How many times have you passed on Lambermontplaats? Shaking on your bike or in the car? And how many times have you seen the grand fountain, basically a roundabout? Well, first a step back.
This area is called Lambermontplaats since 1908, before it was a part of the Leopold de Waelstraat. And who is Lambermont? The baron F. A. Lambermont -died in the 1905- was Secretary general of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and he played a decisive role in the negotiations to buy off the heavy toll to cross the Schelde from the Netherlands, in 1863. After signing the agreement on the 15thof July of that year, he received the baron title from King Leopold I.
Good, now we can start. On 1910, decided the Fédération des Associations Commerciales et Industrielles de Belgique to remember the Baron with a monument and the different projects were exhibited at the Brusselse Jubelpark. The winner was this imposing work of the sculptor Léandre Grandmoulin and the architect F. van Holder, revealed on 15thof August 1912 in the presence of King Albert and Queen Elisabeth.
The middle section is a stone boat: enriched with exotic fruits representation of the Congo, the vessel symbolizes the free passage on the Schelde. In the back of the boat, the Baron Lambermont sits on a bench, a piece of paper on his hand, thinking about his political achievements, engraved – both in French and Dutch- in the stone (1861: review of the toll system; 1863 release of the Schelde; 1874 judge of neutral nations; 1885 recognition of Congo; 1890 conference against slavery).
But it’s not all. On the middle pedestal three bronze figures: a woman with arms spread, personification of the Progess, on her left a naked man symbols of the Trade, on the right a squatting naked woman, with floral garland and gear, representation of the Industry. On the western pedestal, we see a naked man with a globe, compass, ruler and book: traditional symbols of the Science. And finally, on the eastern pedestal a squatting naked woman with two children and fruit, symbol of the Nature.
On Lambermontplaats not only the central fountain is a protected monument. For example, the building Lambermontplaats 12-13 is considered a testimonial of the past and it has been projected by the architect A. Van der Heyden.