Congress Column

The Congress Column (French: Colonne du Congrès; Dutch: Congreskolom) is a monument situated on the Place du Congrès / Congresplein in Brussels. It commemorates the formation of the Belgian state and constitution by the National Congress in 1830-1831. It was erected on the initiative of Charles Rogier after a design by Joseph Poelaert between 1850 and 1859. It was inspired by Trajan's Column in Rome.

The column, with the statue of king Leopold I of the Belgians surmounting it included, has a total height of 47 meters. A spiral staircase of 193 stairs in the interior of the column leads to a platform surrounding the pedestal of the statue of King Leopold I.

The statue of King Leopold was made by Jean Geefs. The important dates in the struggle for Belgian independence are engraved on the pedestal of the column, together with the names of the members of the National Congress of Belgium and the Provisional Government and important passages from the liberal Belgian constitution of 1830. The four sitting statues surrounding the pedestal represent the major constitutional liberties; the 'Liberty of Union' by Charles Fraikin, the Liberty of Worship by Eugène Simonis, the Liberty of Press and the Liberty of Education both by Jean Geefs. Two monumental bronze Lions by Eugène Simonis are placed in front of the monument.

As a memorial to the Belgian victims of the First World War, five anonymous soldiers were buried at the foot of the monument, the 11th of November 1922. Their tomb is surmounted by an eternal flame.

  • Pedestal of the Congress Column

  • Statue of Leopold I at the top of the column

  • The column on an old postcard

Coordinates: 50°51′0″N 4°21′48″E / 50.85°N 4.36333°E / 50.85; 4.36333