Lombard, Rue de/Lombardstraat
   This street originated in the 13th century when it was called rue des Fourons. Alarger street than its neighbors, it housed markets and craft shops. The name change reflected the many moneylenders living here, who were designated Lombards in reference to early financial operators from Lom-bardy, Italy, who were known for charging excessive rates of interest. Archduke Albert and Archduchess Isabella decreed a limit on the amount of legal interest and they decreed construction here of an official lending house—Mont de Piété—built by their architect Wenceslaus Coeberger in 1618. It was closed in 1798 during the French regime but reopened in 1810. The building was demolished in 1847 to facilitate paving of the rue de Chemin de fer (today part of rue du Midi). To meet complaints of lack of access between the lower town and the upper town at the turn of the 20th century, the street was extended to the place Saint-Jean and the newer section was lined with upscale residences and specialty stores.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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