Thumb 800px coat of arms of ixelles.svg Ixelles

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Bron: Commune d'Ixelles,
Bigger thumb img 20190220 170043 Mayor

Christos Doulkeridis


Beknopte geschiedenis

Ixelles (known as Elsene in Dutch) is a commune of great contrasts: one will find on its territory the building of the European Parliament, a students’ district, surrounding the Brussels Free University, a vast and well-preserved heritage of the Art Nouveau architecture from the beginning of the last century, as well as the world-renowned district of Matongé, favourite meeting place to the African community in Belgium. Interestingly, this is the only municipality in Region Brussels-Capital that is divided into two parts: bisected by Avenue Louie, which belongs to the City of Brussels.

It is believed that it first appeared as a village under the name of Elsela in 1196, from the foundation of the Abbey of La Cambre by a Benedictine nun in 1196. In the early foutheenth century, during the rule of John II, Duke of Brabant, a hostel was established near the abbey which provided meals to the wood bearers working in the forest. Not long after this, a hamlet and several chapels were built, including the Church of the Holy Cross. Today one can see few ponds dating from this era remaining.

Later on, the wars between Louis XI of France and Maximilian I Holy Roman Emperor led to the devastation of the abbey and its surroundings. It was to be restored only at the end of the sixteenth century and provided with manors and castles, gradually transforming it into a thriving village, partially owing to the purity of the pond water, which attracted brewers from the area.

Close to the eighteenth century, similarly to other settlements around Brussels, Ixelles was declared a separate municipality by the French regime after the Revolution and the abbey was stripped of religious functions.

Often confused as being part of the city of Brussels, the bilingual commune (French and Dutch speaking) of Ixelles is actually one of the nineteen municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. It has a population of 86 513 people by 1 January 2018 (STATBEL). Located in the suburbs towards the south of the city centre of Brussels, it borders with Auderghem, Etterbeek, Forest, Uccle, Saint-Gilles and Watermael-Boitsfort.

Home to the European Parliament and major large multinationals, among which Solvay and Aiplex Software, Ixelles is at the cutting edge from economic point of view.

Art Nouveau and Art Déco

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Bron: ©

Ixelles was an important centre of Art Nouveau architecture in the beginning of the Twentieth century. Spectacular decorations and façades are still visible all over the territory, one of the most interesting being a blue doorway, dating back to 1902.

Street Art

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Bron: TheMayor.EU

Ixelles is a place that gives freedom to expression of differences. Alongside testimonies to high art, visible from the largest  building façades to the smallest items such as beautifully decorated postal boxes, Ixelles gives expression to the talent of the locals. Enjoy tree-knitting, graffiti, posters, and tour the sites by bike or on foot, according to your preference.