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Sonian Forest, Brussels

#3 of 57 in Nature in Belgium
World heritage site · Forest · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Sonian Forest or Sonian Wood (Dutch: Zoniënwoud, French: Forêt de Soignes) is a 4,421-hectare (10,920-acre) forest at the southeast edge of Brussels, Belgium.

The Sonian Forest was a favorite hunting ground of the Habsburg Imperial family, and as such features prominently in some famous Renaissance works of art such as the Hunts of Maximilian tapestries in the Louvre.

The forest lies in the Flemish municipalities of Sint-Genesius-Rode, Hoeilaart, Overijse, and Tervuren, in the Brussels-Capital Region municipalities of Uccle, Watermael-Boitsfort, Auderghem, and Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, and in the Walloon towns of La Hulpe and Waterloo. Thus, it stretches out over the three Belgian Regions.

It is maintained by Flanders (56%), the Brussels-Capital Region (38%), and Wallonia (6%). There are some contiguous tracts of privately held forest and the Kapucijnenbos, the "Capuchin Wood", which belongs to the Royal Trust.

As of 2017, the Sonian Forest has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only Belgian component to the multinational inscription 'Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe'.

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469 reviews
  • An impressively large forest on the edge of Brussels. There are many different walks starting from many different locations. I have lived pretty much in the middle of it (Tervuren) for my entire...  more »
  • did you know the sonian forest was there centuries ago? enjoy the woods, the quietness yet not far from city center. a must!  more »
  • Very beautiful place to walk and take a good fresh air !!!
  • Amazing place to relax and trek.
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