Leopold II of Belgium

Leopold IIKing Leopold IILéopold II, King of the BelgiansKing Leopold II of BelgiumKing LeopoldLeopold II, King of the BelgiansKing Leopold II of the BelgiansLéopold IILeopold II of the BelgiansKing Leopold of Belgium
Leopold II (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909.wikipedia
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Congo Free State

CongoCongoleseHeads of state of the Congo Free State
Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf.
It was ruled personally by Leopold II and not by the government of Belgium, of which he was the constitutional monarch.

Henry Morton Stanley

Henry M. StanleyStanleySir Henry Morton Stanley
He used Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Stanley is also known for his search for the source of the Nile, his pioneering work that enabled the plundering of the Congo Basin region by King Leopold II of Belgium, and his command of the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition.

Force Publique

A colonial militaryBelgian colonial forcesBelgo-Congolese forces
Leopold ignored these conditions and ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal gain.
The Force Publique was initially conceived in 1885 when King Leopold II of the Belgians, who held the Congo Free State as his private property, ordered his Secretary of the Interior to create military and police forces for the State.

Berlin Conference

Conference of BerlinBerlin Conference (1884)Berlin West Africa Conference
At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations of Europe authorized his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improving the lives of the native inhabitants.
In 1876, King Leopold II of Belgium, who had previously founded and controlled the International African Association that same year, invited Henry Morton Stanley to join him in researching and 'civilizing' the continent.

Atrocities in the Congo Free State

atrocitiescolonial atrocitiesa reign of terror
Leopold's administration of the Congo was characterised by murder, torture, and atrocities, resulting from notorious systematic brutality.
In the period from 1885 to 1908, many well-documented atrocities were perpetrated in the Congo Free State (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) which, at the time, was a colony under the personal rule of King Leopold II of the Belgians.

Monarchy of Belgium

King of the BelgiansKingMonarch
Leopold II (9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909.
Leopold's son, King Leopold II is chiefly remembered for the founding and capitalization of the Congo Free State as a personal fiefdom.

Leopold I of Belgium

Leopold IKing Leopold ILéopold I, King of the Belgians
Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch.
He died in 1865 and was succeeded by his son, Leopold II.

Albert I of Belgium

Albert IKing Albert IKing Albert
The current Belgian king descends from his nephew and successor, Albert I.
1831 – 1865)), the first King of the Belgians, and his wife, Louise-Marie of France, and the younger brother of King Leopold II of Belgium ((r.

Brussels

Brussels, BelgiumBrussels-Capital RegionBruxelles
Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch. The public buildings were mainly in Brussels, Ostend and Antwerp, and include the Hippodrome Wellington racetrack, the Royal Galleries and Maria Hendrikapark in Ostend; the Royal Museum for Central Africa and its surrounding park in Tervuren; the Cinquantenaire park, triumphal arch and complex, and the Duden Park in Brussels, and the 1895-1905 Antwerpen-Centraal railway station.
This development continued throughout the reign of King Leopold II.

Marie Henriette of Austria

Queen Marie HenrietteArchduchess Marie Henriette of AustriaMarie Henriette
On 22 August 1853, at the age of 18, he married Marie Henriette of Austria in Brussels. On 15 November 1902, Italian anarchist Gennaro Rubino attempted to assassinate Leopold, who was riding in a royal cortege from a ceremony at Saint-Gudule Cathedrale in memory of his recently deceased wife, Marie Henriette.
Marie Henriette of Austria (Marie Henriette Anne; 23 August 1836 – 19 September 1902) was Queen of the Belgians as the wife of King Leopold II.

Caroline Lacroix

Blanche Zélia Joséphine DelacroixCaroline Delacroixhis marital infidelity
In 1899, in his sixty-fifth year, Leopold took as a mistress Caroline Lacroix, a sixteen-year-old French prostitute, and they remained together for the next decade until his death.
Blanche Zélia Joséphine Delacroix, better known as Caroline Lacroix (13 May 1883 – 12 February 1948), was the most prominent and notorious of Leopold II of Belgium's mistresses.

Prince Leopold, Duke of Brabant

LeopoldPrince Léopold, Duke of Brabanthis nephew
Four children were born of this marriage, three daughters and one son, also named Leopold.
Prince Leopold of Belgium, Duke of Brabant, Count of Hainaut (12 June 1859 – 22 January 1869), was the second child and only son of King Leopold II of Belgium and his wife, Marie Henriette of Austria, and heir apparent to the Belgian throne.

Louise of Orléans

Louise-MarieQueen Louise-MarieLouise d'Orléans
Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch.
Louise and Leopold had four children, including Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico.

Belgian Armed Forces

BelgianBelgian militaryBelgian Army
When he was 9 years old, Leopold received the title of Duke of Brabant, and was appointed a sub-lieutenant in the army.
From 1885 the Force Publique was established as the military garrison and police force in the Belgian Congo, then under the direct rule of King Leopold II.

Royal Museum for Central Africa

Royal Museum of Central AfricaAfrica MuseumColonial Museum
The public buildings were mainly in Brussels, Ostend and Antwerp, and include the Hippodrome Wellington racetrack, the Royal Galleries and Maria Hendrikapark in Ostend; the Royal Museum for Central Africa and its surrounding park in Tervuren; the Cinquantenaire park, triumphal arch and complex, and the Duden Park in Brussels, and the 1895-1905 Antwerpen-Centraal railway station.
It was built to showcase King Leopold II's Congo Free State in the 1897 World Exhibition.

Cinquantenaire

Parc du CinquantenaireCinquantenaire ParkJubelpark
The public buildings were mainly in Brussels, Ostend and Antwerp, and include the Hippodrome Wellington racetrack, the Royal Galleries and Maria Hendrikapark in Ostend; the Royal Museum for Central Africa and its surrounding park in Tervuren; the Cinquantenaire park, triumphal arch and complex, and the Duden Park in Brussels, and the 1895-1905 Antwerpen-Centraal railway station.
Most buildings of the U-shaped complex which dominate the park were commissioned by the Belgian government under the patronage of King Leopold II for the 1880 National Exhibition commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Belgian independence.

Africa

African continentAfricanAfrican politics
Leopold traveled extensively abroad from 1854 to 1865, visiting India, China, Egypt, and the countries on the Mediterranean coast of Africa.
It was convened by King Leopold II of Belgium, and attended by the European powers that laid claim to African territories.

Royal Trust (Belgium)

Royal TrustBelgian Royal TrustRoyal Donation
In 1900, he created the Royal Trust, by means of which he donated most of his property to the Belgian nation.
The Royal Trust (Koninklijke Schenking, Donation Royale) was proposed in a letter by King Leopold II of Belgium on 9 April 1900.

Ostend

OostendeOstendeOstend, Belgium
The public buildings were mainly in Brussels, Ostend and Antwerp, and include the Hippodrome Wellington racetrack, the Royal Galleries and Maria Hendrikapark in Ostend; the Royal Museum for Central Africa and its surrounding park in Tervuren; the Cinquantenaire park, triumphal arch and complex, and the Duden Park in Brussels, and the 1895-1905 Antwerpen-Centraal railway station.
Important for the image of the town was the attention it started to receive from the Belgian kings Leopold I and Leopold II.

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

Greenhouses of LaekenRoyal Greenhousesgreenhouses
He expanded the grounds of the Royal Castle of Laeken, and built the Royal Greenhouses, the Japanese Tower and the Chinese Pavilion near the palace.
The gardens date back to the 18th century, but King Leopold II changed its garden-architecture.

Grand marshal

Grand MarshalsChief of Paradechief parade clown
The shots missed Leopold but almost killed the king's Grand Marshall, Count Charles John d'Oultremont.

Gennaro Rubino

On 15 November 1902, Italian anarchist Gennaro Rubino attempted to assassinate Leopold, who was riding in a royal cortege from a ceremony at Saint-Gudule Cathedrale in memory of his recently deceased wife, Marie Henriette.
Gennaro Rubino (November 23, 1859 – March 14, 1918; also spelled Rubini) was an Italian anarchist who unsuccessfully tried to assassinate King Leopold II of Belgium.

International African Association

Association Internationale AfricaineInternational African SocietyAfrican International Association
After numerous unsuccessful schemes to acquire colonies in Africa and Asia, in 1876 Leopold organized a private holding company disguised as an international scientific and philanthropic association, which he called the International African Society, or the International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of the Congo.
The International African Association (in full, "International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of Central Africa"; in French Association Internationale Africaine, and in full Association Internationale pour l'Exploration et la Civilisation de l'Afrique Centrale) was a front organization established by the guests at the Brussels Geographic Conference of 1876, an event hosted by King Leopold II of Belgium.

Jardin botanique "Les Cèdres"

Jardin Botanique Lès CedresThe CedarsVilla des Cèdres
He also built important country estates on the French Riviera, including the Villa des Cèdres and its botanical garden, and the Villa Leopolda.
The garden was established in 1924 on the grounds of the villa "Les Cèdres", constructed in 1830 in the Sardinian style, once the property of King Leopold II of Belgium, and the most expensive home in the world.

Tervuren

a villagepalais de TervurenTER
The public buildings were mainly in Brussels, Ostend and Antwerp, and include the Hippodrome Wellington racetrack, the Royal Galleries and Maria Hendrikapark in Ostend; the Royal Museum for Central Africa and its surrounding park in Tervuren; the Cinquantenaire park, triumphal arch and complex, and the Duden Park in Brussels, and the 1895-1905 Antwerpen-Centraal railway station.
It is linked to Brussels by a large processional avenue, Tervurenlaan, built by king Leopold II for the Universal Exhibition of 1897.