the creation of the Avenue de Tervuren. Its urbanization ends between the wars combining neoclassicism and modernism through the typical Art Deco style.
The district of Linthout
As soon as Avenue Tervueren is created, new districts emerged near the Cinquantenaire Park with touches of neoclassicism and Art Nouveau, and if we drift around we will see that some of the facades show a great ornamentation. Intended for the bourgeoisie, the neighborhood immediately offered all the advantages: a green space and a shopping street with a nostalgic tram around the always lively street of Tongeren.
Today place for exchanges and shops, this area projected in 1870 took a long time to urbanize, the plots being constantly reviewed and corrected. One of the icons of this area is the Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue church.
Porte de Tervueren
In the Avenue Tervueren there are outdoor cafés, shops, offices and stately buildings. Nearby, bourgeois life is found in the district of Aduatiques, and Art Deco and contemporary buildings share the space.
Jourdan Place focuses the entire history of the commune, with a cosmopolitan European style. Famous for its shops, terraces, the pedestrian and Sunday market, it remains a pleasant place which don’t stop to change and develop.
The Jouët-Rey and Foyer Etterbeekois cities
Etterbeek has also developed a social architecture with buildings and apartments, with a bucolic character, like those built for the Haerne street or avenue E. Thibault (including a common central garden!).
Le Quartier du 11 Novembre
The modern urban center of the town is organized around the Roi Vainqueur place and the 11 Novembre Avenue. The yellow brick buildings and their symmetrical layout are typical of the ’50s. Besides, the center of the square was landscaped with a monument to the mayor, Louis Schmidt, who died in captivity in 1944.
Around Place Saint-Pierre
Convergence point of several major roads, the polygonal square was created in the early twentieth century on the site of a crossroads of ancient paths. It is mostly lined by eclectic style buildings and walking around, one can discover the workshop of master glassmaker Majerus (62 avenue de la Chasse), and also the Van Meyel place and its St. Gertrude Church. Further east are concentrated two art schools (Constantin Meunier academy and RHOK).
The flagship of school architecture
The many schools established around the area offer the beautiful development of school architecture. Among the numerous institutions, the College Saint-Michel is typical of the eclectic style with a predominant neogothic adopted by Catholic schools advocating a return to national traditions. This same spirit is reflected especially in the St. Genevieve and St. Stanislas institutions.
Etterbeek has always offered many shows of any kind. If some other cinemas have disappeared, others took over (Maelbeek, 97 rue du Cornet, l’Arrière-Scène, 30 rue de Chambéry or l’Atelier 210, 210 chaussée Saint-Pierre). It is remarkable the beautiful Art Deco ballroom of the St. Michel Theatre opened during the thirties.
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Source: Classes du patrimoine (© Ministère de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale).