Category Archives: Poelaert

The 19th century in Brussels: 1879

Another difficult year !

I did not find a house with the year 1879 in a façade in Brussels.

As a “consolation prize” I can offer the reader pictures of memorials of architect Henri Poelaert. He died in 1879. As mentioned in the street sign he is to be remembered for the Brussels “Colonne du Congrès” and the colossal “Palais de Justice” building. Albert Speer, Hitler’s architect, mentions in his autobiography “Inside the Third Reich” (Erinnerungen), that the “Führer” had admiration for this piece of architecture. Hitler charged Speer to travel to Brussels and write a detailed account of the visit to the building.

In 1879 the first telephone line was installed in the Belgian Parliament and a number of private entrepreneurs requested licenses to install telephone lines in several Belgian cities. Also in 1879 King Leopold II finances the Congo expedition by Henry Morton Stanley. That year the Belgian Parliament passed an Education Act secularizing education and removing financing from Catholic schools. This triggered the so-called “First School war”.

As you can see from the picture I took from a tourist information sign in Saint-Gilles Belgian sculptor Jef Lambeaux stayed from 1879 to 1881 in Paris (apologies for the quality of the pictures).