Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Congress Column, Brussels

Up among the various civil buildings in Brussels is the Congress Column, a memorial to Belgian independence. At the top stands a statue of King Leopold I, the first Belgian king. He was crowned in 1831; the column was completed in 1859. It stands rather majestically looking over the lower half of the city.

The Congress Column, Brussels

It is also a war memorial dedicated to the soldiers who died in World War I and World War II. An unknown soldier from WWI was buried there November 11, 1922. At the base is an eternal flame commemorating all the soldier who died.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Eternal Flame

Statues surround the pedestal. They represent various freedoms (of the Press, Religion, Education, and Association) won in the early 1800s when Belgium gained its independence.

Freedom of Religion (?)

Freedom of Education (?)

Nearby is the main cathedral for Brussels, and indeed for all of Belgium. We'll see that in the next post!

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