Neighbourhood walk: Ixelles ponds, Flagey and Malibran

16 March 2022
Saint-Josse church and market

Speaking of contrasts! This walk takes you from a green, residential neighbourhood with lots of striking 20th century architecture to the more densely populated streets that underwent a recent migration.  

At the heart of this contrast lies the bustling Flagey Square with its famous ‘Steamship’ Flagey building, built in Art Deco style by Joseph Diongre in 1935. Built for the Institut National de Radiodiffusion (National Radiobroadcasting Institute), it is now a concert venue for the Brussels Philharmonic. It's also renowned for its technical and acoustic ingenuity and for its exceptionally soundproofed studios.  

The square serves as a link between the two neighbourhoods and has become a real attraction for cultural institutions, cafés and restaurants, and shops. And to think that where the square is now located, there used to be a fishpond of the La Cambre Abbey that was fed by the Maelbeek, which has now disappeared from the cityscape.

During this walk, you'll come across many buildings with remarkable architectural styles: Art Nouveau, Art Deco, eclecticism or neoclassicism. The master designers of these buildings include Ernest Blérot, the Delune brothers and Stanislas Jasinski. You'll also pass theatres such as the Marni or the Théâtre Littéraire de la Clarencière and the Flagey bookshop, which specialises in comics.

As for culture, don't miss the contemporary art centre La Loge, installed in a former Masonic temple. Last but not least, the CIVA is another cultural venue in Ixelles dedicated to architecture. It regularly presents exhibitions, brings together associations and houses a library, a bookshop and an extensive archive.

Duration of walk: 2hrs.
Starting point: tram 93 or 94, stops Vleurgat or Abbaye/Abdij.

The map for this walk is available in French, Dutch and English. 

In collaboration with Brukselbinnenstebuiten