Ixelles has a vibrant mix of life from the African community in the Matongé to the Cartier and Vuitton rarity of Place Louise. From here, the commune is deftly split in two by the motorway that is Avenue Louise, originally a carriageway from the city to the leafy Bois de la Cambre (Sarah Bernhardt used to ride up and down it waving to her adoring fans). Around Place du Châtelain is an area of chic professional hangouts, new openings and late-night fizz. Here the grand houses of Ixelles meld neatly into the neighbouring commune of Saint-Gilles where the change in postcodes is a blur before Saint-Gilles drops down to the more functional area around the Gare du Midi.
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