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Woluwe-Saint-Lambert

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  Summary  

Woluwe-Saint-Lambert or Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe is one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium. It is a prosperous residential area, with a mixture of flats and detached, semi-detached and terraced houses, often compared with Uccle , another affluent Brussels municipality, and the 7th or 16th arrondissement in Paris.

In French it is often spelt Woluwé-Saint-Lambert with an acute accent on the first "e" to reflect the Frenchified pronunciation of what was originally a Dutch place name, but the official spelling is without an accent.

The neighbouring municipality of Woluwe-Saint-Pierre / Sint-Pieters-Woluwe also lies within the Brussels-Capital Region, while the former municipality of Sint-Stevens-Woluwe (Woluwe-Saint-Etienne in French) has been merged with three other municipalities to form the municipality of Zaventem, which is in the province of Flemish Brabant in Flanders.

  History  

 Medieval origins

Several archaeological finds on the territory of Woluwe-Saint-Lambert show traces of human activity during the Bronze Age. The first historical mention of the village, however, dates from the 11th century, when some of the forested land near the Woluwe River was cleared for farming. A church was built and dedicated to Saint Lambert, the 7th-century bishop of Maastricht who was martyred in Liège. At the end of the 12th century, the rights to the parish of Saint Lambert were given to the canons of the chapter of St. Michael and Gudula in Brussels. Various charitable organizations and hospitals then started acquiring land in this area. Throughout the Middle Ages, Woluwe was part of the Duchy of Brabant, governed under the usual feudal arrangement of those times. Among the Dukes vassals were some powerful local lords and landowners. Some of Woluwe's territory also belonged to the powerful abbeys of Forest and ‘t Park in Leuven.

 16th century until now
Up until recently, the village was mostly rural, focusing mainly on agriculture. Starting in the 16th century, affluent nobles and clergymen from Brussels built castles in Woluwe, some of which are still visible today. True urbanization, however, started only around 1900. Well-to-do neighbourhoods, which included some of the novel architectural styles of the Belle Epoque such as Art Nouveau then Art Deco, straddled the newly built Boulevard Brand Whitlock/Brand Whitlocklaan.

The population of the municipality increased very quickly at this time. It rose from 1,649 inhabitants in 1880 to 8,883 inhabitants 30 years later. By 1960 there were 36,960 people in the municipality, and since 1970 the population has been stable at around 47,000.

Today, Woluwe-Saint-Lambert is still mostly a residential area, attracting rich and poor inhabitants from neighbouring Brussels.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Woluwe-Saint-Lambert", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.