- A commune of the Brussels Capital Region located to the southeast of the city, Watermael-Boitsfort consisted of separate boroughs until joined by order of Napoléon Bonaparte in 1811. Watermael is first mentioned in a chronicle dating to 888 and Boitsfort in 1227. The two communities were divided by agricultural land. However, they were united for purposes of religion, both communities together with Auderghem forming a single parish of Saint-Clément. The church, located in Watermael, dates from the 10th or 11th century and features one of the oldest Romanesque towers in Brabant.In the 13th or 14th century, the inhabitants dug up portions of the floor of the Woluwe valley to dam streams in creating large ponds from which fish were caught and sold in Brussels, where fresh fish was much in demand. The ducal hunting grounds here were famed throughout Europe until the mid-18th century.Construction of the avenue de Tervuren and avenue Franklin Roosevelt, together with extension of the railway to Luxembourg, ended the relative isolation of the two localities. However, they remain essentially residential and are characterized by a maze of tiny streets. One-half of Watermael's territory is located within the Forêt de Soignes. The small, quiet towns have drawn many artists to locate here, including Rik Wouters, Paul Delvaux, Albert Dasnoy (1901-1992), and Roger Somville (1923- ).
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.