Arcade du Cinquantenaire

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Arcade du Cinquantenaire
Brussels Cinquantenaire R03.jpg
Alternative names French: Arcades du Cinquantenaire
General information
Type Triumphal arch
Architectural style Neoclassicism
Location Cinquantenaire, Brussels, Belgium
Coordinates 50°50′25″N 4°23′34″E / 50.84028°N 4.39278°E / 50.84028; 4.39278
Construction started 4 January 1905
Completed 27 September 1905
Design and construction
Architect Gédéon Bordiau, Charles Girault
The quadriga

Arcade du Cinquantenaire or Arcades du Cinquantenaire is a monumental triple arch in the center of the Cinquantenaire park in Brussels, Belgium. It is topped by a bronze quadriga sculptural group with a woman charioteer, representing Brabant raising the national flag,[1] the columns echo the original layout of Avenue de Tervuren, which was once divided into three roadways lined with a double row of trees.[2] The sidewalls feature personifications of Belgian provinces: Brabant being represented by the quadriga, East Flanders, West Flanders, Antwerp, Liège, Hainaut, Limburg, Namur and Luxembourg. Twelve spandrels are decorated with allegories of Arts and Industry.[2]

History[edit]

The arch was a part of a project planned by Leopold II of Belgium, who wanted to beautify Brussels,[2] the idea of the arch was originally conceived by Gédéon Bordiau, but upon his death in 1904 the arch's design was revised by Charles Girault.[2] Girault designed a triple arcade, but preserved Bordiau's idea of the quadriga,[2] the foundation of the arch was laid down on 4 January 1905.Funding for the arch came from rubber exports from the Congo Free State (source: Reader's Africa[2] The basic construction was completed in May of the same year and the arch was inaugurated by Leopold II on 27 September 1905.[2]

In 1912 the colonnade's interior was decorated with the mosaic by Jean Delville, he was then joined by several other artists.[2] The mosaic decoration was completed in 1932.

Quadriga[edit]

The arch's bronze quadriga was made by Thomas Vinçotte and horses by Jules Lagae,[2] the pedestal, facing Avenue de Tervuren, bears the inscription: "This monument was erected in 1905 for the glorification of the independence of Belgium", with the year shown in Roman numerals.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDonald, George (2011). Frommer's Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. John Wiley & Sons. p. 113. ISBN 1118061519. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Arcade et hémicycle Parc du Cinquantenaire" (in French). L'inventaire du patrimoine architectural de la Région de Bruxelles-Capitale. Retrieved 25 May 2014.