- Tour & Taxis
- The Taxis or Tassis family was originally from Bergamo, Italy, and became the operators of the postal system in the Hapsburg lands. In 1489 the family was commissioned to establish the first regular postal link between the household of Margaret of York, widow of Charles the Bold, under whose tutelage the children of Maximilian of Austria were raised, and Innsbruck, Austria, the residence of the court. Emperor Charles V appointed Jean-Baptiste the first master-general of the mails in Brussels in 1516. He established a regular link between Brussels and Vienna. The family residence was constructed at that time at a site along the current rue de la Régence. In the 17th century the family commissioned the building of a burial chapel in the church of Notre-Dame du Sablon. Designed by Luc Fayd'herbe and V. Anthony, the black marble baroque chapel is dedicated to Saint Ursula. A statue of the saint by Jérôme Duquesnoy is featured.Anselme-François Taxis was born in Brussels on 30 January 1681. In 1715, he was invested by Emperor Charles VI as hereditary general of the posts, which he began to operate in 1725. He implemented improvements in faster mail services and secured a law requiring towns to provide more than one letterbox. He died in Brussels on 8 November 1739 and was the last of the family to be interred in the church. The family town house was demolished in 1872 when the rue de la Régence was extended to the Palais de Justice.The family owned large tracts of land, including a 45 ha (l13 acre) site adjacent to the Willebroeck Canal on which a sprawling industrial complex was built at the turn of the 20th century. The facilities housed customs offices for the city's inland port as well as railway yards and station, a post office, office buildings, and warehouses, including the massive five-storey, glass-and-iron roofed Entrepôt royal warehouse. The complex was closed in the 1980s and it has been used for occasional cultural events. The Entrepôt royal is undergoing restoration and tentative plans are under consideration to redevelop the site with hotels, offices, shops, museums, and entertainment complexes.See also Transportation and Communications.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.