This map plots the settings and references in Heart of Darkness

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Brussels, Belgium
Brussels (c. 1892)
Public DomainBrussels (c. 1892) - Credit: James W. and Daniel B. Shepp

Although never actually named, Conrad's 'sepulchral city' is clearly Brussels, the capital of Belgium.

The Congo Free State was administered directly from King Leopold II’s Royal Palace, or from the Brussels offices of subsidiary companies such as Albert ThysCompagnie du Congo pour le Commerce et l'Industrie.

Marlow's interview at the Company's headquarters mirrors Conrad's own experience with the Société Anonyme Belge pour le Commerce du Haut-Congo. He was interviewed by the managing director, Albert Thys, at the Société’s main offices in the city’s Brederodestraat.





Porte de Namur, Brussels (c. 1900)
Public DomainPorte de Namur, Brussels (c. 1900) - Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Gare du Nord et Place Rogier, Brussels (early 1900s)
Public DomainGare du Nord et Place Rogier, Brussels (early 1900s) - Credit: Henri Goerges