The boulevard de Waterloo is now one of the main luxury shopping areas. It started to develop when Belgium was still seeking independence, when the city hadn't yet experienced its second population boom, to occur during the reign of Leopold II. Let's take a tour around this historical neighbourhood.
At the end of the century, the boulevard de Waterloo was the most distinguished place to go for a stroll in Brussels. The upper classes came to frequent cafes, ice-cream parlours, tea rooms and restaurants, which opened in their droves. Then came the luxury boutiques and cinemas, making the area lose its residential nature. The architectural styles along the boulevard are a delicate balance of neo-rococo, neo-classical and neo-renaissance. This harmony was only really broken at the start of the sixties, when the Hilton hotel, a thirty-floor tower block was built there. One of the most important hotels in Brussels, it primarily attracts businessmen and wealthy tourists, keen to visit the vast shopping area running from the Porte Louise to the Porte de Namur. The Boulevard de Waterloo is home to the most illustrious boutiques, with names like Delvaux, Versace, Christofle, Christian Dior, Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Pierre Cardin, Chanel, Gucci, Fratelli Rosetti, Xandres and Façonnable, to name but a few.