The square and the monument are the burial site of over 467 people, who died during fights for Belgian independence in a short gun revolution that started after an opera performance (held in Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, located five minutes of walk from the Martyr’s square, on August 1830, 25th) and lasted around one month. The most of those people were killed during street fights that took place on 23-26th September. However under a ceasefire, a new Belgian government was established on the 26th of September, and independence was proclaimed on the 5th of October.
The independence was regained from the Kingdom of the Netherlands (unofficially United Kingdom of the Netherlands) under the rule of Orange-Nassau House that was given the present Belgian territories after the Congress of Vienna in 1815. Prior to the Dutch rule, Belgians were under Spanish and the Austrian rule (XVII-XVIII centuries), and later after the French revolution and during the Napoleonic wars, they were included into the French Republic. Congress of Vienna was held after the Napoleonic wars and was the first pan-European peace agreement that divided Europe among its biggest powers (>>>). That time the Belgian interests were not taken into account. But still the independence came 15 years later.
The statue at the top of the Patria monument is symbolising the motherland (otherwise from Latin – Patria) stepping on the chains of oppression.
The monument and reliefs at its base.
Index of posts on BENELUX >>>