Ixelles has a rich and varied heritage which mixes Art Nouveau, modernist and bourgeois houses with new apartments. Its 77000 inhabitants of 170 different nationalities (and a large student community!) are settled in different areas, each one with its own identity.
Ixelles-Bas and “Rond-Point de l’Etoile”
It still has managed to maintain over time its rural and industrial character. The construction of the “Maison de la Radio” in the 30s has changed the look of the current Eugène Flagey square, a meeting place at any time of day for its bars and terraces (and many cultural events!).
Maarten Van Rousselt, from Flagey, tells you how to find somewhere in the Brussels social scene that fits your interests.
Not much further, at the roundabout l’Etoile, the Résidence de La Cambre is considered, with 17 floors, as the first “skyscraper” in Brussels.
Avenue Louise and Tenbosch
This neighborhood hasn’t stopped growing up this last century followed by the construction of the Louise Avenue. It is located across this great avenue filled with luxury boutiques and bourgeois buildings of Art Nouveau style. Besides, the installation of garages in the 1870s attracted many workshops related to automobile manufacturing still present today.
Le Faubourg de Namur
In 1785 begins a new period of development in Brussels thanks to private investment in the streets “Chaussées de Wavre e Ixelles”. After the demolition of the old Namur gate, the Toison d’Or Avenue and the square development transformed the district into an ideal place to drift around. This district hosts a major African community that named this zone ‘Matonge’ (name of a Kinshasa’s suburb).
The Leopold district
Created in 1837, Leopold district is drawn according to the Tilman-François Suys architect plan and the buildings are essentially neoclassical style. In 1855, the district evolves and expands to the south with the construction of the Luxembourg station and the creation of the railway line between Brussels and Luxembourg. The district will lose its residential use after the 1920s with the establishment of governments and financial corporations (current institutions of the European Union), which development has caused a profound transformation of the urban zone.
At the end of the nineteenth century, a new urban plan transforms the nearby of the St. Boniface church in the ideal neighborhood to Art Nouveau. The small size of new buildings was perfectly designed to the petty bourgeoisie, some with ground floor shopping. Very inventive, the architect Ernest Blerot paid particular attention to the decorative aspect of the facades (that invite you to have a walk and discover the design of the entrance doors and the ironwork and vegetable inspiration).
The cemetery of Ixelles
In 1877 a new cemetery was created at the corner of the pavement Boondael and Couronne Avenue, replacing the cemetery near the Abbey of La Chambre which became too small. It is exceptional for the quality of its heritage and the number of scientific, artistic, political and industry personalities that rest there.
Le Hameau de Boondael
Located near the Soignes forest, the Hameu de Boondael initially depends on the law and Uccle parish, but in 1828 will be part of the Sainte-Croix parish of Ixelles. Until the early seventeenth century, the village experienced brewing activities that gradually disappeared due to the competition of the neighboring breweries. Despite a late urbanization from the thirties, the neighborhood retains its rural character.
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Source: Classes du patrimoine (© Ministère de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale).