Forest, Belgium

Forest, Belgium

Belgium Municipality
Belgium Municipality Less

Forest, Belgium

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Vorst is also the name of a former town now part of Tönisvorst, Germany.
Forest (French, pronounced ) or Vorst (Dutch, pronounced ) is one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium.

The town is commonly known for its concert hall (French: Forest National, Dutch: Vorst Nationaal). It also houses an important jail and an Audi factory.


Frankish origins and medieval period

The first houses built in this forested area along the Geleysbeek, a tributary of the Senne, date from the 7th century. The village’s first church was dedicated to Dionysius the Areopagite. The legend of Saint Alena, a young convert to Christianity murdered by her father’s troops for hearing mass at the church of Dionysius, also allegedly takes place in the 7th century. The chapel and cult of Saint Alena, however, date only from the 12th century. The saint’s cenotaph, one of the rare examples of 12th-century sculpture in Belgium, can still be admired in the chapel today. The contiguous church of Saint Denis (Dionysius) was rebuilt in the Romanesque style at around the same time.

The abbots of Affligem, which had been the ecclesiastical owners of the parish since the bishop of Cambrai ceded it to them in 1105, decided to build a priory for women in Forest, Forest Abbey. The first abbess of the Forest priory was named in 1239. Also in the 13th century, the Romanesque church of Saint Denis was rebuilt in the newer Gothic style. The neighbouring...
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