Special Sub-Topic: Belgium in the XVIIIth Century
|In 1695, French artillery bombardments devastated a major Belgian city. The Town Square was entirely rebuilt in the following years. All houses (except the City Hall) date from 1695-1705. Some examples: "De Hertogen van Brabant" ("The Dukes of Brabant"), "De Coninck van Spaignien" (old Dutch for "The King of Spain"), "In de Gulden Boom" ("In the Golden Tree"), "De Gulden Boot" ("The Golden Boat") and "De Roos" ("The Rose"). "The Rose" was a new house completed in 1702. In which city can we find a Town Square with all these houses?|
Brussels. As Bruges and Ghent are cities in the County Flanders, and never were part of the Duchy Brabant, it would seem highly unlikely to find a house entitled "The Dukes of Brabant" over there.
Antwerp was sacked and damaged by the Spanish troops in 1585, not by the French in 1695. For the real amateurs, I add that the Antwerp Town Square has no house bearing the names I mentioned. The Antwerp Town Square includes houses entitled "The Golden Bear" and "The Golden Horse".
All the houses on the Brussels Town Square present a façade in the same style in the early XVIIIth century. These façades are protected by law: every owner has to maintain the façade as it was back then. (Similar rules apply to many ancient buildings in Belgian cities, for example to most buildings in the tourist centre of Bruges).
"The King of Spain" is now in use as a pub and restaurant. In "The Rose", there is a lace shop. "The Golden Boat" sells pictures and postcards. "In the Golden Tree" houses the Confederation of Belgian Breweries, which has provided a museum on Belgian beers in this house.
In "The Dukes of Brabant", one can visit the chocolate museum: all about the history of (mainly Belgian) chocolate.
|The police arrested Frans Anneessens in 1719. As he opposed the levy of taxes, he was held responsible for starting a riot. He was executed September 19th, 1719. Of which guild was he the dean (head)? Since this is a quite difficult question, I'll hint that I've always considered Frans Anneessens a hardheaded person.|
Stonemasons. Frans Van Ypen was the dean of the fruit merchants. He remained loyal to the Austrian government led by Prince Eugene of Savoy.
Frans Van der Borcht (another Frans - it was quite a popular Christian name back then) was the revolting dean of the clothiers. Jean-François Lejeune was also revolting. He was the dean of the saddle makers.
So the only correct answer is Frans Anneessens who was the dean of the stonemasons. Hence my hint about him being a hardheaded person.
|According to some sources, the forceps were an English invention kept secret for about a century. However, most sources indicate that a Belgian physician invented the forceps in 1723. Who was this Belgian physician?|
Jan Palfyn. Palfyn was born in 1650 and died in 1730. Several hospitals in Flanders were named after him.
Boerhaave (1668-1738) was a Dutch physician credited with the reform of medical studies.
Mesmer (1734-1815) was an Austrian who thought he could cure almost any disease by what he called "animal magnetism". When his cure didn't help a blind boy in 1778, the Viennese considered him to be a fraud and he had to flee the country.
Jenner (1749-1823) invented the vaccine for smallpox. As he made use of the bacteria causing cowpox to prevent smallpox, he named this method "vaccination" after the Latin word for cow ("vacca"). Taken literally, vaccinating someone would be translated as "cowing" the patient.
|An Antwerp architect and sculptor died in 1728. Who was this architect and sculptor, who created the pulpit in the Antwerp church dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo?|
Jan Pieter van Baurscheit. Delvaux (1696-1778) designed the pulpits in the Saint Bavo's Church (Ghent) and Saint Gertrude's Church (Nivelles).
Garemyn (1712-1799) was mainly known for his paintings. He created the pulpit in the church of Our Lady in Bruges.
Apparently pulpits were a booming industry in the XVIIIth Century.
Defrance (1735-1805) was born in Liège. He was quite a popular painter. You can admire his "The Rope Dance" in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.
Van Baurscheit (1669-1728) belonged to an important family of Antwerp architects. His son designed the Osterrieth house, which you can still visit in Antwerp.
|In 1741, a famous composer was born in Liège. His portrait was once depicted on the banknotes of 1,000 Belgian francs (an amount now equivalent to about 25 Euros). Some of his operas include "Zemire et Azor" ("Zemire and Azor", the names of the two protagonists) and "L'amant jaloux" ("The Jealous Lover"). What is his name?|
André Modeste Grétry. Grétry died in 1813. He wrote about 50 operas.
Beethoven (1770-1821) was a German composer, although one of his ancestors was Belgian. His only opera is "Fidelio". Beethoven is especially famous for his nine symphonies.
Auber (1782-1871) was a French composer. Most historians consider that the Belgian Revolution of 1830 started with Auber's opera "La Muette de Portici" ("The Mute Girl of Portici"), although some think that this opera only was the spark igniting the fire.
Gossec (1734-1829) was a Belgian composer, born in the territory that is now the province of Hainaut. His operas include "Les Pêcheurs" ("The Fishermen") and "Thésée" ("Theseus").
|Laurent-Benoît Dewez (1731-1812) started the rebuilding of a Trappist monastery in what is now the Belgian province of Luxembourg. He wanted to create here what he called "the world's most beautiful monastery". Which was this monastery?|
Orval. All these monasteries have given their name to a delicious Belgian beer. Floreffe, Maredsous and Chimay are situated in what is now the province of Namur.
Legend states that Mathilde of Tuscany lost her golden engagement ring. A trout brought it back to her in Mathilda's well, a fountain that still is situated in the Orval monastery. The village of Orval owes its name to this legend: Mathilda would have exclaimed, "This really is a Golden Valley", which translated into French is: "une vallée en or".
Floreffe is a monastery of St. Norbert's Order. Dewez rebuilt it in 1770.
Maredsous is a Benedictine monastery. It has given its name not only to a Belgian beer, but also to a Belgian cheese. Although the cheese is produced locally, the beer isn't: it is brewed in the province of Antwerp.
There are only six producers of Trappist ale: Orval, Chimay, Rochefort, Westmalle, Achel and Westvleteren. The name of Trappist ale is protected by law: only beers brewed on the grounds of a Trappist monastery, under supervision of Trappist monks, can earn the title of Trappist ale - on condition furthermore that the profits are used for the benefit of the monastery or for good works supported by the monks.
|Sebastien Zoude obtained in 1753 the patent necessary to open a new factory near Namur. Nowadays the same industry is still present in Belgium, but the main factory is now near Liège. What did Sebastien Zoude produce?|
Crystal. The industry I refer to is the crystal industry, nowadays "crystallised" in the factory of Val Saint Lambert near Liège.
In 1751, François-Joseph Peterinck was granted the right to open Belgium's first china factory near Tournai.
Ernest Solvay patented in 1861 a cheap method to produce sodium bicarbonate. Although this method had already been known and used for about fifty years, Solvay was the first to start mass production based upon this patent. In the XXIst century, Solvay is still one of the main chemical industries in Belgium.
Barbed wire was never patented in Belgium. Several people obtained patents in the U.S.A. Joseph Glidden is the one who is credited with "inventing" barbed wire: he patented in 1874 an improved version, suitable for mass production.
|Joseph II became Emperor of Austria (and ruler of Belgium) in 1780. He ruled Austria and Belgium as an absolute monarch. The Parliament (composed of representatives of the nobility, the clergy and the bourgeoisie) was not abolished, but Joseph ruled without them. In 1790, both the conservative forces and the liberal forces of Belgium revolted. Both wanted a strong Parliament. Who led the liberal rebels, and in fact gave his name to this movement?|
Jan Frans Vonck. Vonck (1743-1792) was born near Alost. He became lawyer in Brussels. He founded the association "Pro Ara et Foci" ("For altar and home"). The members of this association revolted in 1790 and soon were known by the name of "Vonckists".
Van der Noot (1731-1827) was born into a family of the lesser nobility. He led the conservative rebels during the Brabant Revolution.
Van Gansen (1766-1842) was one of the leaders of the Flemish Peasant War in 1798.
De Méan (1756-1831) was the last Prince-Bishop of Liège (from 1792 till 1794). The French government that took over Belgium, abolished this title in 1794.
|The Flemish Peasants' War started on October 12th, 1798. Several groups of Flemish farmers revolted against the French occupation, mostly because of the military service law: every citizen aged 20-25 had to serve in the French army. Another burning issue was the many anti-clerical laws (e.g. the abolition of the monasteries). What is the nickname of the French army against whom this revolt took place?|
Sans-culottes. The dress code of the French army was quite modern at that time. Instead of the knee breeches associated with the nobility (and called in French "culottes"), every French soldier had to wear trousers. So the French army was nicknamed "sans-culottes" meaning "without kneebreeches". In modern French, "culottes" also means "underpants", which gives the name "sans-culottes" quite another dimension ...
"Brigand" is a French word for outlaw, which was used quite generally to designate the Flemish rebels. Some of the leaders were Van Gansen (1766-1842), Emmanuel Rollier (1769-1851) and Pieter Corbeels (1755-1799).
The "Statists" were the conservative rebels against Emperor Joseph II of Austria during the Brabant Revolution. Their leader was Hendrik van der Noot.
The Boers are a group of people, mostly Dutch settlers, in South Africa. They lost two wars against the British (1880-1881 and 1899-1902).
|In 1799 a Ghent businessman started a factory with the latest spinning and weaving machines, mostly smuggled out of England. Who was this entrepreneur?|
Lieven Bauwens. Bauwens (1769-1822) was originally a tanner. While visiting England, he noticed the opportunities the new machinery would offer. So he smuggled the machines to Paris and later to Ghent in order to set up his own company.
William Cockerill (1757-1832) was an English entrepreneur who founded in 1799 a machine factory in Verviers (near Liège). His son John (1790-1840) was the founder of the Liège steel industry (now part of Arcelor).
Daguerre (1787-1851) and Nicéphore Nièpce (1765-1833) were the pioneers of photography. Nièpce invented the photographing techniques, Daguerre improved them so that they were suitable for mass production.
Van Musschenbroeck (1692-1761) experimented with electricity. He invented the "Leyden jar", one of the very first attempts to store electricity.
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