Foundation of the Brussels folkloristic association "Ilot Sacré number 1" by Emile Pauwen (chairman), Jean Van Calck (vice-chairman), Georges Lempereur (also known as "Mijole") and Julien Beelen in the Rue des Bouchers 26.

Emile Pauwen


A Royal Decree provides for the conservation of the facades within the official area of the Ilot Sacré.


Historical reconstruction of a visit of the Burgomaster and the Brussels City Council to the Ilot Sacré in 1900, with Jean Van Calck playing Emile Demot, the Burgomaster of that time.

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Historical reconstruction of the visit of Adolphe Max, the Brussels Burgomaster in 1910, on the occasion of the wedding of King Baudouin.



Transfer of the puppets of Toone Theatre from the "Place de la Chapelle" to the "Maison du Roi" on the Grand Place of Brussels.



The folkloristic association adopts the name "Commune Libre de l'Ilot Sacré" (Free Commune of Ilot Sacré) and its committee becomes the "Conseil Communal" (council), with Jean Van Calck as Burgomaster and Calixte Veulemans as Grand Bailiff.

Calixte Veulemans


Inauguration of the flag of Ilot Sacré, offered by a patron. It measured two square meters of white silk with red and green borders. The centre of the flag was adorned with a reproduction of the escutcheon. The ribbon above this picture mentioned "Commune Libre" on the front-side and "Vrije Gemeente" on the back-side. Underneath the escutcheon there was another text saying "Centre Gastronomique" (gastronomic center) at the front-side and "Gastronomische Centrum" at the back-side.


Twinning with the "Commune Libre de Saint-Pholien-des-Prés"(home of the puppet Tchantchès), in Liège, and with the town of Damme (home of Tyl Uilenspiegel), in Flanders.

1965Jumelages.jpg (76873 octets)


Official reopening of the "Theatre of Toone" in a restored house that dates back from the year 1696 and is located at the end of the Schuddeveld dead end. First introduction in  our Festivities of the game of "Mijole", a popular game imported into Belgium by Spanish soldiers (according to Michel de Ghelderode).  

Jeu de Mijole


Reception of the "Congrès Mondial de la Presse Filmée" (world congress of the filmed press).


Reception of the staff of the Belgian Air Force and the participants to the air-show in Melsbroek.


Friendship Pacts with Saint-Maur-des-Fossés (Val-de-Marne, France) and with Eupen, La Louvière and Ypres (Belgium).

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Reception of Sir Robert Bellinger, the Lord Mayor of London, during the British Week.


Participation to the "Grand Prix Prosper Montagné", organized in Ostend under the auspices of the Ilot Sacré.



The Prince of Mérode is awarded the certificate of "Citoyen d'Honneur de la Commune de l'Ilot Sacré" (Citizen of Honour of the Free Commune of Ilot Sacré).


Introduction of two date stamps with the logo of the Ilot Sacré destined for stamp collectors.


Twinning with the village of Vaux-en-Beaujolais, which had become famous as "Clochemerle" in the novel written by Gabriel Chevalier. Inauguration of the "Pissotière de Clochemerle" (the public urinal of Clochemerle) in the Sainte-Pétronille dead end, in the presence of the Mayor of "Clochemerle", Mr de Vermont, and the Burgomaster of Deurne, Mr De Queecker. Reception of the Brotherhood of "G.O.S.I.E.R. S.E.C." (dry throat) of Vaux-en-Beaujolais.  

Twinning with Vaux-en-Beaujolais 1968


Chapitre (meeting) of the "Confrérie des Coteaux de Champagne" (brotherhood of the hills of Champagne).


Participation in the festivities organized on the occasion of the twinning between the Lion's Club Paris-Marais and the Lion's Club Brussels-Toison d'Or.



Reception of the participants to the International Congress of the Federation of the Journalists and Writers of Tourism (FIJET).


Chapitre (meeting) of the Brotherhood of the "Grands-Gousiers du Beaujolais", on the occasion of its 10th anniversary.



Signing of a Friendship Pact with the City of Eguisheim during the "Fête des Vignerons" (feast of the winegrowers) in the Alsace, in the presence of Léon Beyer, Mayor of the "Berceau du Vignoble Alsacien" (the cradle of the Alsace vineyards).



Twinning with the "Free Republic of Outre-Meuse" ("Dju d'là Moûse"- across the river Meuse) in Liège, on the occasion of the official opening of the E5 motorway between Brussels and Liège. Henri Chalant, the President of the free republic, was accompanied by Tchantchès, the famous Liège puppet, and Woltje, the mascot of the Toone Puppet's Theatre of Brussels.


Welcoming of the "Burgemeister" of Frankfurt, Ernst Wilhem Unsomst, who became Citizen of Honour of the Ilot Sacré.



Reception of all the members of "Tradition et Qualité", with Paul Bocuse, Pierre Romeyer and many others.

Jean Van Calck, Bourgmestre de la Commune Libre de l'Ilot Sacré


Shooting of a folkloristic and gastronomic film about old Brussels by Alex Keresstessy. 


Official accession of Jean Van Calck as Prince of the Belgian Humor, under the title of Jehan II.



First audition of the March of the Ilot Sacré on the Grand Place : interpreted by the "Musique de la Gendarmerie" (police force band), directed by Commander R. Cardon (lyrics by Jean Binon and score by Jean Delhez).


Laying of the final stone of the pavement that transforms the district of the Ilot Sacré definitively into a pedestrian area, in the presence of Lucien Cooremans, Burgomaster of Brussels.



Participation in the 200th broadcasting of the Belgian TV program "Visa pour le Monde".


Visit of the Brotherhood of the "Compagnons de l'Asperge d'Argenteuil" (companions of the asparagus of Argenteuil).


Reception of the Burgomaster of Wépion, accompanied by a delegation of 250 persons on the occasion of the "Semaine de la Fraise de Wépion" (the week of the strawberry of Wépion).


Inauguration of the "Rue de Bruxelles" (Brussels street) in Eguisheim, in the Alsace.

Rue de Bruxelles in Eguisheim (2002)


Visit of the "Ordre de Rocamadour du Diamant noir" (the order of Rocamadour of the black diamond).



Celebration of the 10th anniversary of the new Theatre of Toone.

Theatre de Toone


Reception by the "Club Hozan 1921" in Valkenburg (close to Maastricht in the Netherlands) on the occasion of the opening of the Casino. Inauguration of a bas-relief depicting the escutcheon of the Ilot Sacré in the local caves (Gemeentegrot) of Valkenburg.  



Welcome of the Brotherhood of Saint-Cunibert (Moselle).


Participation in the 100th anniversary of the "Gilles du Hocquet" in La Louvière.



Reception of Miss World, Miss France and Miss Belgium.



Reception of the participants to the TV program "Games without Frontiers".

Woltje et Den Duivel


Christening of the giant Woltje, the mascot of the Puppet Theatre of Toone.



Reception of the "Congrès Mondial de la Presse Filmée" (the world congress of the filmed press) in the Toone Theater.


Live broadcasting on the Belgian television (RTBF) of the program "Bruxelles-Musique" dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Ilot Sacré.


Reception of the diligence from Groningen "Belgium-Holland 1830-1980" on the "Place de la Monnaie" on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the Belgian independence.



Twinning with Knokke-Heist on the occasion of the "Place du Tertre" manifestation.



Reception of the Prince of Carnival of Eupen 1980-81.


Twinning with the town of Durbuy on the occasion of its 650th anniversary.



Visit of Jean-Denys Boussart, Mayor of the "Commune Libre de Saint-Pholien-des-Prés", in Liège.


A delegation of our Committee is sent to Eguisheim accompanied by the Gilles "Les Rinlis" of La Louvière to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Friendship Pact.


Reception of the oldest Carnival Princes from Eupen.
Organization of a Portuguese day with local gastronomic specialties and popular dances.

1982 Carnival Princes


Organization of an Italian fortnight with the participation of the "Maratona Drink", an international contest dedicated to Italian cooking. 


Twinning with Skadarlija, the ancient bohemian area of Belgrade situated in the historical city (Stari Grad) : demonstration of folkloristic dances and tasting of Yugoslav gastronomic specialties.

1984 Twinning with Skadarlija

Participation of the Ilot Sacré in the tribute to the famous Belgian singer Jacques Brel, who made his first steps in our district where the houses have preserved the outmoded charm of the "Rose Noire", a famous jazz club located in the Petite Rue des Bouchers.



Signing of a Convention between the "Commune Libre de l'Ilot Sacré" and the Brussels conurbation for the disposal of the professional waste of our members at a competitive price, 6 days a week, even during strikes.



Inauguration of the first Belgian "dynamic borders" in the Rue Grétry and the Rue des Dominicains, that transform our district into a pedestrian area from 11 'o clock in the morning. These borders are coupled with a melodious alarm which broadcasts the soundtrack of "The Third Man" throughout the entire area in case of emergency. 



Official reception of all the candidates to the title of Miss Belgium. 


Official visit to Strasbourg on the occasion of the twinning with the "Quartier des Tonneliers" (the barrel-makers district).

Quartier des Tonneliers


Traditional Festivities marked by the twinning with the "Quartier des Tonneliers" : presence of Miss Alsace and Miss Belgium, tasting of Alsace gastronomic specialties, Grand Gala in the Royal Theater of Toone...



European Festivities dedicated to "Goûtez l'Ardèche" (taste the Ardèche) in the presence of Miss Rhône-Alpes and Miss Belgium. Gastronomic menus from the Ardèche, tasting of specialties, raffle and radio contest with gastronomic stays in the Ardèche as main prizes.


Traditional Festivities marked by the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Friendship Pact with Eguisheim, in the presence of Pierre Husheer, the Mayor of the "cradle of the Alsace vineyard".



Official three-day's visit of a delegation of the Ilot Sacré to San Marino, the world's oldest republic.


The first version of the official website of the "Commune Libre de l'Ilot Sacré" is online at www.ilotsacre.be.


Signing of a Friendship Pact with the nine "Castelli" (townships) of the Republic of San Marino at the City Hall of Brussels, in the presence of two "Capitani di Castello" (mayors) and Cesare Antonio Gasperoni, Secretary of State. Great wine and specialties tasting and parade of the "Sbandieratori", the flags throwers of San Marino.

Republic of Saint-Marin


Participation in the "2d Meeting of the friends of Eguisheim" in Hautvillers, the "Berceau du Champagne" (the cradle of the champagne, in the Champagne region, France).

Meeting of the Friends of Eguisheim in Hautvillers


Renewal of the public lighting in the Ilot Sacré: 49 high pressure 150 Watt "Louise" lanterns are installed.

16/09 On the Royal Theater of Toone, Jose Géal gives for the first time his place to his son Nicolas Géal, who interprets all the voices of “Duvelor ou la Farce du Diable vieux” from Michel de Ghelderode.


Duvelor ou La Farce du Diable Vieux


40th anniversary of the foundation of the Ilot Sacré: inauguration of a "Plaque de l'Amitié" (Friendship Plate) in the Rue Grétry in the presence of Pierre Hussherr, Mayor of Eguisheim (Alsace), Lorenzo Canti, "Capitano di Castello" of Chiesanuova (San Marino), and Franz Langs, Chairman of the "Quartier des Tonneliers" (Strasbourg).

Friendship Plate
08/09 Twinning with the European Club from Banska Bystrica (Slovak Republic) in the Theatre of Toone, in the presence of the Consul of the Slovak Republic and Miss Slovakia. Discovering of the Slovak craft industry and tasting of typical beer with the "Capovaci Bicykel". Twinning with the 'European Club of Banska Bystrica
01/10 Organization of a Slovak Gastronomy Festival in collaboration with the European Club of Banska Bystrica in a restaurant of the petite rue des Bouchers. Animation ensured by the folkloric group Daskovej Skupiny. Daskovej Skupiny
25/08 Participation of the Gilles of Charleroi to the Vine Growers Festival in Eguisheim on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Friendship Pact between the “Cradle of the Alsatian Vineyard” and the Free Commune of Ilot Sacré. Vine Growers Festival - Eguisheim 2002
07/09 Tchantches plays "Le Chevalier Fantôme" on the Theatre of Toone on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the twinning with the Free Republic of Outre-Meuse (Liège). Inauguration of a "Friendship Plate" on the rue Grétry in the presence of the President of the Free Republic of Outre-Meuse and the Mayor of the Free Commune of Saint-Pholien-des-Prés. 30th Anniversary of the Twinning with the Free Republic of Outre Meuse
28/09 First Grand Scarecrows Festival organized on the Grand Place by the Lions' Club Brussels-Ilot Sacré, in collaboration with our Free Commune. Scarecrows Festival
01/05 Four days official visit in Gabicce Mare (Adriatic Riviera, Italy), before the conclusion of a Friendship Pact in September. 2003 Gabicce Mare
20/09 Signature at the Town Hall of Brussels of a Friendship Pact with Gabicce Mare, in the presence of Domenico Pritelli, Burgomaster of Gabicce, and Philippe Decloux, the Alderman of the City of Brussels in charge of Tourism. 2003 Friendship Pact with Gabicce Mare
10/12 Crowning of Toone VIII, alias Nicolas Géal, on the Royal Theatre of Toone, in presence of Toone VI (José Géal) and Pierre-Alain Volondat, a famous pianist. Toone VII, Nicolas Geal (Toone VIII) and Pierre-Alain Volondat
16/09 Participation to the election of Miss Brussels 2005 in the Astoria Hotel: handing-over of the diploma of Citizen of Honour of our Free Commune to the lucky one, Miss Barbara Ghijssel.
18/09 5th anniversary of the Friendship Pact with the 9 "Castelli" of the Republic of San Marino in the presence of two Ministers from San Marino, Miss Belgium and Miss Brussels. Tasting of wines and other specialities from San Marino. Miss Brussels with Miss Belgium
02/10 Handing-over of the "Price of the Free Commune of Ilot Sacré" to the scarecrow carried out by "Le Logis" from Genval, on the occasion of the 3rd Grand Scarecrows Festival organized on the Grand Place of Brussels. Price of the Commune Libre de l'Ilot Sacré - 2004

Guided tour of the European Parliament in Strasbourg accompanied by the Mayor of Eguisheim, Pierre Hussherr and the Burgomaster of Hinterzarten, Hansjörg Eckert.

2005 Parlement Européen, Strasbourg

Official visit of the Free Commune of Ilot Sacré to Gabicce Mare (Adriatic Riviera, Italy) accompanied by delegations coming from Eguisheim (Fr), Rocamadour (Fr), Tarcal (Un) and Ötigheim (De).

2006 Réunion des Amis de l'Ilot Sacré à Gabicce Mare

A delegation of our Free Commune is invited to Hinterzarten, a German village located in the Black Forest.

2007 Hinterzarten

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