Memorial

Large_placeholder_br Colonne du Congrès

Monument: Colonne du Congrès

{On front, on stone panel at left:}
Provisional Government, September 1830 - February 1831
BARON F VANDERLINDEN D’HOOCHVORST
CH. ROGIER
COMTE FELIX DE MERODE
A. GENDEBIEN
SYLVAIN VAN DE WEYER
JOLLY
DE POTTER
J. VANDERLINDEN
F. DE COPPYN
J. NICOLAÏ

{On the front, on a plaque attached to the door:}
Inaugurated 26 September 1859, the 29th year of the reign of Leopold I

J. POELAERT Arch.

{On front, on stone panel at right (the members of the Bureau du Congrès, the last 5 being the "secretaires":}
National Congress, November 1830 - July 1831
BARON E.L. SURLET DE CHOKIER President
E.C. DE GERLACHE President
NOTHOMB
LIEDTS
VICOMTE VILAIN XIIII
FORGEUR
H. DE BROUCKERE

Regency, February 1831 - July 1831
BARON E.L. SURLET DE CHOKIER

{On front , below the column:}
Articles Extracted from the Constitution
{Followed by a good few paragraphs which we excuse ourselves the task of transcribing, but they are articles: 6-23, 25-31, 60, 63.}
{On the left face, on a large panel:}
{3 columns each with 27 names, arranged alphabetically, L-Z}
{On the back face, on a large panel:}
{This list is too weather-beaten to be legible but is composed of 3 columns totalling 78 names, arranged alphabetically, D-L. Being unable to transcribe these from the Colonne itself we researched them in the booklet "La Colonne du Congrès" by L van Péteghem at Archives de la Ville de Bruxelles}
{On the right face, on a large panel:}
{3 columns each with 26 names, arranged alphabetically, A-D}
{Click the ‘Subjects Commemorated’ button for the names}
{Underneath each of these large panels a date is given (starting from the front face and going clockwise):}
September 1830
July 1831
7 February 1831
10 November 1830

Original inscription:

{On front, on stone panel at left:}
GOUVERNEMENT PROVISOIRE
SEPTEMBRE 1830 - FÉVRIER 1831
BARON F VANDERLINDEN D’HOOCHVORST
CH. ROGIER
COMTE FELIX DE MERODE
A. GENDEBIEN
SYLVAIN VAN DE WEYER
JOLLY
DE POTTER
J. VANDERLINDEN
F. DE COPPYN
J. NICOLAÏ

{On the front, on a plaque attached to the door:}
INAUGURÉ LE XXVI SEPTEMBRE MDCCCLIX
LA XXIX ANNÉE DU REGNE DE
S.M. LÉOPOLD 1er

J. POELAERT ARC.

{On front, on stone panel at right (the members of the Bureau du Congrès, the last 5 being the "secretaires":}
CONGRES NATIONAL
NOVEMBRE 1830 - JUILLET 1831
BARON E.L. SURLET DE CHOKIER PRESIDENT
E.C. DE GERLACHE PRESIDENT
NOTHOMB
LIEDTS
VICOMTE VILAIN XIIII
FORGEUR
H. DE BROUCKERE

REGENCE
FEVRIER 1831 - JUILLET 1831
BARON E.L. SURLET DE CHOKIER

{On front , below the column:}
ARTICLES EXTRAITS DE LA CONSTITUTION
{Followed by a good few paragraphs which we excuse ourselves the task of transcribing, but they are articles: 6-23, 25-31, 60, 63.}

{On the left face, on a large panel:}
{3 columns each with 27 names, arranged alphabetically, L-Z}
{On the back face, on a large panel:}
{These lists are too weather-beaten to be legible but are presumably 3 columns each with about 26 names, arranged alphabetically, D-L. Being unable to transcribe these from the Colonne itself we researched them in the booklet "La Colonne du Congrès" by L van Péteghem at Archives de la Ville de Bruxelles}
{On the right face, on a large panel:}
{3 columns each with 26 names, arranged alphabetically, A-D}
{Underneath each of these large panels a date is given (starting from the front face and going clockwise):}
SEPTEMBRE 1830
JUILLET 1831
7 FEVRIER 1831
10 NOVEMBRE 1830

Foundation stone laid by King Leopold I on 25 September 1850, monument inaugurated 26 September 1859. The square was previously known as place des Panoramas. The architect, Poelaert was inspired by the Trajan column in Rome. The sculptors’ work is as follows:
Simonis - lions, Freedom of Religion (seated figure, left front), the relief encircling the base of the column representing the Nine Provinces
Fraikin - Freedom of Association (right front)
Geefs, J. - Freedom of Education (right back) and Freedom of Speech (left back)
Geefs, G. - King Leopold I at top of column
Mélot & Hardenberg - column decorations
Van Exel & Franck - decorative elements
The 46-metre column primarily commemorates the 244 members of the National Congress who, following the 1830 revolution, organised the country and its government and drafted the Constitution. Possibly because of this the king was against his representation at the top of the column. The lions were modelled by inhabitants of London Zoo.

Potted history of the creation of Belgium to help explain this monument: After centuries of being ruled by other countries, the Belgian people rose up, in September 1830 and threw out the present occupiers, the Dutch. A provisional government was quickly formed and on 10 November the elected National Congress held its first meeting, followed shortly after (7 February) by the appearance of the Constitution. Early in 1831 a diplomatic conference in London resulted in the recognition of Belgium as an independent state. The king was chosen and sworn in on 21 July 1831, which would become Belgium’s National Day.

In front of the column, on the ground, in front of the eternal flame, are three large brass plaques, given here as 3 other memorials on this site.

Site: Colonne du Congrès (4 memorials)

1000, place du Congrès

On the wall around the monument, there are two further plaques expressing the following sentiment (in Flemish and French): "Passants, découvrez-vous, ici repose le soldat inconnu". In English: "Passers-by, take off your hats, here lies the unknown soldier". This charming instruction was brought to our attention by Pascal Laureyn.

Go to map of other memorials in this area