“La Maison du Cygne” a Jewel of the Grand-Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“La Maison du Cygne”, usually known as “Le Cygne” (The Swan) is mentioned since the 15th century and was originally an inn.
Destroyed in three days during the bombardment of the city by the French troops in August 1695, the Grand Place underwent a rebuilding campaign which was spectacular not only by the speed of its implementation, but also by its ornamental wealth and architectural coherence.
Today the Grand-Place remains the faithful reflection of the square destroyed by the French artillery.
La Maison du Cygne was rebuilt for the financier Pierre Fariseau by the Brussels architect-sculptor Corneille van Nerven in 1698, as evidenced by the vintage that adorns the second floor ("Anno 1698").
In the 18th century, the house, which was then called "De Swaene", was bought by the corporation of Butchers who had the upper part modified in 1720, with the proceeds of the sale of wool as indicated by the chronogramme located on the pedestal of the statue which is the pediment.
The house was modified again in 1897 and restored in 1904 by the architect Adolphe Samyn.
“La Maison du Cygne” has been the site of important historical events.
Here at “De Swaene” Karl Marx and his friend Engels organized meetings of the Communist League, who commissioned the “Manifesto of the Communist Party”.
Karl Marx also celebrated New Year Eve 1847/1848 at “De Swaene” with the "Deutscher Arbeiterverein" and the "Association Démocratique".
A Plaque commemorating Karl Marx passage has been placed on the façade of the house
Later, in April 1885, the founding congress of the Belgian Workers' Party (Le Parti des Ouvriers Belges) was held in here, at “La Maison du Cygne”