The historic district

The Old Brussels, a restaurant located in a historic …

In the Roman era, Julius Caesar invaded Gaul Belgium about 50 BC, and the military occupation for 23 years.

The Romans built a road, path (diverticulum) used for agricultural transport on the route of the future rueHaute. Today, the popular High Street remains the oldest street in Brussels (and the longest).

In the twelfth century, a chapel dedicated to Our Lady – the chapel will become church Chapel – was built at the northern end of the High Street, on the lands of the Duke of Brabant Godefroid 1st. Around, craftsmen settled and built a small neighborhood.

At the southern end of the High Street, a leprosarium, together with a chapel dedicated to St. Peter was established.

A charter of 1134 indicates the presence of Our Lady Chapel and St. Peter leprosarium.

In the thirteenth century, Brussels build an enclosure to protect their urban center.

The Steenpoort, one of the seven gateways, is located near the Notre-Dame chapel (now on the Boulevard de l’Empereur, next to the corner tower – rare vestige of the first enclosure) but the chapel and the future Marolles are excluded from its scope!

The district is developing people of the poorest workers, weavers, fullers, tanners. Suffering from poor living conditions, they are quick to revolt and riots in the city against the communal power. To ensure security intramural, the city fathers make a decision: when the working day is done, a bell rang, announcing the closing of the doors of the wall; workers, beggars, excluded from any kind must then leave … Hence the name “bums” who thus finds its own way.

In the fifteenth century, the eastern slopes of the deep valley of the Senne has an immense vineyard; a part of this vast land that goes from courthouse to the streets of Wynants, the Laines and Montserrat will be called the “Bovendael” (Over the Hills), a center of prostitution and crime.

In the seventeenth century, the pious Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabella fervently advocate the Counter-Reformation: many religious congregations SEE THE DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD: the Brigittines, the Minimes lesCapucins and ESPECIALLY the Apostoline Sisters. These are installed in the Bovendael in 1660 to eradicate any trace of sin. They will give the name of the district: Their motto Mariam Collentes (those honorentMarie) become, through successive elision, then Maricolles Marolles.

In the eighteenth century, the Austrian Emperor Joseph II wants to secularize the role of the Church. By his decree of 1783, it deletes the contemplative religious orders, which releases a lot of land in the city and lesMarolles in general and in particular. The area is then invested by a more affluent population and will become an extension of the ducal court Coudenberg with multiple hotels aristocratic and bourgeois mansions.


Rue des renards, 32
1000 Bruxelles
+32 2 513.91.55
+32 486 61 03 27

Opening time

Monday to Sunday:
12h00 -15h00
18h00 - 00h00