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The compelling story of a metropolis

The Age of Brussels

Eric Min

Brussels is a scale model of the best western culture has to offer between 1850 and 1914. It was an artistic powder keg and a  laboratory where society got its new form. In the capital of the young kingdom Belgium – then the third economic world power – old forms and thoughts were skillfully analyzed and replaced by others: from symbolism and art nouveau to relentless avant-garde art, from socialist field work to anarchistic riot. In Brussels nothing was unthought-of.

An effervescent portrait of the artistically and politically foaming city Brussels was between 1850 and 1914.

Refugees and adventurers, thinkers and doers, finders and inventors washed ashore in this elegant city where life was good - ask Baudelaire, Marx, Rodin, Ensor, Multatuli and all those others, read it in the writings of Teirlinck or Van de Woestijne. Forgotten armchair scholars and inspired poets, typesetters and  artists of all sorts, literary and libertarian conspirators lived or settled themselves in this city that became a free port for all those  hanging around in the margins. History was being written.