I have written about St. Gilles already in 2010 here. I have never thought at that moment that I would return to this Brussels municipality 4 years later to help my friend Claudie from the South of France, when she looked for a student room for her daughter in Brussels.
St. Gilles is above all one of the few municipalities in Brussels to have preserved the old historical buildings of various architectural styles but it also, one with not less than 130 different nationalities living peacefully here together. Lots of the old buildings have been transformed to flats or rooms for students, as this area has very good transportation links to various Universities and Academies and Colleges.
So when I went to the street where her room is located to bring some bedlinen and covers before her arrival, I took the opportunity to drive and walk around a little in this area.
I found a food shop
and even a little Pizzeria, all in walking distance.
All houses have these beautiful cast iron balconies
Strolling along the houses I noticed that besides each door was a kind of hole with an iron bar. That made me really curious. Fortunately I saw an elderly lady and asked her why these old houses have these holes besides the doors.
and she explained to me, that when in the past the streets were still full of mud or horse "left overs" the visitors cleaned their shoes on these iron bars, before they entered the house !
I had learned something new !
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