Monday, September 27, 2010

Brussels - Avenue Louise was commissioned in 1847

The construction of Avenue Louise was commissioned in 1847 as a monumental avenue bordered by chestnut trees that would allow easy access to the popular recreational area of the Bois de la Cambre. It was also to be the first Haussmann-esque artery of the city. The name was chosen in honor of King Leopold II's eldest daughter, Princess Louise-Marie.
However, fierce resistance to the project was put up by the town of Ixelles - then, as now, a separate commune (local authority) from the City of Brussels - through whose territory the avenue was to run. After years of fruitless negotiations, Brussels finally annexed the narrow band of land needed for the avenue plus the Bois de la Cambre itself in 1864. That decision accounts for the unusual shape of today's City of Brussels and for Ixelles being split in two separate parts.

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