Programme

Walking tour

The Congo on display in Parc du Cinquantenaire/Jubelpark (fully booked)

© urban.brussels

In 1897, Belgium inaugurated an International Exhibition with pavilions built at two locations: Parc du Cinquantenaire/Jubelpark and Parc de Tervuren/Tervurenpark. The event celebrated the ‘civilising mission’ of Leopold II, who had been sovereign of the Congo Free State since 1885. The newly built Avenue de Tervueren/Tervurenlaan connected the two sites. After the death of Leopold II, sculptor Thomas Vinçotte was commissioned to create a monument in Parc du Cinquantenaire/Jubelpark honouring the first Belgian colonisers. It depicts grateful Congolese alongside Belgian missionary and military values, while the Congo River meanders quietly and symbolically at the base of the monument. There is no reference to colonial abuses. In recent years, the work has been repeatedly daubed with red paint – proof, if it were needed, that in 2022 Belgium’s colonisation of the Congo is no longer viewed as it was at the start of the 20th century.

In cooperation with Klare Lijn.

Practical information

Sat. & Sun. at 10:30 (EN), Sat. & Sun. at 13:30 (NL) (duration: 2 hours)

Starting point: Mérode/Merode metro station, entrance at the corner of Avenue de Tervueren/Tervurenlaan and Avenue des Celtes/Keltenlaan, Etterbeek

Advance booking required. Up to 20 people per tour.