In order to facilitate the ongoing shipping traffic, a diversion of the Leie had already been cut in 1398-1399. This started down the 'Broeltorens' (Broel-towers), followed the ‘Dam’-lane and then flew into what now is the 'Kleine Leie’ (Small Leie). Between the old Leie and the new section, an island came into being.
The district was named Buda in the late 17th century when the Turkish armies conquered the fortified city of Buda opposite Pest and when Vauban fortified the islet between 1690 and 1698. The inhabitants of Kortrijk saw in it the resemblance to the geography of Budapest.
Here a number of functions were located that one would prefer not to have in the densely populated inner city, including hospitals for the treatment of infectious patients and a number of ‘smelling’ industries. Most of the latter disappeared and left hardly recognizable traces. In the 19th century there were at least four breweries, four saltmills, a soap and a paint factory.
At the ‘Dam’, around 1880-1890 a company was established which produced photographic plates and photosensitive paper.
The area north of the 'Dam', which now includes a large car park, was the 'broel' - a Flemish word for moist soil - where the common bleach for linen was situated.
Just before the first world war, the medieval Leie branch was lengthened to a more downstream point, about the current route. Recently, this route was re-adjusted again. This was done in the context of a broader plan for rectification, extension and widening of the Leie, making the connection between the port of Antwerp and the basin of Paris accessible to container ships and ships up to 1350 tonnes, the so-called Seine-Schelde connection.
At the moment Buda Island is a fine example of revitalizing a neighborhood where heritage and culture go hand in hand with the reuse and reallocation of buildings.
The history of the revitalization of Buda Island begins in 1954 when the city acquired the classic house built in 1777 for Jan de Brabandere to bring together the Museum of Fine Arts with the Museum of Industrial Art and Archeology, known as 'Broelmuseum'. In 1969 -1970 the museum is already undergoing a first expansion. In 1976 the city bought the grounds of the former Tack brewery, including the 'Tack Tower' and the stables. Two years later, it launched a competition to draw up the master plan for a new museum complex integrating the various buildings - a competition won by the Groep Planning in Bruges. It was carried out in 1981 and included the reuse of the “Fabrique de Filet Mécanique” of the Delplanque sisters (Burgemeester Tayaerstraat) and the construction of a new building in its extension (1988). The stables of the Tack brewery are restored in 2006-2007 and are intended for temporary exhibitions and four artist workshops.
The museum is now closed and will be moved to the “1302" site near the Beguinage, its actual buildings being transformed into a arts and design centre and galery.
The current Budascoop-cinema, opened in 1975 under the name 'Pentascoop'. It was the first multi-cinema cinema (five cinemas) in Belgium, two years before the Multi-Cinema Vendôme in Paris (1977, 4 cinemas) often cited as the first cinema with several rooms in Europe. Pentascoop's plans were drawn up in 1973 by the D'Hondt office of architects and engineers of the Courtrai, according to a project by architects De Geyter and De Meyer.
Thus Pentascoop can also be considered as the cradle of the current group Kinepolis - world leader in the projection of films digitized in high definition, in its 23 complexes in Europe, totaling 317 rooms.
When this group built a new multiplex in 1990, the Pentascoop lost its clientele. The city of Kortrijk bought it and integrated it into the project 'Buda Kunstencentrum' (Buda Arts Center) under the name 'Budascoop'. In 2004-2006 the old cinema was renovated, in collaboration with the office which had drawn the original plans. The two largest projection rooms are transformed into theaters. These spaces are today used for the presentation of plays and dance performances, but also and especially for the technical rehearsals of national and international companies.
Beginning in 2003 Buda Island became a pilot project in the urban renewal policy of the Flemish government, after a feasibility study on the cultural and artistic vocation of the district carried out in 2001 by the prof. Rudi Laermans (cultural component), prof. Bruno De Meulder and Mr J. Lievens (legal and organizational aspects) and the establishment of a steering committee in 2002. In 2004 the project receives a 3 million euro grant from the Flemish Government and in the same year the 'Buda-Eiland' is one of the Maisons Maisons de Lille 2004 cultural capital of Europe.
In addition to the development of the already mentioned infrastructures, the general project also includes the redevelopment of the public domain (such as the banks of the Leie - now under its way), a new pedestrian bridge crossing the Leie detour canal, and integration and the re-qualification of care centers for the elderly who are still on the islet. The total estimated costs initially amounted to € 18.65 million. The urban project is co-financed by the Stadsvernieuwingsfonds (Flemish Government's Urban Renewal Fund), the ERDF (Objective 2 - strategic city project under priority 4), the Hermesfonds Vlaanderen (government funding fund Flemish government for the development of economic activities), subsidies from the Flemish government for the remediation of brownfields and Interreg IVB NWE (Proud).
The latest project is the 'Buda-fabriek' (the 'Buda Factory’), the textile finishing plant de Smet de Naeyere (1924), where the transformation started in 2010. The Buda-Fabriek, open since September 2012, is now a place where creators and artists come into contact with the world of industry, students and lecturers - an open and dynamic economic and artistic workshop.