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Watermael-Boitsfort

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Watermael-Boitsfort or Watermaal-Bosvoorde is a residential suburb of the city of Brussels in Belgium which is one of the 19 municipalities which form the Brussels-Capital Region.The municipality has a total area of of which 58 percent is covered by the Sonian Forest . It borders the municipalities of Uccle, Auderghem and Ixelles as well as the province of Flemish Brabant. In 2006 the municipality had a total population of 24,056.HistoryThe modern-day municipality of Watermael-Boitsfort was originally two separate settlements located on a plain between the two small rivers of Woluwe and Watermaelbeek to the north of the Sonian Forest. The earliest evidence of human activity in the region is the remains of a small fortified neolithic village of the Michelsberg culture, dating to between 3500-2500 BC.The earliest mention of the name Watermael is in a document of 914 bequeathing an estate of the name to a French abbey. Originally part of the estate of Watermael, Boitfort became separate after a hunting lodge, on a site adjacent to the forest, was given to the Boutsvoord family by the Duchy of Brabant in the 13th century. During the Middle Ages, inhabitants of the two settlements farmed and raised cattle and a number of hunting lodges on the edge of the forest were built for members of the nobility. The construction of a road to the city of Brussels, to the north, through Boitsfort led to the rapid expansion of both settlements. The population of Watermael rose from 349 inhabitants in 1709 to 826 in 1800.
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