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

Historic Event

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

Historic Event

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
  • 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
  • 1867-02-13 Work begins on the covering of the Senne, burying Brussels's primary river and creating the modern central boulevards

Music History

1881-12-19 Opera "Hérodiade" by Jules Massenet is produced in Brussels

Historic Event

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

Music History

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, Belgium
  • 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 WWII: German troops conquer Antwerp, Belgium
  • 1944-09-03 Tank division of British Guards free Brussels
  • 1944-09-05 Allies liberate Brussels
  • 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 Plane crash kills entire US figure skating team outside Brussels airport in Belgium enroute to World Championships in Prague from NYC; 73 crew and passengers (including 34 American skaters, coaches, officials, and other team members), and a farmer on the ground 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

Historic Event

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

Sports History

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

Historic Event

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

  • 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

Historic Event

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


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)

Andreas VesaliusAndreas Vesalius (1514-1564)

1514-12-31 Flemish physician and anatomist (De humani corporis fabrica), born in Brussels, Habsburg Netherlands (now Belgium)

  • 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, Spanish Netherlands (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 Aimé 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 William 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, Belgian violin prodigy, composer, and teacher (Brussels Conservatory), born in Verviers, United Kingdom of the Netherlands (now Belgium) (d. 1881)
  • 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 (1st Socialist to win Nobel Peace Prize 1913), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1943)
  • 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, Belgian politician, (mayor of Brussels, Belgium) (d. 1958)
  • 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, Belgian journalist, daily newspaper publisher (Last News), and politician (Minister of Education, 1936-38; Senator 1949-54), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1954)
  • 1885-12-10 Marios Varvoglis, Greek composer (Behind the Barbed Wire Fence), born in Brussels, Belgium (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 operetta 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, Soviet concert pianist (Brussels Competition - 1st prize, 1938), born in Odessa, Russian Empire (now Ukraine) (d. 1985)
  • 1918-09-14 Georges Berger, Belgian racing driver, born in Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, Brussels, Belgium (d. 1967)
  • 1921-04-25 Jean Mogin, Belgian poet (Pastures of Silence), and playwright, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1986)
  • 1922-04-29 (Jean-Baptiste) "Toots" Thielemans, Belgian-American jazz harmonica player, guitarist, whistler, and composer, born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 2016)
  • 1922-10-22 John Weidner, war hero, born in Brussels, Belgium
  • 1924-01-12 Olivier Gendebien, Belgian auto racer (24 hours of Le Mans 1958, 60-62), born in Brussels, Belgium (d. 1998)

Famous Weddings

Maximilian I

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

  • 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

Philippe of Belgium

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

  • 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

Giacomo PucciniGiacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

1924-11-29 Italian opera composer (La bohème; Tosca; Madame Butterfly), dies in Brussels at 65

  • 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