Title Leopold I-monument
Design René Cliquet (°1899, Brussels - †1977, Brussels)
Material Belgian Blue Stone, bronze
Location Leopold I Esplanade
Inscription (in Latin) 'LEOPOLD THE FIRST KING OF BELGIUM ARRIVED HERE ON BELGIAN SOIL ON THE 17TH DAY OF THE MONTH OF JULY IN 1831TO A SOLEMN RECEPTION'
It is, indeed, in De Panne where the then prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha arrived in the independent state of Belgium on 17 July 1831. Supported by a squadron from the French cavalry, he had ridden from Dunkirk (F) across the beach to De Panne. On the border, the Minister of Interior Affairs De Sauvage, and the generals Chastelain, comte dHaene and Baron Hoogvorst were awaiting the new king. Observing mayor Ryckeboer, from the then still independent Adinkerke, represented the local population. At that time, De Panne was just a hamlet which fell under Adinkerke.
The Leopold I-monument, according to a design by architect Victor Martiny, was initiated by the Nationaal Comité van het Monument Leopold I te De Panne, of which lieutenant-general Nyssens was chairman. On 5 October 1958, the mayor of Gevaert unveiled the monument in the presence of King Baudouin and first minister Gaston Eyskens.