The smallest borough of Zonnebeke, Zandvoorde is also sometimes called the Brel village for good reason. Jacques Brel’s father, Romain was born in this village. A bronze plaque was unveiled at Romain’s birthplace (Zandvoordestraat 45) in 1988,
History of the Brel family
The first traces of the Brel family in Zandvoorde go back to the 18th century (1785). This family helped shape village life in Zandvoorde for two and a half centuries. Jacques’ father left Zandvoorde before the First World War and headed for the Congo. In 1929, he returned to Belgium and settled in Schaerbeek. That is where Jacques Brel was born. Now all traces of the Brel family have disappeared from Zandvoorde.