Colonne du Congres, Brussels

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  • Freedom of the Press thrown on the ground.
    Freedom of the Press thrown on the...
    by breughel
  • Tomb of the Unknown Solider
    Tomb of the Unknown Solider
    by Willettsworld
  • Unknown soldiers monument
    Unknown soldiers monument
    by speed4turtles
  • breughel's Profile Photo

    What is left of the four freedoms of Belgium?

    by breughel Updated Sep 24, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Freedom of the Press thrown on the ground.

    My review here on the Colonne du Congrès i.e. the Belgium's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier might sound somewhat political but being the national monument for Belgium and symbol of Belgian Independence gained with our revolution of 1830, WW I and WW II, its essence is political.
    A country fellowman "speed4turtles" from Kruibeke, Belgium wrote here in 2003 an excellent and well documented comment which got no rating, what is a shame. He abandoned VT in 2006 and I regret.

    As a kid I often passed in front of the Colonne du Congrès with the tram (in the early 1950s) and I remember that all men in the tram would take of their hat to salute the Soldat Inconnu. I would take of my beret kids used to wear in winter in those years following WW II.

    Nowadays I wonder as many other Belgians what is left of the four freedoms of Belgium; they are represented by statues at the feet of the column:
    Freedom of Education and Freedom of Association still exist. Freedom of Religion is becoming a problem for the ancestral religion of our country. A new way of thinking, behaving is imposing habits and rules in contradiction with our cultural traditions.
    Freedom of Press is in great danger so that for one specific subject censorship or auto censorship is prevailing in the media. Strange enough in 2007 the statue, although weighing more than 1000 kg, was thrown on the ground by a tempest. An omen of what happens now?
    Fortunately for Belgium the spirit of 1830 has not disappeared and the forums, when allowed by the press, show a striking opposition between the political correctness of that (subsidized) press and the freedom of expression of the citizens.

    Didn't I warn you that my review on this monument might sound somewhat political?

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Congress Column

    by Willettsworld Written Jun 20, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Congress Column
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    The Congress Column was erected between 1850 and 1859 and is located half way between the Botanical Gardens and the cathedral on Rue Royale Koningsstraat which is the main thoroughfare through the city to the Palais Royal. It was designed by architect Joseph Poelaert, who also designed the Palais de Justice, St Catherine's Church and the Theatre Royal de la Monnaie, along with the collaboration of five sculptors. The monument was built with inspiration from the Trajan Column in Rome and celebrates the 1830 National Congress that became the Belgian Constitution. The column is 25 meters high and is topped by a statue of Belgiums first king, King Leopold I by sculptor J Geefs. The tomb of an unknown solider was buried beneath it on November 11, 1922.

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  • Imbi's Profile Photo

    Colonne du Congres

    by Imbi Written May 12, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness


    Colonne du Congres
    This is 47 meter high monumental built in 1850 in the honour of first National parliament. This Colonne du Congres has two lions at the bottom and the statue of King Leopold I at the top.


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  • Mahieu's Profile Photo

    Congress Column

    by Mahieu Written Jan 3, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Congress Column was constructed by Joseph Poelaert. It was erected as a memory of the National Congress, that was held to approve the very first Belgian Law in 1831.
    The column is about 45m high.
    At the bottom, you can find the grave of the unknown soldier, in memory of thousands of Belgian soldiers that died for their country during the two World Wars.
    From the square you have a nice view over Brussels.

    The Column is not far away from the Royal Palace.

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  • speed4turtles's Profile Photo

    Brussels - Memoral for the unknown soldiers

    by speed4turtles Updated Aug 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Unknown soldiers memoral

    The Congress Column (Colonne des Congr?s) is the national monument of Belgium, located in the capitol city of Brussels. The tall spire was erected in 1859 as a symbol of Belgian independence and in tribute to the congress which drew up the Belgian constitution in 1830. At its peak is the statue of King Leopold I of Saxonia-Cobourg-Gotha, who became the first king on July 21, 1831.

    At the foot of the column, which rises above all other nearby structures, are four allegoric statues to represent the four freedoms of Belgium:

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  • speed4turtles's Profile Photo

    Brussels - Monument of the unknown soldiers

    by speed4turtles Updated Aug 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Unknown soldiers monument

    The Congress Column (Colonne des Congrés - kongreskolom ) is the national monument of Belgium, located in the capitol city of Brussels. The tall spire was erected in 1859 as a symbol of Belgian independence and in tribute to the congress which drew up the Belgian constitution in 1830. At its peak is the statue of King Leopold I of Saxonia-Cobourg-Gotha, who became the first king on July 21, 1831.
    At the foot of the column, which rises above all other nearby structures, are four allegoric statues to represent the four freedoms of Belgium:
    Freedom of the Press
    Freedom of Religion
    Freedom of Education
    Freedom of Association
    Between them lies Belgium's Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers (from both world war), their memory kindled by an eternal flame and their final resting place adorned with flowers.
    On November 11, 1922 (two years after the Unknown Soldiers of Great Britain and France were interred and one year after the burial of the American Unknown), the Unknown Belgium Soldier was laid to rest in similar circumstance and ceremony as had been his predecessors from World War I.
    In preparation for the ceremony, five unidentified Belgian soldiers who had been killed in World War I were exhumed to lie in state at the railway station of Bruges. The five were selected from the five largest battlefields of World War I: Liége, Namur, Antwerp, Flanders, and the Yser.

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  • Lalique's Profile Photo

    Colonne du Congres

    by Lalique Updated Apr 21, 2003

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I will remember this monument for the strange guy we saw there. Looking like a tramp dressed in a shabby cloth and having a long twisted beard, he was approaching in convulsive dance the flame at the base of the colomn, then he was dropping on his knees murmuring some chants, then he was getting up, jumping a couple of meeters back and then again repeating his ritual.... Weird!

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  • cadzand's Profile Photo

    Monument to unknown soldier - Column of Congres

    by cadzand Written Mar 31, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Congres Column

    This column, guarded by two bronze lions and topped with the statue of king Leopold I, commemorates the congress which drew up the Belgian constitution in 1830. At its foot lies the grave of the Unknown Soldier. The column is the scene of a patriotic ceremony on Remembrance Day

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