Bourse/Beurs
(Place de la Bourse)
   On 17 September 1693 a city ordinance was issued regulating the operation of a stock market under precisely defined terms. It was established to promote economic growth in conjunction with efforts undertaken by the governor, Elector Maximilian II Emmanuel. It proved short-lived. In 1777, a dozen bankers and merchants resolved to create a stock exchange and they agreed to meet every workday at the Hôtel de Ville. On 3 April 1781, city officials informed Charles of Lorraine that a decree authorizing a commercial stock exchange had been enacted.
   The Brussels Stock Exchange opened its doors on 8 July 1801. Originally housed in a former Augustinian monastery, the exchange was located in several different buildings. The structure within which trading takes place today is situated in the lower town near the location of Charles of France's original castrum and occupies the site of a Franciscan convent founded in the 13th century. The building was designed by Léon Suys and was erected between 1868 and 1873. The Bourse opened for trading on 27 December 1873.
   Set back from boulevard Jules Anspach, the neoclassical structure is built in the style of a Greek temple, the simplicity of which stands in stark contrast to an abundance of sculptural decorations that make it the most ornate of all of the city's 19th-century buildings. The summit of the façade features an allegorical sculpture of Belgium Teaching Commercial and Industrial Expansion by Jacques Jacquet (1828-1899). Between the attic and the column-fronted wall on the south front is a frieze by Albert-Ernest Carrier Belleuse (1824-1877) that includes works by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) and Julien Dillens.
   Following a fire in the basement in November 1990, the building has been extensively renovated. The shares of most Belgian companies are traded on the exchange.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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