Leopold Park, Oostende
The Leopold Park was set out in 1860 on the old city walls in British style, with ponds, paths and flowerbeds. The first park regulations gave free access to tourists, but local residents had to pay! The beautiful bandstand was inaugurated in 1885. Today, its famous floral clock marks the entrance to the park.
The Leopold park is close to the seafront and centre of Oostende and is a pleasant place to spend a short time on a warm summer day. A green oasis that can't really be called quiet as it is so popular with locals. Somehow despite so many people it still has places which achieve tranquility alongside the waters edge. There are some interesting statues dotted about, in particular the statue of liberty style heads sticking out of the lake.
I also liked the bicycle pedals in front of some of the benches so you can exercise your legs whilst siting back and enjoying an ice cream!
When King Leopold imagined the city park of Oostende, he had probably the Bois de Boulogne in his mind. The 5 hectares green oasis , where walkers can enjoy the quiet of nature, was constructed directly in the centre of the city.
If you are passing by this lovely park on the Leopold II laan, two of the most photographed attractions of the city can be seen.
The best-known statue of Oostende, called The Sea, but there is not one person who calls it that. Nearly everyone remembers the statue only by its popular name ‘Dikke Mathille’ - ‘Fat Mathilde’. There even is a “Dikke Mathille” beer that you can taste in local pubs.
Near the Fat Mathilde on the right hand side is the famous Floral Clock created from 20.000 flowers and plants. It has a diameter of 9 metres, the hands are 3 and 4 metres long and weigh 70 and 90 kilos. The date, made entirely of flowers, is reset every day during the summer months.
The Leopold Park was laid out in 1860 on the old town fortifications. It is the green lung of Oostende. The park lies beside a rather busy road.Just at the border of the park, you can admire this beautiful clock. 200 000 plants have been used to form this unique clock. The date is adjusted every day during summer.
Leopold Park was designed by the architect Louis Fuchs and its construction took place over nine years, between 1861 and 1870. The park's first set of regulations, written in 1862, permitted free access to visitors but bizarrely locals had to pay to use it.
This really is a pleasant little piece of colour in what can be quite a grey city and despite its compactness it has enough digressions to make a slow wander the best way to appreciate it. The floral clock, installed in 1933, is particularly photogenic, requiring about 15,000 plants annually for its displays and during the summer the boxes in front of it have a daily changing floral date.
Other things that caught my eye are the four statues in the lake, with only their heads above water. These are a 1998 work by Leo Copers representing Judiciary, Eloquence, Justice and History.
The park is situated where the old city walls were and is now pretty much a central location. Its main entrance is just off the busy city throughfare Leopold II Laan - it is however easily accessible as all the pedestrian crossings here give people the right of way.
A lovely little (5 hectares) parc in the centre of town.This park was constructed in 1870.
'Dikke Mathille' (fat Mathilda) is the common name of this statue.
LOCATION : Near the Leopold Park.