- Anspach, Jules Victor
- (1829-1879)A lawyer, councillor, and burgomaster of Brussels, Jules Anspach was born in Brussels on 20 July 1829. His father was a merchant and founding member of the Liberal Party. A brilliant student at the Athenée and the Université libre de Bruxelles, Anspach graduated with a degree in law in 1851, and he entered the bar and married the same year. He became a member of the communal council in 1857 and alderman for public instruction and fine arts at that time. Following the death of André-Napoléon Fontainas, he was appointed burgomaster by royal decree on 15 December 1863 and he held the post until his death.An ardent Liberal who strove to unite discordant factions among party members, Anspach was also acutely conscious of the miseries of working-class residents, and his active promotion of urban development stemmed in part from a concern to ameliorate their condition. He toured working-class districts during the 1866 cholera epidemic, and he worked to secure the vaulting of the Senne River. Wide boulevards were constructed on the site during his tenure.A tireless proponent of development, Anspach oversaw demolition of the Notre-Dame aux Neiges district in 1871, enlargement of rue d'Arenberg and creation of the Brussels cemetery at Evere in 1875, completion of a city sewage system, and the introduction of trams on rails, which he enthusiastically promoted.A deputy for Brussels in the Chamber of Representatives, he was known as a skillful orator who used his national position to justify his urban policies and defend himself against critics, who opposed some urban schemes and attacked him on municipal matters, notably the inability of the police to restrain rioters in 1871.Worn out from overwork, Anspach died at 49 on 19 May 1879. The city gave his name to one of the boulevards he had created, and a monument in his honor—a fountain standing 20 m /(66 ft.) high— was erected on the place de Brouckère, which was later moved to the quai aux Briques to facilitate construction of the metro.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.