La Cambre, where the Maalbeek rises, was once a contemplative abbey in the Sonian Forest. Agriculture and logging then pushed back the edge of the forest until the city had advanced as far as the abbey. A number of former fishing ponds were redeveloped as a 19th-century cityscape, with beautiful streets and art nouveau houses. 

The current Place Flagey was built on a filled-in pond, and the eye-catching Flagey building was designed by architect Joseph Diongre. The restoration of this building and the presence of students from La Cambre and European expats have given the neighbourhood a new lease of life. Since its refurbishment, Place Flagey has become a hub in this part of the city.

From contemplation in the forest to urban hustle and bustle: this Bruksel walk presents a fascinating history in barely one kilometre. 

Practical information  

Departure: preferably La Cambre Abbey, although Place Flagey is also possible

Finish: Place Flagey

Prices and practical details  


Connecting tips

Flagey cultural centre
Ixelles Museum  (temporarily closed)