Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss

INAUGURATION OF THE STATUE OF GODEFROY DE BOUILLON

HART, Laurent Joseph: Belgium, 1848, Bronze, 72 mm
Obv: Armored bust of Godefroy with shield and sword.    GODEFRID. BVLLON. DVX LOTH. MARCH. ANTV. REX HIEROS.  (Godfrey of Bouillon, Duke of Lorraine, Marquis of Antwerp, King of Jerusalem).   Below, SIMONIS SCULP. HART FEC. MDCCCXLVIII
Rev:
Equestrian statue of Godefroy carrying a raised flag    HEROI SVO PATRIA POSVIT A. MDCCCXLVIII (His Fatherland Established This for its Hero in the Year 1848)

Exergue: SIMONIS SCULP. HART FEC.
Signed: HART FEC.
Ref: Forrer II, p.435;  Weiss BW565

Godefroy de Bouillon (1061-1100), Duke of Basse Lorraine, marquis of Anvers and duke of Bouillon, was born in Baisy, the second son of Eustace II, count of Boulogne, and Ida, daughter of Duke Godefroy II, count of Lower Lorraine. He is known primarily for his role as one of the leaders of the first crusade.  Godefroy accepted the request of Urbain II to liberate Christ's grave. He sold his castle, and in 1096 set off at the head of one of the four first crusade's army, a body of perhaps as many as 15,000 crusaders, made up of the Knights from the Meuse and lower Rhine. In 1099, after a trying journey, Jerusalem was conquered and Godefroy was the first to tread on its walls. Godefroy refused to be appointed as King of Jerusalem, as was offered him, but agreed to become Attorney of the Holy Sepulcher.  One of his accomplishments was to defend against the Turkish (or Egyptian?) attack in Ashkelon in 1099. He died in Jerusalem in 1100.  Because he had been the first crusader ruler of Jerusalem, after his death several legends developed around him, one of which was that his sword attended Jeanne d'Arc in her campaigns.  Further, his grandfather was said to be Helias, knight of the Swan, one of the brothers whose adventures are found in the tale of "The Seven Swans", on which Wagner's opera Lohengrin is based.
The inauguration of the statue of Godefroy, which is commemorated by this medal, stands in the Place Royale in Brussels.

LINK  to 16th century Statue of Godefroy de Bouillon (from wikipedia)

LINK to photo of Statue of Godefroy de Bouillon in Place Royale in Brussels (from wikipedia)

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