Walks - from Congo to Matongé
City centre and Ixelles
The colonial exploitation of Congo began as a private venture of King Leopold II, which is why the first traces of administrative initiatives can be found around the garden behind the Royal Palace. Colonists who had returned to Belgium used to meet in clubs and bars in neighbouring Old Ixelles. The first part of this walk is therefore about the century-long Belgian presence in Congo.
After independence, young Congolese came to study in Brussels. Because of the difficult political and economic situation in Zaire, some decided to stay in Belgium, and Matongé became the shopping and entertainment district for Brussels’ African inhabitants. The new generations are asking critical questions about the symbols of colonial exploitation and paternalism in the streets of Brussels.
Matongé is especially vibrant on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and in the afternoon or evening.
A maximum of 20 people per guide can join this exploration of a district. The district is too busy and the pavements too narrow to walk around with larger groups.
Departure: Place Royale Central Station, Place du Trône or Porte de Namur are also possibilities
Finish: near Porte de Namur
Prices and practical details
Kuumba, the Flemish-African House in Matongé
Ixelles Museum (closed at present)