Just outside the Grand Place of Brussels, a monument to Belgian hero Everard t’Serclaes shines and stands out on the side of a building.
The story of Everard t’Serclaes dates back to the 14th century, when Brussels was contested between the ruling Duke of Brabant and the Count of Flanders. After a disputed succession in Brabant, the Flemish troops occupied the city in 1356. On the night of October 24, 1356, Everard secretly entered Brussels with a group of patriots after scaling the city walls. Everard and his troops led a rebellion against the Flemish, forcing them to flee.
The rightful rulers Joanna and Wenceslaus regained their power, and Everard became alderman of Brussels five times. Years later, Everard opposed the selling of some land to a local lord, and for this was beaten by his enemies, leading to his death shortly afterwards.
In 1898, Belgian artist Julien Dillens sculpted a bronze monument to commemorate Everard t’Serclaes. The memorial is considered lucky by the locals and it is said that touching and rubbing the statue, especially the arm, can bring luck, grant wishes, and ensure that one will come to Brussels again. Thanks to the constant rubbing, the bronze statue remains shiny to this day.