From roller skating to skateboarding: a century of leisure in Ixelles/Elsene


15/09/2018 - 16/09/2018

From roller skating to skateboarding: a century of leisure in Ixelles/Elsene

One hundred years ago, all major cities, such as New York, Liverpool, Paris and Lahore, had their own rinkings or roller skating rinks. “Brusseling” Brussels was a centre for this sporting, cultural and fashionable activity, the Royal Rinking in Ixelles/Elsene being a magnificent example. This venue was built according to a design by the renowned Eclectic and Art Nouveau architect Aimable Delune. There, from 1907 to the mid-1920s, women in long gowns and plumed headdresses and men in tailcoats and top hats danced on their roller skates to the sounds of an orchestra. Serving, in turn, as a roller skating rink, a showroom for the famous Plasman garage and, more recently, a Delhaize supermarket, the Royal Rinking has been an important feature of local life for more than one hundred years. This unique building is now the subject of a planning application, submitted in January 2018, which, if granted, will see the structure demolished.
Does this venue intrigue you? Then head for the Chaussée de Waterloo/Waterloose Steenweg, where two days will be devoted to the teaching, demonstration and practice of skateboarding, for both young and not-so-young, around this recently rediscovered building and the surrounding streets.
Period posters, photos and films will enable you to relive the glory days of roller skating during the Belle Époque; you will be able to compare these with contemporary skateboarding culture, with the help of graphic artists, musicians and other street artists.

A partnership between Un Îlot Un Quartier asbl, Skateboarders asbl and the Municipality of Ixelles/Elsene.

Practical information

    • Rue Léon Jouret 8/Léon Jouretstraat 8
    • 1050 Brussels
    • Sat. & Sun. from 10h00 to 18h00
      Registration on site for the skateboarding lessons and guided tours on the history and heritage of the neighbourhood.
    • T
    • T
    • B
      Van Eyck
    • B