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Molenbeek-Saint-Jean is a commune with a strong industrial past
The densely settled Molenbeek-Saint-Jean is home to large number of large businesses and a multi-cultural population.


Molenbeek-Saint-Jean is a commune comprising two distinct parts, covering a territory of 5.9 square kilometres in total. The lower part of the commune boasts working-class neighbourhoods with colourful workshops, peopled mainly by migrant communities. The higher part of the commune features a more modern, more residential urban landscape, with plenty of green spaces.

Last century Molenbeek was the scene of intense industrial activity, concentrated around the canal and the rail line. It earned the commune the nickname "Belgium’s little Manchester". Most of those industries have disappeared now, making way for large-scale urban renewal.

The site of the foundry, bought by the French Community and turned into a museum of social and industrial history, is an important monument to the commune’s industrial past.

Key figures

Statistical overview of the commune of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean (FR/NL)

(Source: Institut Bruxellois de Statistique et d'Analyse - IBSA)

General contact details of the communal administration

Rue du Comte de Flandre 20, 1080 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0)2 412 37 90
Online: (FR/NL)

Police zone 5340 (Brussels-West)

Molenbeek-Saint-Jean is part of police zone Brussels-West, which covers the territory of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Koekelberg, Jette, Ganshoren and Berchem-Sainte-Agathe.


Rue Alphonse Vandenpeereboom 14, 1080 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0)2 412 53 11
Online: (FR/NL)

Information updated on 6 January 2021

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