In 1830, the Belgian revolution began in Brussels, when the people protested against King William of the Netherlands to gain independence. The rebellion was started after a performance of Auber’s opera La Muette de Portici at the Royal Theatre of La Monnaie. King Leopold I became the first King of Belgium in 1931, and Brussels became the capital and seat of government of the new nation. After the independence, Brussels became the industrial and financial center, the Free University of Brussels was established. The first passenger railway built outside England linked the municipality of Molenbeek with Mechelen. The population grew from about 80,000 to more than 625,000. These spectacular color photographs capture infrastructure, landmarks, streets, and everyday life of Brussels in the late 19th century. Vote your favorites, and don’t forget to share. Also check, 1890s Belgium.