During this walk, you will set off on the lookout for rural Saint-Gilles, the Saint-Gilles that existed before the wide-scale urbanisation of the late 19th century. Drawing on the stories and remnants of this ancient village, you will start by travelling back in time to imagine a Saint-Gilles of farms, springs and windmills. Through the streets and houses, you will then be immersed in the incredible changes that transformed the village into a posh suburb, lined with the mansion houses and architectural fantasies typical of Brussels. The route will then focus on Art Nouveau and the way in which architects such as Horta, Blérot and Strauven depicted a luxuriant, stylised form of nature on the façades of the buildings at the turn of the 20th century. You will also cross a little-known park and pause to take in a must-see concentration of Saint-Gilles biodiversity… A one-of-a-kind fun tour with an underlying question: how does a city take over the countryside?