Josaphat park district: nature, art and style

Located in the heart of Schaerbeek, the Josaphat district is one of Brussels’ hidden treasures. A well-preserved jewel, pleasant to live in, ideally located and offering a clever mix of green spaces, wide avenues and well-to-do houses.

Josaphat, all roads lead to the park

The Josaphat Park, the green lung of Schaerbeek, is probably the major symbol of the municipality. Built in 1904, its 20 hectares of lawns, ponds and recreational areas are a place of relaxation, history and culture. Designed in the spirit of English-style public walks, the park is full of ornamental trees, winding paths, romantic benches and poetic corners. It is a place where the people of Schaarbeek live and meet. In summer and winter alike, they come together to share sporting, cultural or social activities, from concerts to discovery tours, from mini-golf to archery, from the Cherry Festival to urban aperitifs!

A real open-air museum

Once considered to be the commune of artists, Schaerbeek was also a home for the Brussels bourgeoisie at the beginning of the 20th century. The result of this splendid era is an architectural heritage that is still intact and will delight lovers of neo-Renaissance, art nouveau and art deco. Starting point of the visit? The recently renovated Saint-Servais church. From its square, one of the most beautiful avenues in the capital emerges: the prestigious Avenue Louis Bertrand. A wide, curved street, full of houses with artistic facades, decorated with stained glass, sgraffito, coloured earthenware or plant-based ironwork. Every detail counts for these symbols of the architectural dynamism of the time…

The chic and trendy revival of a rich past

Today, between residential, popular and cosmopolitan districts, a real gentrification phenomenon has taken hold of the area, accentuated by the arrival of young households. Rather well-to-do, they are seduced by the friendly and trendy atmosphere of Josaphat, which has a false air of London’s Notting Hill! Under this impetus, the district has seen the emergence of trendy bars and restaurants, where this cosmopolitan and relaxed clientele can be found. Among the best addresses? The 1030 Café, a real urban refuge; Chez Félix, a wine bar; the Barboteur, a beer bar; or La Laiterie, a cosy family place in the heart of the park! When the weather permits, this fine group of people meet after the Friday market, on the Place des Chasseurs Ardennais, for a giant afterwork.

A complete range of services

Taking advantage of the catalytic role of Josaphat Park and its strategic location – close to the European institutions, the Brussels business centre, NATO and Brussels Airport – a number of shops have sprung up in the area: from traditional supermarkets to small local shops, such as the Le Goût cheese factory, the Côté Gourmand restaurant, the Grafik Book Store, the Wondergreen! plant concept store and the Les Idées à la Pelle organic grocery shop. Not forgetting the organic market at the Écuries van de Tram, where producers and consumers meet. From the Athénée Fernand Blum to the Institut Saint-Dominique, there is no shortage of quality educational facilities. There is also excellent access to public transport, with tram 7 and bus lines 56 and 66.

10 things to do or places to visit in the Josaphat district

  • Stroll through the Josaphat park (of course), wandering through the alleys and the many artists’ statues;
  • Go shopping at the market on the Place des Chasseurs Ardennais and end the day in an « urban aperitif » atmosphere;
  • Discover the history and the process of beer production at the Schaerbeek Beer Museum, before drinking a froth at the Barboteur;
  • Hit the little yellow ball with your racket at the Royal Tennis Club Lambermont;
  • Enjoying the Cherry Festival on the last Sunday in June, one of the town’s key events;
  • Stroll through the district in search of its jewels, in particular the impressive Avenue Louis Bertrand, equipped with the free map « Schaerbeek à la carte » for a rich walk;
  • Enjoy a show at the Halles de Schaerbeek, a major cultural venue in Brussels, Belgium and Europe;
  • Take your children to Josaphat Park (again!) to enjoy the children’s entertainment programme, The Park to Be
  • Enjoy a delicious and inventive 4-course discovery menu at the Maloma restaurant;
  • Fancy a piece at Kriekebiche, a shop that celebrates local designers and craftsmen.

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