Bonaparte, Napoléon
(1769-1821)
   Napoléon Bonaparte made several visits to Brussels. In February 1798, he lodged at the Hotel d'Angleterre, rue de la Madeleine. On 21 July 1803, he arrived in the city via the porte de Laeken and spent about 10 days, residing at the Hôtel de la Préfecture, rue de Belle-Vue. Together with Josephine de Beauharnais, the first consul met local officials, visited manufacturing sites, and placed large orders for lace and carriages. As emperor he returned on an official visit in 1810 with Empress Marie-Louise and met protests at revenue reductions suffered by the city following its loss of jurisdiction over the cuves.
   Although less attentive to Brussels than to Antwerp, the latter metropolis important to continental defenses, Bonaparte ordered improvements in the city's jails, decreed the establishment of an art gallery, and issued an edict, in 1810, mandating construction of the inner ring of boulevards on the site of the dismantled second town wall. The emperor's attempt to return to the city in 1815 was checked at Waterloo.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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