Fontainas, André-Napoléon
(1807-1863)
   The fifth burgomaster of Brussels, André-Napoléon Fontainas was born in the city on 23 December 1807. His father, from the Auvergne region in France, settled in Brussels in 1796 and worked at the Amigo prison. Fontainas studied law at the University of Leuven and trained at the Brussels bar. A staunch Liberal, he was elected to the communal council in 1841 and appointed an alderman in 1846. Appointed to a seat in the Chamber of Representatives in 1849, Fontainas resigned the next year and gave up his legal practice to devote full-time efforts to city government. He worked especially on social issues in striving to alleviate slum conditions and improve educational facilities. As first alderman in 1860, he was appointed burgomaster by King Leopold I at the end of the year, but he served only 30 months. Fontainas died on 19 July 1863. In recognition of his work in education, the communal council authorized construction of a block of housing reserved for retired schoolteachers. The Cité Fontainas was inaugurated on 26 September 1867.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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