Hidden Belgium: The general that gave Rue Belliard its name

Hidden Belgium: The general that gave Rue Belliard its name

On 28 January 1832, General Augustin-Daniel Belliard collapsed and died in the Brussels park as he was leaving the royal palace. The general, aged 62, was a French diplomat in Brussels.

He had served in Napoleon’s army in dozens of battles from Cairo to Austerlitz. He ended his days as a diplomat in Brussels defending the independence of Belgium.

Six years later, the sculptor Guillaume Geefs carved a statue of the general. It was the first statue unveiled in Brussels since the 1830 revolution. The cost was covered by Belgian soldiers who gave up one day’s pay.

The statue shows the portly general holding his sword in one hand and the Belgian Constitution in the other. He looks across the park in the direction of the busy street lined with office buildings that now bears his name.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.


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