) or Uccle
) is one of the nineteen municipalities
located in the Brussels-Capital Region
Uccle is known for its well-to-do areas, its green spots, and its high rental rates.
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.
- 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
- Jean Améry, born Hans Maier, author and essayist (1912-1978)
- Sandrine Blancke, actress (b. 1978)
- Roger De Coster, motocross racer (b. 1944)
- Maurits Cornelis Escher, Dutch graphic artist (1898-1972)
- Jean-Michel Folon, artist, illustrator, painter, and sculptor (1934-2005)
- Pierre Harmel, lawyer, politician, and diplomat (b. 1911)
- Hergé, comics writer and artist, creator of Tintin and Snowy (1907-1983)
- Vincent Kompany, football defender (b. 1986)
- Prince Wenzeslaus of Liechtenstein and Prince Rudolf of Liechtenstein, (b. 1974 and 1975, resp.)
- Princess Mathilde, Duchess of Brabant (b. 1973)
- Marianne Merchez, astronaut (b. 1960)
- Axel Merckx, professional road bicycle racer (b. 1972)
- Philippe Moureaux, politician, senator, and professor of economic history (b. 1939)
- Joseph Raphael, painter (1869-1950)
- Axelle Red, born Fabienne Demal, singer (b. 1968)
- Sybille de Selys Longchamps, baroness and aristocrat (b. 1941)
- Olivier Strebelle, sculptor (b. 1927)
- Toots Thielemans, jazz musician (b. 1922)
- Jacques Tits, mathematician (b. 1930)
- Henry van de Velde, painter, architect, and interior designer (1863-1957)
Evolution of population
|| 1890 |
| Note: results established for 12/31
20th Century up to municipality rearrangement
|| 1976 |
| Note: results established for 12/31
After municipality rearrangement
(The 19 municipalities of Brussels Capital Region were not affected by this rearrangement.)
|| 2005 |
| Note: Population on 01/01 - Source: INS