90 Route 12. BRUSSELS. Palais de Justice.
The scholar; 67. Mieris, Fishwoman. — Above the door: Berck-Hepde,
Inner court of the Amsterdam Exchange. — To the right of the door:
J. Ruysdael, Landscapes; A. Cuyp , Horses; D. Teniers, Farmyard, Pea¬
sant smoking; Van der Heist, Dutch wedded couple, Portrait of a man;
A. van Dyck, Portrait of a Due d'Arenberg; Teniers, Man selling shells;
Fr. Hals, The drinker; Everdingen, Waterfall; Terburg, Portrait; Fr.Hals,
Two boys singing; Rubens, Two portraits and a sketch. — On the window-
wall: Portrait of Marie Antoinette, painted in the Temple by Koharsky,
shortly before the unfortunate queen was removed to the Conciergerie.
The Library contains antique vases, statuettes, and busts in marble,
including the admirable * Head of Laocoon, found about the year 1710
under a bridge in Florence, and purchased by an ancestor of the duke.
It is supposed to be an Italian copy of the head of the well-known Roman
Laocoon (a cast of which is placed beside it for comparison), executed
soon after the ancient sculpture was discovered in 1506.
The adjoining Gardens are kept in admirable order (fee 1 fr.).
A few houses above the palace, to the left, is the prison of Les
Petits Carmes (PL D, E, 5), the front of which (set apart for
female convicts) was built in 1847 by Dumont in the English Gothic
style. A Carmelite monastery formerly occupied this site.
Somewhat higher up stood the house of Count Kuylenburg, memo¬
rable under Philip II. as the place of assembly of the Netherlands nobles
who began the struggle against the supremacy of Spain. Here, on 6th
April, 1566, they signed a petition ('Request') to the vice-regent Margaret
of Parma (natural daughter of Charles V. and sister of Philip II.), pray¬
ing for the abolition of the inquistorial courts, after which between three
and four hundred of the confederates proceeded on horseback to the palace
of the Duchess, in the Place Royale. At the moment when the petition was
presented, Count Barlaimont, one of the courtiers, whispered to the princess,
whose apprehensions had been awakened by the sudden appearance of the
cortege, 'Madame, ce n'est qu'une troupe de gueux' (i.e , beggars), in allusion
to their supposed want of money. The epithet was overheard, and ra¬
pidly communicated to the whole party, who afterwards chose it for the
name of their faction. On the same evening several of their number,
among whom was Count Brederode, disguised as a beggar with a wooden
goblet (jatte) in his hand, appeared on the balcony of the residence of
Count Kuylenburg and drank success to the 'Gueux'; while each of the
other confederates, in token of his approval, struck a nail into the goblet.
The spark thus kindled soon burst into a flame, and a few years later
caused the N. provinces of the Netherlands to be severed from the do¬
minions of Spain- When the Duke of Alva entered Brussels in 1567, he
fixed his residence in Count Kuylenburg's house and here caused the
arrest of Counts Egmont and Hoorn. Afterwards he ordered it to he
razed to the ground.
Farther on, to the left, stands the new Conservatoire de Mu¬
sique (PL 11; D, 5), designed by Cluysenaar. The Conservatoire
possesses an interesting collection of old musical instruments from
the 16th cent, onwards, which was augmented in 1879 by the
acquisition of the Tolbecque collection from Paris, and is now ex¬
hibited at No. 11 Rue auxLaines, at the back of the building (adm.
on Thurs., 2-4). •— On the same side rises the new Synagogue
(PL 63), a building in a simple and severe style by De Keyser.
The new ** Palais de Justice (PL C, D, 5), which terminates
the Rue de la Re"gence on the S., an edifice designed on a most am¬
bitious scale by Poelaert, and begun in 1866 under the superinten¬
dence of Wellens, was formally inaugurated in 1883, at the jubilee
of Belgium's existence as a separate kingdom. The cost of the