Schaarbeek is nicknamed "the city of donkeys" (la cité des ânes or de ezelsgemeente). This name is reminiscent of times when people of Schaarbeek, who were cultivators of sour cherries primarily for Kriek production, would arrive at the Brussels marketplace with donkeys laden with sour cherries.
"Downtown Schaerbeek" is home to a powerful Turkish immigrant community, a significant part of which originates from Afyon/Emirdağ, Turkey. It is also home to a large Moroccan population and other immigrant communities.
"Uptown Schaerbeek" is nowadays a location selected by EU- and affluent people for its architecture and its convenient location (close to the EU and financial heart of the city, the airport and highways). Young couples are also favoring this suburb for its "Notting Hill" atmosphere and the still reasonable pricing of the estate, while prices are on the surge everywhere else in Brussels.
The first mention of the town’s name appears in a legal document dated 1120, whereby the bishop of Cambrai granted the administration of the churches of Scarenbecca and Everna (today’s neighbouring Evere) to the canons of Soignies. Politically, the town was part of the Duchy of Brabant. In 1301, John II, Duke of Brabant had the town administered by the schepen (aldermen) of Brussels. A new church to Saint Servatius was built around that same time, at the same location as the old church.
At the end of the 14th century, the Schaarbeek lands that belonged to the Lords of Kraainem were sold and reconverted into a hunting ground. The official entry of the visiting Dukes of Burgundy into Brussels, their second capital, was also through Schaarbeek, where they had to swear to uphold the city’s privileges. The game reservation and the rural character of the village lasted until the end of the 18th century. The areas not covered by woods were used to cultivate vegetables and grow vines. In 1540, Schaarbeek counted 112 houses and 600 inhabitants.
On September 27, 1830, during the Belgian Revolution, some fighting occurred in the Josaphat valley between the revolutionary troops and the retreating Dutch troops. In 1879, a more modern Saint Servatius church was built near the old one, which was eventually demolished in 1905. The town hall and railway station were built in 1887 and 1902, respectively. Dwight D. Eisenhower came to visit the city at the close of World War II. Five years later, the population of Schaarbeek peaked at 125,000 inhabitants.
At the end of the XIXth and in the early XXth century, Schaerbeek became home to the gentry having there a "pied-à-terre". They rapidly settled and erected beautiful building and houses.
Nowadays, the city is governed by a rightist-ecologist majority, after a disputed run between Bernard Clerfayt (MR-Reformist Movement) and Laurette Onkelinx (PS-Socialist Party (francophone Belgium)).
PPPs empower Infrabel investment: the use of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to implement major infrastructure projects is a relatively recent phenomenon in Belgium, but as Keith Barrow explains, infrastructure manager Infrabel is pioneering this method of financing to provide much-needed extra capacity on the railway network.(Belgium)
Feb 01, 2009; [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BELGIUM'S railway network has enjoyed sustained growth since the start of the decade, with passenger...