Etterbeek (French: [etœʁbek, etœʁbɛk] , Dutch: [ˈɛtərˌbeːk] ) is one of the 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region, Belgium. Located in the eastern part of the region, it is bordered by the municipalities of Auderghem, the City of Brussels, Ixelles, Schaerbeek, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre. In common with all of Brussels' municipalities, it is legally bilingual (French–Dutch).

Etterbeek's Municipal Hall
Etterbeek's Municipal Hall
Flag of Etterbeek
Coat of arms of Etterbeek
Location of Etterbeek
Etterbeek is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Etterbeek municipality in the Brussels-Capital Region
Coordinates: 50°50′N 04°23′E / 50.833°N 4.383°E / 50.833; 4.383
Country Belgium
CommunityFlemish Community
French Community
 • MayorVincent De Wolf (MR)
 • Governing party/iesLB-Ecolo-PS
 • Total3.17 km2 (1.22 sq mi)
 • Total48,473
 • Density15,000/km2 (40,000/sq mi)
Postal codes
NIS code
Area codes02 (in French) (in Dutch)

History edit

Origins and etymology edit

According to legend, Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, daughter of Pippin of Landen, founded a chapel there in the 8th century. A document by Holy Roman Emperor Otto I, dated 966, mentions the church of Iatrebache. The name Ietrebecca—possibly from the Celtic root ett meaning "rapid movement" and the Dutch word beek meaning "stream"—is found for the first time in a document dated 1127. The current spelling appears eleven years later in 1138, around which time a newer and larger church was built.

Middle Ages edit

Etterbeek in the 16th century

In the Middle Ages, Etterbeek was a rural hamlet mostly independent of Brussels, aside from taxation rights on beer given to Brussels around 1300 by Duke John II of Brabant. The following two centuries counted several grievous moments: in 1489, Duke Albert III of Saxony ravaged Etterbeek in his pursuit of the rebels who fought against Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian; in 1580, the village was destroyed again, this time by iconoclasts during the Protestant Reformation wars. Peace returned under the reigns of the Archdukes Albert VII and Isabella.

Barony and municipality edit

In 1673, Etterbeek gained its independence from neighbouring Sint-Genesius-Rode, when King Charles II of Spain promoted it into a barony. The first baron was Don Diego-Henriquez de Castro, general treasurer of the Netherlands armies. The Castro house was sold in 1767 and can still be seen today as Etterbeek's oldest building.

The village of Etterbeek (spelled Etterbeke) marked on the 18th-century Ferraris map

Under the French regime, Etterbeek was made into a commune, within the canton of Sint-Stevens-Woluwe. From then on, and especially after the Belgian Revolution of 1830 and the development of Brussels as a capital city, the population of Etterbeek grew quickly. In 1876, there were more than 10,000 inhabitants, in 1900 more than 20,000, and in 1910 more than 33,000. In the 1900s (decade), under the reign of King Leopold II, construction boomed and changed the town's character with the addition of the broad avenues and residential areas that exist today.

Places of interest edit

  • Two Roman Catholic churches are located in Etterbeek: the Church of Saint Anthony of Padua and the Church of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. A third church—the Church of Saint Gertrude—was demolished in 1993, as it was in danger of collapsing.
  • The Cauchie House was built in 1905 by the Art Nouveau architect, painter, and designer Paul Cauchie. Its facade is remarkable for its allegorical sgraffiti.
  • Of a completely different character, the Barony House dates from 1680 and is the oldest building in the municipality.
  • The Fondation René Carcan, a foundation and museum in the engraver and sculptor René Carcan's old studio, was located in Etterbeek.
  • The Chaussée de Wavre/Waversesteenweg has, since 27 September 2014, featured a series of large scale Le Chat drawings by the cartoonist Philippe Geluck, who was born and raised in this neighbourhood. The 24 drawings extend over a total length of 120 metres (390 ft).[2]
  • Etterbeek has a few green areas, including Jean-Félix Hap Garden. The better known Parc du Cinquantenaire/Jubelpark lies on the territory of both the City of Brussels and Etterbeek, and Leopold Park borders the municipality's territory.

The main university campus of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) is called Campus Etterbeek, although it is geographically not within Etterbeek but in the adjacent Ixelles.

Demographics edit

Etterbeek has a large immigrant population, with both the EU and non-European migrant communities outnumbering the native Belgians. Akin to neighbouring Ixelles and Schaerbeek, Etterbeek also has a large Muslim population, mainly of North African origin.[3]

Group of origin Year
Number %
Belgians with Belgian background 11,169 22.54%
Belgians with foreign background 13,191 26.62%
Neighbouring country 1,695 3.42%
EU27 (excluding neighbouring country) 2,207 4.45%
Outside EU 27 9,289 18.74%
Non-Belgians 25,198 50.85%
Neighbouring country 6,233 12.58%
EU27 (excluding neighboring country) 11,734 23.68%
Outside EU 27 7,231 14.59%
Total 49,558 100%

Transport edit

Etterbeek is served by Etterbeek railway station but, like the neighbouring campus of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), it is also located in Ixelles. Etterbeek currently has one railway station (Mérode) and three metro stations (Mérode, Thieffry and Pétillon).

Sports edit

Proposed redevelopment "Les Jardins de la Chasse" edit

A project is currently proposed to redevelop an area of Etterbeek near the Avenue des Casernes/Kazernelaan. This project would result in the Municipal Hall and police station being relocated to new buildings in a central administrative centre on this site.[5] The new site is being called the Jardins de la Chasse in French or Tuinen van de Jacht in Dutch. Demolition of the former CPAS building on the site started in 2014,[6] and building of houses on the site started in 2016, with construction of the new Municipal Hall awaiting administrative approval.[7] Municipal offices are forecast to move to the new location in summer 2018. The site of the current Municipal Hall may in the future be used for further residential development.[6]

Events edit

Etterbeek Medieval Market in 2007

Etterbeek hosts an annual medieval market. Previously held at the end of May on Avenue du 2ème Régiment de Lanciers/2de Lansiers Regimentlaan to the south of the municipality, in recent years, it has taken place at the Cinquantenaire.

Notable residents edit

Born in Etterbeek:

Lived part of their life in Etterbeek:

Buried in Etterbeek:

International relations edit

Twin towns and sister cities edit

Etterbeek is twinned with:

References edit

  1. ^ "Bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2020". Statbel.
  2. ^ "24 nuances de Chat à la Chasse" (PDF). La Vie Etterbeekoise (in French). No. 2. October 2014. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Belgians' Fear of Radical Islam Takes a Front Seat". Haaretz. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Origin | Statbel". Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  5. ^ Les Jardins de la Chasse (Slide deck) (in French). Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2008 – via
  6. ^ a b Julien Thomas (22 September 2014). "Les Jardins de la Chasse verront le jour d'ici 2019" (in French). Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  7. ^ Patrice Leprince (1 February 2016). "Etterbeek: les Jardins de la Chasse se profilent" (in French). Le Soir. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  8. ^ "" Ma tête et mon cœur sont Etterbeekois ! "" (PDF). La Vie Etterbeekoise (in French). No. 2. October 2014. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 July 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  9. ^ Council of Europe Staff (1992). "Case-law of the Commission: 2. Application No. 11389/85 Eliane Morissens v. Belgium". Yearbook of the European Convention on Human Rights, 1988. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. pp. 40–45. ISBN 978-0-7923-1787-6.

External links edit