Plaque: The Senne covered over - started
The cleaning up works were started in Brussels 17 September 1868.
LE 17 SEPTbre 1868
Site: The Senne covered over (2 memorials)
1060, blvd Poincare, 77
Like most cities, Brussels used to have a river but by the 1860s it had become a problem, the area near it being unhygienic and considered a slum. In 1865, with the advice of architect Léon Suys, the City of Brussels took the, then, audacious decision to redirect the river underground and rebuild the area. The work was finally started in 1868 by the Belgian Public Works Company, a British company, who finished the arching over of the Senne in February 1871 and promptly folded. The city finished the works using various building companies. Jules Anspach, who had managed the whole process, inaugurated the new path of the Senne on 30 November 1871 at the intersection of boulevard du Midi and Lemonnier using a silver key to open the gate allowing the river to take its new course underground to reappear 2 kilometres later in fields in Laeken. Presumably the ceremony included the unveiling of the second plaque at that site.
The arching over of the Senne was quickly followed by the redevelopment of the central part of the city, giving rise to the boulevards that run from Gare du Midi to Gare du Nord.
In 1955 the Senne was again redirected, around the city to the northwest. The route built for it in the 1860s was partially reused in 1973 for the construction of the north-south metro.