70 Years of ISB

As we celebrate the school’s 70th year and look ahead at the next chapter of our journey, it is more important than ever to take the time to recognise how far we have come as a community. To celebrate our legacy is to celebrate the bold, inspiring, and remarkable people that continue to impact the story of our school today.

We are grateful for the bonds that exist between ISB, its alumni, and former faculty and staff; they are at the heart of what makes us who we are today, and the foundation upon which we will move forward into the future.

ISB ACROSS THE DECADEs

The Château

An iconic building at the heart of our campus.

The Château des Fougères, or the Château Bischoffsheim, was built in 1854 as a country home for the Baron Jonathan Raphael Bischoffsheim and his family. The Baron was a wealthy economist and financier brought from Frankfurt to help in the establishment of the new country of Belgium, where he played an important role in shaping the economic policies of the new nation. He was a friend and advisor to Leopold I, the first King of Belgium. He was also an enthusiastic botanist, which is the reason why the grounds surrounding the Château contain a great variety of trees. The property is located in the middle of the enormous forest of beech trees known as the Foret des Soignes which is an integral part of the Brussels region. The Baron died at his Château on February 5, 1883, but his family continued to live there until about 1895.

During World War I, it was occupied by the Germans, and in 1920 it was rented by Alice Solvay of the famous Solvay Chemicals family for her daughter and son-in-law. In 1935 Mme. Delchambre used the Château as a senior citizens home, staffing it with young nurses who trained at her nursing school in Brussels.

At the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent occupation of Belgium, the Château served as a Gestapo screening post where wealthy Belgians were invited to explain their taxation situations. It also served briefly as the headquarters for British and American Army transport units. After the war, the Château became a home for older people, as well as for those who had been displaced by the war.

The Château is the third home of the school. For two brief periods ISB was located in other parts of Brussels, first on Rue St. Hubert in Woluwe St Pierre and then on Avenue van Becelaere in Boitsfort. The International School of Brussels moved to the Château in 1953 and continues to occupy the property and its grounds to this day.

Our Alumni Community

It's your ISB! Whether you are a student, parent, employee, member of our alumni community or friend of our school, we encourage you to take a moment to listen to these short stories of life and learning from years gone by.

"... with electrodes suspended from a balloon!"

"It's hot in here - get those windows open!"

"my first paper had so much red on it ..."

"a short-cut along the side of the school"

"the building was blessed by a Buddhist monk"

"I've managed to get chickens on campus!"