Colonne du Congrès/Kongreszuil

Colonne du Congrès/Kongreszuil
(place du Congrès).
   A commemorative monument built by a decree of 24 September 1849 in honor of the congress that drew up the national constitution after the Belgian Revolution, the column was inspired by Charles Rogier and designed by Joseph Poelaert. Its foundation stone was laid on 25 September 1850 in the presence of King Leopold I and it was inaugurated on 26 September 1859. The column stands 46 m (153 ft.) in height and contains a flight of 193 steps leading up to the bronze statue of Leopold I carved by Willem Geefs. On the corners of the pedestal are inscribed the names of the 237 members of the founding congress together with main articles of the constitution. Four statues at the base comprise female allegorical figures symbolizing the four main freedoms of Belgium—freedom of worship, association, press, and education. The two bronze lions at either side of the entrance symbolize defense of the constitution and were carved by Louis-Eugène Simonis. They stand guard over the tomb of the unknown soldier, placed here on 11 November 1922, at which an eternal flame burns.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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