The territorial development of Brussels from 1830 to 1925

One hundred years ago, the municipalities of Laeken, Haren and Neder-over-Heembeek as well as part of Schaerbeek and Molenbeek-Saint-Jean were integrated into the City of Brussels by the Law of 30 March 1921. This event gives us an opportunity to look at the territorial development of the capital between 1830 and 1925.

In 1830, Brussels was confined to an area referred to as the pentagon, owing to its shape; it covered 415 hectares (ha). The population increase was a consequence of its role as the capital city and the development of trade and industry, and it quickly demonstrated the limits of this geographical area. The City of Brussels gradually had spread out during the nineteenth century and early twentieth century.

The city grew along three major axes, the eastern extension, the southern extension and the northern extension.


Expansion of the territory 1830-1948, [1948]. ACB, cartographic collection, map of Brussels, PB 149.