Walks - Union, Parvis, Midi
Between 1850 and 1900,virtually every trace of the early history of Saint-Gilles was obliterated. The rural horticultural village, where the famous Brussels sprout was among the crops that were grown, was absorbed into the densely built-up city, and a number of monumental complexes were built: the prison, the Mint and the Town Hall.
Nevertheless, the lower-lying parts of Saint-Gilles remained a very popular area, with the proximity of the Gare du Midi railway station attracting many newcomers. The parts that lay higher up became bourgeois areas with straight streets, unusual art nouveau houses and interior courtyards with beautiful gardens.
For a number of years now, Saint-Gilles has been very popular with young artists of various origins and with expats, especially from France. The Parvis de Saint-Gilles with its cafés, eateries and market is a trendy meeting place, and there are also some green spots in this urbanised environment.
Our route takes in the Porte de Hal, Cité Fontainas, the Parvis de Saint-Gilles, Place Marie Janson, Parc Pierre Paulus and Place Morichar, and the lovely examples of art nouveau between the Town Hall and the prison.