Category Archives: History

The 19th century in Brussels: 1861

1861 is another “difficult” year. I did not manage to see a house with the that year depicted in the façade.

I saw the year 1861 displayed in two memorials. The first is about the José Rizal, the Philippine’s independence hero.  He was born in 1861. (see also my post on 1896).

The other two pictures are from the monument to Charles Rogier,  a Belgian statesman (see my posts on 1868 and 1885).

Interesting to note is that both, José Rizal and Charles Rogier, were free-masons.



The 19th century in Brussels: 1862

In this post the reader will find pictures of house displaying the year 1862 but also of people who was either born or dead in that year.

The most prominent figure appearing in this post is Pierre-Théodore Verhaegen, a Belgian liberal politician and Freemason. The pictures concerning Verhaegen are from his masonic burial monument and catholic tombstone. The reader will notice that in the masonic dating system is used in the burial monument (5682 instead of 1862, the year that Verhaegen died).

The 19th century in Brussels: 1863

1863 is not an “easy” year.

Here is what I found:

First a plaque, in the Brussels municipality of Forest – Vorst, remembering the U.S born poet Stuart Merrill. In this post I have included a portrait of his wife, painted by Jean Delville, a Belgian symbolist artist.

I also found the signature of the Belgian sculptor Jean-André Laumans, displaying the year 1863, in the tympanum of the church of Saint-Boniface.

The year 1863 also appears in a the façade of a house where the name of Laeken – Laken, a suburb, and former municipality in the north-west of Brussels. In the façade the evolution in history of the name of the municipality can be seen. Laken is the last displayed name, together with the year 1863.

The 19th century in Brussels: 1865

This year (1865) is a difficult one when it comes to find a house displaying 1865 as the year of construction.

So, the only thing I could find are memorials displaying the year 1965. Hereunder are a few examples.

The first one concerns king Leopold II of Belgium. He was born in 1865. The equestrian statue displaying the year is located at the rear of the Royal Palace.

The second one relates to Theordore Verhaegen, the founder of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. The bronx statue was made in 1865 by Guillaume Geefs, a Belgian sculptor. There is anothe statue remembering Joseph Lebeau, a Belgian politician of the early years of Belgian independence. The statue is located in the crossing of the Avenue de Tervuren with the Boulevard de la Woluwe.

Two pictures are about the monument to the Belgian painter Antoine Wiertz in Brussels. He died in 1865. Some of his painting are very especial. I was struck by this one where Napoleon id depicted being consumed by flames in hell. The painting is titled Scene from Hell.

There is also a memorial to Felix Haps, a Brussels benefactor of the catholic charities. The last memorial rememembers Paul Hymans, another Belgian politician who was minister for Foreign Affairs in the years after World War I.  Here is a better picture of this memorial:

The 19th century in Brussels: 1866

I would call this a meager harvest. I did not find a house with an architects signature displaying the year 1866. Perhaps readers could help finding one.

What I found is a memorial in a house in “Place des Barricades / Barricadenplein” where the French writer Victor Hugo lived from 1866 till 1871 (see my post on 1971).


The 19th century in Brussels: 1868

Contrary to 1869 I found at least one façade displaying this year.

The reader will find in the gallery a picture of a building housing a marble workshop .Above the front door text “MARBRERIE G&H ALLARD Frs [Frères]” and “fondée en 1868” is dispalyed. Interesting is that the text and the surrounding decorative drawings and motifs is made up of a mosaic made of small tiles.

in this posts I also include pictures from the monument to Charles Rogier . He was Belgian statesman, liberal, revolutionary and free-mason. As you can see from the text where the year 1868 is displayed Charles Rogier promoted industrialisation and free trade.

Another interesting picture displaying the year 1868 is of a street sign with the name of Sergeant Henry De Bruyne, born in 1868, with a reference to Belgium’s colonial past.

Finally there is picture of the information sign at the “Bourse” building, indicating that construction work started in 1868 and was completed on 1874 (see also my post on 1874 where I have included a picture with the detail of the façade showing the year 1874).

The 19th century in Brussels: 1869

Again, one “difficult” year: no pictures from houses displaying this year.

I only found memorials and plaques displaying the year 1869.

Here are the pictures I took.

The Interbellum: 1930 – 2

This posts on the year 1930 concerns pictures related to history.

In some of the pictures readers acquainted with Belgian history will recognise Baudouin, King of the Belgians, in a familiar demeanor: waking, with hands clasped behind, and head slightly down. I found that this monument captures  very well the personality of Baudouin, who in the last years of his life seemed worried about a number of things, perhaps most about the future existence of his country. The monument’s floor stone displays his birth year: 1930

The other interesting historical person appearing in the gallery is Felix Hap. As mentioned in the memorial he was the founder and the leader of catholic charitable works in Etterbeek. He promoted a sizable number of institutions and bodies (e.g. schools, mutual health insurance schemes, workers corporations) in Etterbeek and in the Brussels area. He even renounced to be appointed mayor of Etterbeek because he wanted to devoted himself to this charitable activities. He died in 1930.

An interesting feature of his legacy is the park “Jean-Félix Hap”, located in the commune of Etterbeek. This park is made of of the garden of the Hap’s family house. It is a nice green spot in Brussels, close to the EU area.

For those interested to know more about the park and the Hap’s family: I found these two detailed studies in the website of the commune of Etterbeek.

Click to access etude-historique-maisonhap-dusausoy-version-290515.pdf

The remaining picture showing a series of years is taken from the memorial to Charles de Broqueville. From 1926 to 1930 he was Belgium’s Minister of Defence.




The Interbellum: 1929 – 2

In this post I include a gallery with pictures of memorials and plaques.

Two famous people are featured in this post.

The first one was born in Brussels: actress Audrey Hepburn. As mentioned in the plaque the “comedienne” was born on 4 May 1929 in the Brussels’ municipality of Ixelles / Elsene. There is also a picture of the house where she was born.

The second one is singer Jacques Brel. The memorial displaying his birth’s year can be seen in a park (Wolvendael) in the Uccle / Uccle, also a Brussels’ Region municipality.

For both I have borrowed images from Wikimedia Commons.

The plaque in metal is to be found in a building called “L’Aegidium” also in Brussels. This building, by architect Guillaume Segers and dating from 1906, was first called “Diamant Palace” and belonged to Leon Bejao-Dejonge. It was a venue for shwos and parties. After being bought by Fernand Dierckx it was renamed to “Panthéon Palace” and in 1929 Canon Simons acquired the building, which was then used for parish activities (Aegidium in the Latin name for Saint-Gilles, the patron saint of this Brussels’ municipality). The plaque in the post displays a bas-relief of canon G. Simons and mentions that the “Aegidium” was inaugurated on 29-IX-1929.

For those interested here are two links about this building:

In French:

In English:

Finally, the bilingual plaque (French, Dutch) is to be found on the façade of the “Eglise du Divin Enfant Jésus” in the Houba de Strooper avenue, close to the Heyzel area.

The 19th Century in Brussels: 1871

Again it is “history” the main factor that helped me in finding a year, in this case 1871, displayed in Brussel.

There is though one exception. The reader will notice the very nice façade with the year 1871 displayed at the top. This house is located at the Chaussée d’Ixelles, close to the crossing with rue de la Croix.

Two pictures in this post are related to the French writer Victor Hugo: façade of one of the houses where he lived (there is another one in the Grand’Place, and corresponding memorial.

Two other pictures concern two plaques of benefactors of the Hospice in Rue d’Accolay and a picture I took of a garden named to Commandant Arthur Auguste Gérard » (1871-1914) a Belgian mililtary who died in combat shortly after the start of World War I.

I took the two last pictures in Ottawa (guest city in this post). The façade is of a bulding at the corner of Bank Street with Sparks Street.