Hidden Belgium: A romantic monument to a forgotten writer

Hidden Belgium: A romantic monument to a forgotten writer

Fifteen years after the Belgian writer Charles de Coster died, his admirers gathered by the Ixelles ponds in Brussels for the unveiling of a statue. Among the guests were distinguished Belgian writers and artists, including Constantin Meunier, Emile Verhaeren and Félicien Rops.

Created by the sculptor Charles Samuel, the monument is carved with mysterious details from De Coster’s famous Legend of Ulenspiegel. The two bronze figures represent Ulenspiegel and his friend Nele. The work also includes a spinning wheel, owl, cat and cooking pot.

De Coster used to teach at the La Cambre military academy in the old abbey buildings at the end of the ponds. He sometimes stopped on his way to work to sit on a bench near this spot.

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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