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July 8th, 2019

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Karl Marx in Brussels

Here's a nice little research project which I was able to pull together fairly quickly, a Communist plotting if you will:

This map shows the seven places where Karl Marx and his family lived in Brussels, 1845-48, plus his favourite cafe, plus the venue of the 1868 Third Congress of the First International.

Going top to bottom, the wee house symbols are:
- the sites of the Hotel de la Gare and Hotel de Saxe, where the Marx family spent their first few days in Brussels in 1845, now the INNO department store
- Rue Pacheco 35, where they lived briefly in 1845
- Rue de l'Alliance 5, where they lived from 1845-46, with Engels next door
- the Hotel du Bois Sauvage, now the site of the National Bank, where they lived briefly in 1845 and again briefly before getting thrown out of Belgium in 1848
- Place du Petit Sablon 24, where again they lived briefly in 1845
- Rue d'Orleans 42, now Rue Jean d'Ardenne 50, the only one of the Marx residences with a commemorative plaque; the family lived here 1846-1848 and their son Edgar was born here in 1847.

All of those buildings have long since been demolished. So has the Theatre du Cirque, at top left, where the International Workingmen's Association held their Third Congress in 1868.

But the Maison du Cygne in the Grand' Place, where Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto, is still there in all its glory, and if you check inside you will find Marx's portrait and a small plaque indicating where the two men (possibly) sat.

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