Extension to the south
In the middle of the nineteenth century, the City of Brussels expanded southwards between Place Louise and Chaussée de la Hulpe, also encompassing the Bois de la Cambre, a strip of land 5 km long, thereby dividing the municipality of Ixelles into two parts.
The Bois de la Cambre, a section of the Forêt de Soignes, was converted into a park. It became part of this vast territorial extension; its main attraction was an elegant promenade.
In 1857, the City of Brussels launched a competition for the construction of a new avenue. A Royal Decree of 11 January 1859 confirmed the name of this new artery: avenue Louise named after Princess Louise, the daughter of Leopold II.
It was to be lined with luxury buildings; in the middle of the avenue a lane would be built for trams, another for horsemen and one for pedestrians.
In 1862, the Bois de la Cambre - so called because the land belonged to the Abbey of La Cambre - was converted into a park by the architect Keilig. When the work was completed, the park offered a wide range of entertainment including boating on the lake, restaurants, lawn tennis areas and a dovecote. The Bois de la Cambre became the green lung of Brussels. This area was officially added to the City of Brussels by a Royal Decree of 21 April 1864, enlarging the city by 250 ha.
In 1906, the Company of the Universal Exhibition of Brussels was responsible for organising the 1910 Universal Exhibition on the Solbosch site. A new district was born, mainly formed by the avenues Emile Demot, Lloyd Georges and Nations which also served as access routes to the exhibition. Later, these streets were subdivided. In the 1920s, the Free University of Brussels began to set up its main campus on this site.
In 1907, the Jardin du Roi (the King's Garden) and the Abbey of La Cambre completed the southern extension of the city, creating an additional 62 ha.