History at the crossroads on the way to Compostelle

Craftmanship and pilgrimage area since the XIIth century

The Area has been home to the City's arts & crafts since the X!!th century, as well as being part of the pilgrims way to the Compostelle. Pilgrims used to stop by at the "Hospice Saint Jacques", which later became the superb Lady of Our Assistance Church, the last remaining example of a Spanish baroque place of worship in the city centre.

 

A wealthy area until the end of the XVIIth century

Up until the 1695 bombing which largely destroyed the area, it had welcomed the wealthier populations of the City. Later rebuilt in the XVIIth century style that still characterizes many buildings today, it was progressively abandoned however by the bourgeoisie who retreated to the periphery.

Its quaint alleys were then affected by the changes that took place during the major urbanistic transformations of the XIXth century - eg the construction of the Rue du Midi and the covering over of the Senne river.

 

A pleasant area for all to live in

Today, the pedestrian walkways have been remade, the houses renovated while respecting their history - often as many as four centuries, new shops have opened, the area's population has grown and gained a diversity of lifestyles and classes.

All in all, an area full of history has organized itself around the Lady of Our Assistance Church and the Manneken Pis. Some testimonies to the ancient city have been preserved, as well as a tradition of craftmanship, of proximity shops and of mutual regard among the residents.