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Foret de Soignes

Foret de Soignes (49)

To the south of Brussels, you will find a large area of woodland where you can spend a peaceful, relaxing day, taking romantic walks or riding a bicycle along its many tracks.

Interestingly, the history of the Fôret de Soignes dates back to prehistoric times, when the zone was already inhabited. It began to grow in importance, however, when it became the scene of the defeat of the Gauls by the Roman army. Moreover, from the twelfth century onwards, the site became property of the Duke and famous almost immediately as a place for hunting. Indeed, the aristocrats of the time came to hunt the bears and wild boar that lived here.

Later, in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries construction began on a host of monasteries and abbeys in the wood and although most of them have disappeared, there are still one or two left such as the abbey of Rouge-Cloître. 

Since 1843, this large area of woodland has belonged to the Belgian State and even though it now occupies only a third of its original area of over 12,000 hectares, it is well worth a visit. 

Here, you may take a delightful stroll among the groves, which are predominated by beeches and oaks. You may also contemplate the beauty of its lakes and wide variety of flora and fauna.

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