- Saint-Josse-ten-Noode refers to Saint Josse, a Roman Catholic saint who was born in 593 and died about 669. Also known as Judoce, he was the son of a Breton king. A saint whose aid was sought by women seeking children, Saint Josse was thus the object of those in "need" (Noode, Noede, Nude, Ode).The hamlet is first mentioned in 1251. From the beginning of the 13th century it belonged to the cuve of Brussels and it was linked administratively, juridically, and fiscally to the city. It was early known for the quality of wines produced, and Charles the Bold recommended their consumption for medicinal purposes. The area remained attached to the parish of Sainte-Gudule and a separate parish was set up only in 1803, when a chapel was established. The community counted about 300 residents by the mid-18th century, and there were approximately 1,000 inhabitants when Saint-Josse was organized as a commune during the French regime.Population grew rapidly in the 19th century parallel with development —from 3,200 in 1830 to 14,708 in 1846, when the area was largely sub-urbanized. The commune lost roughly half its territory when southern portions were ceded to Brussels by a law of 7 April 1853. This area was subsequently developed as the Leopold district. Today Saint-Josse is the smallest and most densely populated of the 19 communes in the Brussels Capital Region. Beginning in the 1950s, the borough became distinguished for its high-rise buildings, including the 20-storey Prévoyance Sociale (1956) and the 30-storey Centre International Rogier (1958) followed by the Tour Madou and Tour Astro.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.