The Leopold I monument in De Panne

When Belgium became an independent country in 1831, it had declared in its constitution that there should be a King. After considering several other candidates, 'Leopold, Joris, Christiaan, Frederik von Saksen-Coburg' was asked if he would be the first king of the new state. Leopold was born in Germany but lived in England, he also had British nationality. Leopold accepted.

Picture by Harry Fabel

The new King arrived in France on July 17, 1831, by ship. From Calais, he was taken to 'De Panne' by coach. This was the place where he first entered and saw Belgium, later he traveled on to Brussels. On July 21 he takes the oath as the first King of the Belgians. At the place where he had his first contact with Belgian soil, this monument was later raised.

Picture by Harry Fabel

The design of the monument is by architect 'Victor Martiny'. On October 5, 1958, at the 125th anniversary of the Belgian dynasty, Mayor Gevaert revealed the monument in the presence of King Boudewijn and Prime Minister Gaston Eyskens.

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