Brussels in History

Belgium: Antwerp - Charleroi - Ghent - Liège

Historical Events

  • 1349-11-01 Duke of Brabant orders execution of all Jews in Brussels, accusing them of poisoning the wells
  • 1370-05-22 Jews are expelled and massacred in Brussels, Belgium
  • 1404-09-26 Brussels Brabants/Limburgse audit-office established
  • 1430-10-05 Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy visits Brussels
  • 1522-02-07 Treaty of Brussels: Habsburgers split into Spanish and Austrian Branches
  • 1564-03-13 Cardinal Granvelle flees Brussels
  • 1565-11-13 King Philip II's "Letters out Segovia" reaches Brussels
  • 1567-08-08 Duke of Alva's army enters Brussels, Belgium
  • 1568-06-01 Duke of Alva oversees beheading of 18 nobles in Brussels as part of Council of Troubles/Council of Blood
  • 1577-07-24 Treason of Don Juan in Brussels
  • 1593-03-25 Recantation of Loos, Dutch scholar Coinelius Loos recants his earlier written protest against witchcraft persecution in Trier, Germany before officials in Brussels
  • 1695-08-13 -15] French troops under Villeroi shoot in Brussels
  • 1708-12-01 Great Alliance occupies Brussels
  • 1716-07-18 Decree orders all Jews expelled from Brussels
  • 1746-02-22 French troops conquer Brussels
  • 1790-12-02 Austrian army occupies Brussels

  • 1815-09-21 King Willem I takes oath in Brussels
  • 1821-08-06 1st edition of "Courrier of Pays-Bas" newspaper published in Brussels
  • 1822-10-26 King Willem I requires inhabitants of Brussels to use Dutch language
  • 1830-09-23 Dutch troops occupy Brussels
  • 1830-09-27 Dutch army leaves Brussels, after hundreds killed
  • 1835-05-05 King Leopold I of Belgium opens Brussels-Mechelen railway
  • 1850-04-25 Paul Julius Reuter sets up carrier-pigeon service, using 40 pigeons to carry stock market prices between Aachen and Brussels
  • 1880-02-13 Work begins on the covering of the Senne, burying Brussels's primary river and creating the modern central boulevards
  • 1881-12-19 Opera "Hérodiade" by Jules Massenet is produced in Brussels

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1882-12-14 Henry Morton Stanley returns to Brussels from the Congo

Journalist and Explorer Henry Morton Stanley
Journalist and Explorer
Henry Morton Stanley
  • 1890-04-19 Henry Morton Stanley inaugurated in Brussels
  • 1897-01-10 Vincent d'Indy's "Istar" premieres in Amsterdam & Brussels
  • 1900-01-18 Jan Blockx's "Tÿl Uilenspiegel" premieres in Brussels
  • 1900-04-05 Attempted assassination of Edward Prince of Wales in Brussels, fails
  • 1902-02-11 Police beat up universal suffrage demonstrators in Brussels
  • 1903-07-17 The Russian Social Democratic Workers Party meets, first in Brussels and then London because their leaders have been forced into exile by the Russian Government
  • 1910-04-23 International Exhibition opens in Brussels
  • 1914-03-27 1st successful non-direct blood transfusion is performed by Dr. Albert Hustin in Brussels
  • 1914-07-16 Socialist conference in Brussels (Kautsky, Trotski & Rosa Luxemburg)
  • 1914-08-20 German army captured Brussels as the Belgian army retreated to Antwerp

  • 1914-09-26 Germans arrest A Max, mayor of Brussels
  • 1918-11-17 German troops evacuate Brussels
  • 1918-11-18 Belgian troops re-enter Brussels, lost to the German invaders on 20 August 1914
  • 1918-11-22 King Albert I's triumphant procession through Brussels
  • 1921-08-28 2nd Pan-African Congress meets (London, Brussels & Paris)
  • 1922-07-27 International Geographical Union forms in Brussels
  • 1923-05-23 Launch of Belgium's SABENA airline: first flight from Brussels to Lympne, England
  • 1935-04-27 Brussels World Exposition opens
  • 1935-10-20 Anti-fascist People's Front forms in Brussels
  • 1939-12-26 Mine strikes in Borinage Brussels
  • 1940-05-17 Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium and begins invasion of France
  • 1940-05-18 German troops conquer Brussels
  • 1944-09-03 Tank division of British Guards free Brussels
  • 1944-09-05 Allies liberate Brussels

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1944-10-18 Allied generals Dwight D. Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery confer in Brussels, Belgium

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
US WWII General Omar Bradley
US WWII General
Omar Bradley
British WWII Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery
British WWII Field Marshal
Bernard Montgomery
  • 1945-01-01 German air raid on allied airports at Eindhoven/Saint-Trond/Brussels
  • 1946-09-12 Court martial convicts Henry de Man to 20 years, in Brussels
  • 1947-11-16 15,000 demonstrate in Brussels against mild sentence of nazis
  • 1948-03-18 France & Great Britain & Benelux sign Treaty of Brussels
  • 1950-05-01 Mayor of Brussels reluctantly bans May Day parade
  • 1957-09-18 Electric train joining in Amsterdam-Brussels
  • 1958-05-28 European Cup Final, Brussels: Francisco Gento scores the winner in extra time as Real Madrid beats AC Milan, 3-2; 3rd consecutive title for Los Blancos
  • 1960-07-25 Companie Industrielle et Forestere (Indufor) forms in Brussels
  • 1961-02-15 Entire US figure skating team is killed in an air crash outside Brussels airport in Belgium whilst flying to World Championships in Prague from NYC; 72 passengers, including 34 American skaters, coaches, officials, and other members of extended team are lost
  • 1961-12-15 L J Suenens appointed archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels
  • 1962-03-19 Archbishop Suenens of Mechelen-Brussels appointed cardinal
  • 1965-02-05 Beursschouwburg opens in Brussels
  • 1965-11-10 Manneke Pis statue stolen in Brussels
  • 1966-05-11 European Cup Final, Heysel Stadium, Brussels: Fernando Serena scores the winner as Real Madrid beats Partizan Belgrade, 2-1; Madrid's 6th title
  • 1966-12-20 Nuclear Planning Group forms in Brussels
  • 1967-05-22 Fire at L'Innovation department store kills 322 (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 1967-12-23 Brussels: NATO Council accept "Flexible Response" strategy
  • 1970-05-28 The formerly united Free University of Brussels officially splits into two separate entities, the French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Dutch-speaking Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
  • 1970-07-02 1st Boeing 747 to land in Amsterdam & Brussels

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1971-09-23 Jan Vermeer's painting "The Love Letter" is stolen from The Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels by a 21 year old thief

Painter Jan Vermeer
Painter
Jan Vermeer
  • 1972-06-18 UEFA European Championship Final, Heysel Stadium, Brussels, Belgium: Gerd Müller scores a brace as West Germany beats Soviet Union, 3-0
  • 1974-05-17 18th European Cup: Bayern Munich beats Atletico Madrid 4-0 at Brussels
  • 1976-09-20 Metroliner official opens in Brussels
  • 1977-05-21 Fire in hotel Duc de Brabant Brussels, kills 19
  • 1979-08-28 IRA bomb explodes in Brussels' Great Market
  • 1980-05-14 Valencia of Spain wins 20th European Cup Winner's Cup against Arsenal of England 5-4 on penalties in Brussels
  • 1983-10-23 400,000 demonstrate in Brussels, against cruise missile
  • 1984-10-25 King Boudouin opens Museum for Modern Art in Brussels
  • 1985-04-21 Bomb attacks in NATO/AEG-Telefunken building in Brussels
  • 1985-05-01 "Communist" bomb attack kills 2 firemen in Brussels
  • 1985-05-29 29th European Cup: Juventus beats Liverpool 1-0 at Brussels
  • 1987-05-09 32nd Eurovision Song Contest: Johnny Logan for Ireland wins singing "Hold Me Now" in Brussels
  • 1994-03-03 "Philoktetes Variations" with Ron Vawter premieres in Brussels
  • 1994-04-28 Freddy Thielemans sworn in as Mayor of Brussels, Belgium
  • 1996-05-08 Paris Saint-Germain of France win 36th European Cup Winner's Cup against Rapid Wien of Austria 1-0 in Brussels

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1998-02-04 Bill Gates gets a pie thrown in his face in Brussels, Belgium

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates
Microsoft Founder
Bill Gates
  • 1998-06-01 European Central Bank is founded in Brussels to define and execute the European Union's monetary policy
  • 2013-02-09 5 people are killed after Cessna plane crashes on a Brussels runway
  • 2013-02-18 $50 million worth of diamonds is stolen in an armed robbery at Brussels Airport, Belgium
  • 2013-03-24 A series of emergency meetings in Brussels undertaken to resolve Cyprus’ financial situation
  • 2017-06-19 Bexit negotiations begin between United Kingdom and the European Union in Brussels

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2018-05-22 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is questioned by members of the European parliament in Brussels in wake of its security scandal

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook Founder
Mark Zuckerberg

Famous Birthdays

  • 1457-02-13 Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Bold and wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, born in Brussels, Burgundian Netherlands (d. 1482)
  • 1480-01-10 Margaret of Austria, Regent of the Netherlands, born in City of Brussels, Belgium (d. 1530)
  • 1501-07-18 Isabella of Burgundy, wife of Christian II of Denmark, born in Brussels (d. 1526)
  • 1505-09-15 Maria, Queen of Hungary as wife of Louis II and Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands (1531-55), born in Brussels (d. 1558)
  • 1514-12-31 Andreas Vesalius [Andries van Wesel], Flemish-Netherlandish physician and anatomist (De humani corporis fabrica), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1564)
  • 1561-11-21 Charles Scribani, IFlemish jesuit and author, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1629)
  • 1577-05-01 François de Kinschot, Dutch jurist and chancellor of Brabant, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1654)
  • 1602-05-26 Philippe de Champaigne, French painter, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1674)
  • 1605-04-08 Louis de Vadder, Flemish painter, born in Brussels (d. 1655)
  • 1626-01-16 Lucas Achtschellinck, Flemish landscape painter (Wooded Landscape), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1699)
  • 1666-08-20 Alphonse d'Ève, Flemish Baroque composer, born in Brussels (d. 1727)
  • 1673-09-13 Hercule Brehy, Flemish composer and organist, born in Brussels (d. 1737)
  • 1674-06-22 Jean Philippe Eugène de Mérode, Belgian marquis of Westerloo, born in Brussels (d. 1732)
  • 1694-11-10 Jean-Laurent Krafft, composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1768)
  • 1697-08-06 Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor (1742-45), born in Brussels
  • 1710-03-27 Joseph Abaco, Italian composer, born in Brussels (d. 1805)
  • 1710-04-15 Marie-Anne de Cupis de Camargo, French dancer, born in Brussels, Spanish Netherlands (d. 1770)
  • 1733-10-03 François Krafft, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium
  • 1735-05-23 Charles Joseph, 7th Prince the Ligne, Belgian fieldmarshal and author, born in Brussels (d. 1814)
  • 1747-08-13 Adrien-Joseph van Helmont, Flemish composer, born in Brussels (d. 1830)
  • 1756-04-08 Joseph Gehot, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1820)
  • 1758-11-07 Edouard viscount de Walckiers, South Netherland banker and politician, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1837)
  • 1760-11-08 Jean-Baptiste Dumonceau, Dutch general, born in Brussels, Austrian Netherlands (d. 1821)
  • 1762-09-16 Charles de Merode, Earl of Merode, Mayor of Brussels and French senator, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1830)
  • 1767-12-29 Aime Ambroise Simon Leborne, Belgian-born French composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1866)
  • 1776-05-13 Charles Ots, Belgian composer, born in Brussels (d. 1845)
  • 1777-05-28 Joseph-Henri-Ignace Mees, Flemish composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1858)
  • 1779-10-10 Antoine Philippe Vischer, comte de Celles, Belgian-French politician, born in Brussels (d. 1841)
  • 1782-08-15 Henri de Mérode, Belgian revolutionary (Souvenirs), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1847)
  • 1793-07-30 Joseph-François Snel, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1861)
  • 1801-10-14 Joseph Plateau, Belgian physicist (Plateau's Law), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1883)
  • 1803-04-23 Jules J baron d'Anethan, Belgian minister of Justice, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1888)
  • 1804-10-28 Pierre François Verhulst, Belgian mathematician (logistic curve), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1849)
  • 1810-01-05 Auguste Mermet, French opera composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1889)
  • 1814-01-30 Jean-Baptist Capronnier, French-Belgian glass painter, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1891)
  • 1817-02-19 Willem III, last male King of the Netherlands (1849-90) until 2013, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1890)
  • 1817-04-13 Alphonse Wauters, Belgian historian and archivist (Brussels), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1898)
  • 1820-02-17 Henri Vieuxtemps, Verviers Belgium, composer/teacher (Brussels Cons)
  • 1833-04-17 Jean-Baptiste Accolay, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1900)
  • 1834-11-25 Jean-Baptist Colyns, Belgian violinist and composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1902)
  • 1835-04-09 Leopold II, King of Belgium (1865-1909), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1909)
  • 1836-07-09 Camille de Renesse, Belgian nobleman and entrepreneur, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1904)
  • 1836-12-15 Edmond Picard, French-Belgian lawyer and writer (La forge Roussel), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1924)
  • 1840-06-07 Carlota of Mexico, princess of Belgium and empress consort of Mexico (1864-67), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1927)
  • 1842-08-24 Edouard J. A. Agneessens, Flemish painter (Slave Market), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1885)
  • 1843-04-14 Gustave Leon Huberti, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1910)
  • 1844-05-09 [Maria] Catharina Beersmans, Belgian actress (Bad Herders), born in Turnhout, Belgium (d. 1899)
  • 1846-11-19 Emile Wauters, Belgian painter (Van der Goes in the Red Monastery), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1933)
  • 1847-08-31 Arthur Verhaegen, Belgian architect and worker's union leader, born in Brussels (d. 1917)
  • 1854-04-22 Henri La Fontaine, Belgian international lawyer (Nobel 1913), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1943)
  • 1855-12-10 Marios Varvoglis, Greek composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1967)
  • 1861-11-30 Franz Gailliard, Belgian painter (Zeustempel in Athens), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1932)
  • 1863-06-25 Émile Francqui, Belgian soldier and diplomat, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1935)
  • 1863-11-03 Eugène Samuel-Holeman, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1942)
  • 1865-06-15 Paul Gilson, Belgian composer, born in Brussels (d. 1942)
  • 1869-06-03 Prince Baudouin of Belgium, Count of Flaanders, born in Palais de la Régence, Brussels, Belgium (d. 1891)
  • 1869-06-10 Gustave Vanzype, Belgian literary (La Gazette), born in Brussels (d. 1955)
  • 1870-11-30 Princess Henriette, Duchess of Vendôme and Alençon, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1948)
  • 1872-07-30 Clémentine, Princess of Belgium, wife of Prince Napoleon Bonaparte V, born in Royal Castle of Laeken, Brussels (d. 1955)
  • 1873-12-09 Antoine Pompe, Belgian architect, born in Brussels (d. 1980)
  • 1875-04-08 Albert I, King of Belgium (1909-34), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1934)
  • 1875-11-22 Georges Rency, Belgian poet and literature, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1951)
  • 1876-11-17 Baron Joseph van de Meulebroeck, mayor (Brussels, Belgium)
  • 1877-09-05 Albert Roelofs, Dutch painter and etcher, born in Schaarbeek, Brussels, Belgium (d. 1920)
  • 1879-04-28 Edgard Tytgat, Flemish painter and etcher, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1954)
  • 1881-04-21 Jules-Marie Canneel, Flemish painter and caricaturist (Rocks of Oran), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1953)
  • 1883-05-05 Léopold Samuel, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1975)
  • 1884-06-07 Julius P. Hoste, Belgium minister and daily newspaper publisher (Last News), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1954)
  • 1885-12-10 Mario Varvoglis, Greek composer, born in Brussels (d. 1967)
  • 1887-11-05 Oscar Bossaert, Belgian industrialist and chocolate manufacturer (Victoria), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1956)
  • 1889-06-27 Alfred Courtens, Belgian sculptor, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1967)
  • 1889-10-14 Jean Canneel, Flemish sculptor, born in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, Brussels, Belgium (d. 1963)
  • 1890-05-29 Francis de Bourguignon, Belgian composer, born in Brussels (d. 1961)
  • 1890-11-22 Jean-Jacques Gailliard, Belgian painter, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1976)
  • 1892-07-06 Willy Coppens, Belgian WW I fighter ace, born in Watermael-Boitsfort, Brussels, Belgium (d. 1986)
  • 1892-08-01 Constant Burniaux, Belgian writer (The Abandoned) and art historian (Temps Inquiets), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1975)
  • 1893-06-10 Franz Andre, Belgian conductor, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1975)
  • 1893-12-31 Max Lamberty, Flemish sociologist & author (Flemish Resurrection), born in Saint-Gilles, Brussels (d. 1975)
  • 1894-11-05 Henri de Page, Belgian private law scholar, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1969)
  • 1897-04-16 Arthur Charles Ernest Hoérée, Belgian-French composer, born in St. Gilles, Brussels, Belgium (d. 1986)
  • 1898-04-15 Nini de Boël, Flemish operette singer (White Horse), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1982)
  • 1900-06-12 Betsy van Es, Flemish actress (Sonna), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1955)
  • 1900-11-27 Léon Barzin, Belgian-American conductor (NY City Ballet 1948-58), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1999)
  • 1901-11-03 Leopold III [Filip von Saksen-Coburg], King of the Belgians (from 1934, abdicated 1951), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1983)
  • 1902-06-10 Gaston Brenta, Belgian composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1969)
  • 1903-06-08 Marguerite Yourcenar, French-American novelist (Memoirs of Hadrian, The Abyss), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1987)
  • 1903-10-10 Charles Théodore Henri Antoine Meinrad de Belgique, Count of Flanders, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1983)
  • 1908-11-28 Claude Lévi-Strauss, French social anthropologist and ethnologist (structuralism), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 2009)
  • 1909-12-25 Louis van Lint, Belgian painter (post-war abstraction), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1986)
  • 1910-10-14 Jozef Keuleers, Belgian worker's union leader, born in Watermael-Boitsfort, Brussels (d. 1986)
  • 1911-11-26 Raymond Scheyven, Belgian minister of Economic Affairs, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1987)
  • 1913-03-15 Lex Goudsmit, Dutch actor (Fiddler on the Roof, Thomas en Senior op het spoor van Brute Berend), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1999)
  • 1914-01-23 Napoleon L Bonaparte, French pretender to the throne, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1997)
  • 1914-07-01 Christl Cranz, German alpine skier (combined gold Winter Olympics 1936), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 2004)
  • 1914-08-26 Julio Cortázar, Argentine writer (Blow-Up, Underground Game), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1984)
  • 1916-10-19 Emil Gilels, Odessa Russia, pianist (Brussels Competition-1938)
  • 1918-09-14 Georges Berger, Belgian racing driver, born in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium (d. 1967)
  • 1921-04-25 Jean Mogin, Belgian poet, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1986)
  • 1922-04-29 Toots [Jean-Baptiste] Thielemans, Belgian-American jazz musician and composer, born in Brussels (d. 2016)
  • 1922-10-22 John Weidner, war hero, born in Brussels, Belgium

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

1857-07-27 Emperor of Mexico Maximilian I (25) weds princess Charlotte of Belgium (17) in Brussels

Emperor of Mexico Maximilian I
Emperor of Mexico
Maximilian I
  • 1959-07-02 Belgian Albert, Prince of Liège marries Dona Paola, Princess Ruffo di Calabria in Brussels
  • 1984-09-22 Brussels Princess Astrid marries Archduke Lorenz of Austrian-Este at Church of Our Lady of "De Zavel

LoveWedding of Interest

1999-12-04 Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium (38) and heir apparent to Belgium throne weds Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz (25) in Brussels, Belgium

King of Belgium Philippe of Belgium
King of Belgium
Philippe of Belgium
  • 2003-04-12 Prince Laurent of Belgium (39) weds land surveyor Claire Coombs (29) in Brussels, Belgium

Famous Deaths

  • 1389-03-31 Everhard Tserclaes, sheriff of Brussels, murdered
  • 1568-06-01 18 nobles beheaded in Brussels for treason and heresy by Duke of Alva and authority of Council of Troubles
  • 1568-06-05 Lamoral, Count of Egmont, Flemish general and statesman executed at 45
  • 1580-11-21 Willem Van Hoorn, baron of Heze, governor of Brussels, executed
  • 1830-02-18 Charles de Merode, Earl of Merode, Mayor of Brussels and French Senator, dies at 67
  • 1898-05-01 Alphonse Wauters, Belgian historian and archivist (Brussels), dies at 81
  • 1916-07-27 Charles Fryatt, British capt of SS Brussels, executed by Germans, dies

Person of interestGiacomo Puccini

1924-11-29 Giacomo Puccini, Italian composer (Mme Butterfly), dies in Brussels at 65

Composer Giacomo Puccini
Composer
Giacomo Puccini
  • 1981-06-01 Naim Chadir, PLO-representative in Brussels, murdered
  • 1982-01-20 Marc Demeyer, Belgian road racing cyclist (Paris-Brussels 1974), dies at 31