Emile PauwenOn the 3rd of June 1960, the founding act of an folkloristic association initially called "Ilot Sacré number 1" was signed in the rue des Bouchers number 26, where the Van Dijck Tavern was located. The goal of this association was to "ensure a revival of the folkloristic aspects of the quarter, without any profits whatsoever". These courageous pioneers included Jean Van Calck, employed at the newspaper Le Soir, Emile Pauwen, baker, Georges Lempereur, inn-keeper, and Julien Beelen, a provincial functionary. The Mayor of the City of Brussels, Lucien Cooremans, accepted the Honorary Chairmanship of the new association.

First Festivities (1960)Saturday the 3rd of September 1960 will be remembered as the day of the first festivities. It was a historical reconstruction of a visit of the City Council of Brussels, in those days presided over by Emile Demot, in the year 1900. Jean Van Calck was disguised as the Mayor, and he kept this title as a purely folkloristic one. The festivities were a huge success that was not only flooded by beer, but also by a giant downpour that forced the parade to wait on the "Place de la Monnaie" for two hours.

During the year 1964, some members of the association suggested creating an entity inspired by the "Commune Libre du Vieux Montmartre" in order to establish a more smooth relationship with the various official instances and to be acknowledged more officially by having the advantages of a legal personality. The idea was well received and on the general meeting on the 1st of March 1965, the folkloristic association "Ilot Sacré number 1" changed its name to "Commune Libre de l'Ilot Sacré" and thus became a non-profit association of which the approved statutes were published in the "Moniteur Belge" (the Belgian law gazette) on the 11th of May 1967.

Georgette DesmetThe signatories of the statutes as associated members and founders were, in alphabetical order: Claude Bucken (La Perle Noire), Serge De Backer (Le Bourgeoys de Broecksele), Albert Defays (La Petite Provence), Georgette Desmet (La Taverne Royale), Paul Vanderkeerssen (Chez Stans), Paul Vanlancker (Chez Léon) et Calixte Veulemans (Aux Armes de Bruxelles).

The foundation of the Ilot Sacré has had remarkable results : since the association was founded, some fifty houses have been restored in the "italian-flemish" style that has determined the charm and harmony of our old quarter for ages. Carefully protected from the architectural anarchy that has substantially distorted the city of Brussels, our area is now considered as the most typical, picturesque and lively quarters of the European capital. Moreover, because of its impressive number and variety of restaurants, the Ilot Sacré has also acquired the name of "ventre de Bruxelles" ("the belly of Brussels") through the years.

WorkingMap of BrusselsOrigins

Brussels map  plan de Bruxelles stadsplan Brussel
mapa de Bruselas Stadtplan Brüssel mappa di Bruxelles
Bryssel karta     mapa de Bruxelas     mapa Brukseli     harta Bruxelles
Brussels Hotels Brussels
Restaurants Brussels