Uccle

Uccle

[oo-kluh; Fr. y-kluh]
Ukkel (Dutch) or Uccle (French) is one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. Uccle is known for its well-to-do areas, its green spots, and its high rental rates.

History

Origins to the 19th century

According to legend, Uccle’s church of Saint Peter was dedicated by Pope Leo III in the year 803, with Charlemagne and Gerbald, bishop of Liège, attending the ceremony. During the following centuries, several noble families built their manor and took residency here. The first mention of the name Woluesdal, now evolved into Wolvendael, dates from 1209. In 1467, Isabella of Portugal, wife of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy founded a Franciscan convent on Uccle’s territory. Later, Uccle became the judiciary capital of the area including Brussels. Throughout the early stages of its history, however, the village of Uccle always had a predominantly rural character and lived mostly from the products of forestry and agriculture.

19th and 20th century

At the end of the 18th century, a few years after the French Revolution, Uccle merged with neighbouring territories to become a commune, with its own mayor and municipal assembly. It had to wait until 1828, however, for the Dutch authorities to allow the construction of the first city hall. This was a time of economic prosperity and growth, stimulated by the proximity to the two main roads linking Brussels to the industrial south. A newer and larger city hall was built between 1872 and 1882. Banker and philanthropist Georges Brugmann contributed a lot to the urbanization of the city just before the turn of the century. In the early 20th century Michel van Gelder breed a new breed of chicken, the d'Uccle, named after the town. Despite the accelerated rate of construction that took place in the early 20th century, Uccle succeeded in keeping several of its green areas intact, which now attract many of the Brussels area’s wealthier inhabitants.

Sights

  • Uccle is mainly a residential area, but counts a lot of parks and forested areas, such as the Park of Wolvendael and the Verrewinkel woods. The municipality is also situated to the immediate West of the famous Bois de la Cambre (Ter Kamerenbos).
  • The Saint-Job square and the area near the Saint-Peter church and city hall are two older parts of town, now filled with a happy mix of stores and pubs.
  • Uccle is the site of the Belgian national weather station, the Royal Meteorological Institute: any information on Belgian weather, unless region specific, is described by the statistics recorded in Uccle. Right next door is the Royal Observatory of Belgium.
  • The Uccle cemetery, also known as the Dieweg cemetery, was created following a cholera epidemics that afflicted Brussels in 1866. Its mixture of trees and old stones exudes a unique romantic atmosphere.
  • The Bloemenwerf, a turn-of-the-century Art Nouveau Villa built by Architect Henry Van de Velde

Famous residents of Uccle

Evolution of population

19th Century

Year 1806 1816 1830 1846 1856 1866 1876 1880 1890
Population 3,128 2,997 4,626 6,372 6,932 7,813 9,817 10,744 13,400
Note: results established for 12/31

20th Century up to municipality rearrangement

Year 1900 1910 1920 1930 1947 1961 1970 1976
Population 18,034 26,979 32,056 43,322 56,156 71,725 78,909 77,369
Note: results established for 12/31

After municipality rearrangement

(The 19 municipalities of Brussels Capital Region were not affected by this rearrangement.)
Year 1977 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005
Population 77,369 75,861 75,964 75,402 74,040 74,221 74,976
Note: Population on 01/01 - Source: INS

Twin city

External links

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