Avenue Louise or Louizalaan, Ixelles, Belgium
Avenue Louise Ixelles Reviews
The Wonderful Avenue Louise Mar 13, 2009
Just 50 meters from where I live I can walk out on the wonderful street; Avenue Louise.
Avenue Louise or Louizalaan is a very long street which I have come to love for its shops, traffic, trams, art, houses and the people walking there. The street is mostly famous for shopping! It starts with the most prestigious shopping area in Brussels; you will find them all here; Tiffany, Gucci and so on. This area is for window shoppers and people with loads of spending power. The further down you walk the less expensive you will find the shops.
Just before Place Stéphanie you have a large old fashion indoor shopping centre; Gallerie Louise. Here you can find almost everything that you ever wanted; I have especially looked at the old bulldog in the pet shop on the first floor. There are also everyday shops like the tailor I always use. At night time you can visit one of the big nightclubs of Brussels which is situated in the basement; it is a nice club and I have been there some times by now.
Next or across the street; in Rue Jourdan or Rue Jean you can visit one of the many restaurants; there are some really nice ones here and at lunch time they are almost all fun especially in the summer when the tables are moved outside.
After Place Stéphanie, where there from time to time are exhibition of different art; like for the moment where two giantic orange rabbits are sitting overlooking the taffic, the stores on Avenue Louise becomes less expensive with predominantly designers and interior decoration.
When you pass Place Stéphanie, you can do like all locals and most of the other tourists; walk as long as you can on one side and then cross the street to walk back on the other side. After Place Stéphanie Avenue Louise becomes a much trafficked road with four lanes with trees and trams in the middle so you don't cross unless you use the pedestrian street, well some do!!.
The street ends by Bois de la Cambre some 45 minutes walk later. A bit further than halfway located in the roundabout at King's Garden, you can’t miss Olivier Strebelle's 16-ton bronze sculpture "Le Phénix 44" which commemorates the anniversary of the liberation of Brussels.
Along this long and joyous walk I bet that you can’t resist to stop at one of the several restaurants, bars, lounge bars and cafes on the street, so prepare yourself because the walk can be pretty during.
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 (which was then still separate from Brussels) through whose land the avenue was supposed 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
The 250-meter long part of Avenue Louise between the Louise and Stephanie squares is called "le goulet Louise", or "the Louise bottleneck". With several tramway lines and thousands of cars sharing this very narrow segment of the avenue, huge traffic jams during rush hours occur here daily. The problem was already obvious in the early 1980s, so a tram tunnel under the bottleneck was built along with the metro station on Louise Square. However, construction was abandoned toward its end due to protests of local businesses fearing losses if patrons were to be diverted through a tunnel.
Part of the Belgium, Brussels and more 2006-2014 - and still counting travel blog
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