6/50.- Brussels, T'Serclaes Monument


The monument underneath the arcades of the Maison de l'Étoile at the Brussels Grand Place commemorates Everard t'Serclaes, a 14th-century popular Brussels hero. T'Serclaes was caught up in a territorial feud with the Lord of Gaasbeek, who had his castle just outside Brussels. In 1388, when riding alone on the road from Brussels to Lennik, Serclaes was ambushed by the bailiff of Gaasbeek and Gaasbeek's bastard son, who chopped off one of his feet and cut his tongue. The Brussels hero was transported to the Maison de l'Étoile, where he died. The Brussels citizens avenged Serclaes' death by storming and destroying the Gaasbeek castle, pillaging its chicken pens and feasting on the chickens. This event has earned the Brusselers the nickname of "kiekenfretters", i.e. "chicken-eaters". Local superstition has it that stroking the statue, especially Serclaes' arm and the dog's nose, brings luck. Be that as it may, it certainly keeps the statue shiny.

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