Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Legacy of King Leopold II

I had not read much about how much controversy surrounded King Leopold II until I came to university and discovered how many people really hate him. All I knew of King Leopold II was the stern figure of pictures and statues but what I associate the most with Leopold II was the many buildings he left behind. As a child I was taken to see the sights and remember it seemed as if everything really magnificent was built by King Leopold II. Because of that I assume is why the image in my mind I have of his reign was an image of splendor and greatness for the country, a time when Belgians were together in big dreams, big adventures and basically acting bigger than most countries so small would. I always like that. It is hard to view all of these tremendous buildings and not have an awesome feeling I think. I wish the coastal retreat had been finished, what I have heard makes me think that would have been magnificent but, here are some favorites I recall of the magnificent monuments left behind by the second King of the Belgians, the legacy of Leopold II.
The Chinese Pavilion at Laeken Palace

The Cinquantenaire
The Royal Greenhouse at Laeken

The Royal Museum for Central Africa

The Japanese Tower at Laeken

The Antwerp Central Railway Station


  1. What a coincidence. Only today I subject to (most) of a lecture on Leopold II -I finally had to leave as I could take no more of it. I will simply say that many of his critics are not the humanitarians they pretend to be but are simply pushing an agenda. That doesn't change the facts of what happened because of his policies but, well, it's not so simple as many would like us to think.

  2. The Cinquantenaire picture was amazing....
    It was truely amazing

  3. It is one of my favorites, they are all magnificent though, the Royal Greenhouse also is amazing, it was hard to choose one picture to show of it, the dome is tremendous.