- Formerly two separate communes of Neder Heembeek (lower Heem-beek) and Over Heembeek (upper Heembeek) located between Laeken and Vilvoorde, Neder-over-Heembeek is the oldest locality recorded in the Brussels Capital Region, referred to as Heim Becha in a document dated 673 of the Frankish king Theodoric. The two communities formed two distinct parishes as dependencies of the abbey of Dieleghem from the 12th century until 1814, when the parishes were joined. Strategically situated at the site of bridges over the Senne River, Neder Heembeek was sacked and burned in 1489 and an epidemic decimated the population. It was destroyed entirely but for the church and castle during the wars of religion. Still very rural in 1921 when it was incorporated into Brussels, the borough underwent rapid urbanization after World War I. Many street names (Roi Albert, Croix de l'Yser, Versailles) recall the events and personages of the war and immediate postwar years.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.