Parcs & Gardens, Brussels
The Parc royal, sits in all its neoclassic splendour between the royal palace and the paliament, sort of between the lower and the upper parts of the town.
Bureaucrats and eurocrats rush through it daily getting from work back home via the Gare central. They frequently trip over tourists, day-trippers and travellers with their guide books in their hands. The beautiful people jog through with Madonna's finest pumping into their ears... it's a busy place for a park.
And I bet you that not one of them has ever looked at the notice in the photo... and realised that THEY are responsible for picking up the autumn leaves, scooping the poop of the dogs and generally clipping and preening.
Fondest memory: The sign says:
This garden, created for the pleasure of the public, is placed under the safekeeping of all citizens
How can you not love a city that empowers its inhabitants to do a spot of gardening?
Well if you've finished pruning the trees and feeding the birds, let me now tell you a little bit about the ground your standing on. Today you may be forgiven for thinking that it was a folly of some 17th century royal... but the history of this park dates back to the 13th century when it was used to keep the king's stock of deer, pheasant and goose alive until it was dinner time!
Over time it was developed into a fine royal park, and once the last hare had been jugged, a more formal layout was established.
Fondest memory: Until 2000, the year when Brussels was declared one of a number of European Cities of Culture, this park had taken on a wonderfully overgrown, but graceful attitude. However the powers that were at the point, sought to restore it to the finery established in the 15th century. So for 3 years its pathways were muddied while the fountains were restored, old trees were removed to reestablish the geometric pathways, and all the while the statues smiled down on the backbreaking work.
At the time of writing it looks a little sparse, but once all that new greenery takes hold, it will be truly fabulous again.
Aside from reinstalling the fountains, recent renovations have replaced a number of paths in the Parc royal, that featured in the early layout. The paths, viewed from above, create a number of triangles, axes and rectangles... "nothing exciting there" I hear you chorus... hold that thought for a moment.
I'd just like to take you for a walk round so that you really appreciate the quantity, quality and settings of the statues that are installed in this park... in the main they recall mythical characters, and over the centuries they have been begged, borrowed and stolen from around Brussels and beyond... they really are something. This cherub is one of two that guard one of the main entrances on the palace end of the park.. cute, isn't he?
Fondest memory: OK back to those paths. If you could view them from above, they depict the entire tool bag of the stone mason: compasses, mallet, square rule, trowel, ruler, level, scissors and plumbline.
You don't believe me, do you?
Well, aside from the fact that my uncle was a stone mason by trade, let me also point you in the direction of a website that tells all ... have fun.
This statue is located at the "Spanjeplein"
near the Central Station and will guide you to the "Tub" of Brussels - The Great Marketplace ! From this spot you can already see St Michael, the patron of Brussels, high above at the top of the famous City Hall.
Fondest memory: When i visited this Capital of Belgium in november - the greatest memory was the silence of this City.Practically carless streets
but - as always an overcrowded japanese marketplace.Better look for the surroundings - many greens - parks and musea !
A moment of silence - in a famous Capital
We saw this Pavilion from the Hop On Hop Off bus as it drove by. Limited time to take a photo, however time enough to see the external beauty of this building designed by Alexander Marcel and built during the period 1901 - 1909. The pavilion houses the Royal collection of Oriental Porcelain.
Location: Avenue Jules Van Praet. Tram #23 or #52.
In the Jubelpark you find two or three different museums.
Besides the Arch of Triumph you find The Royal Army Museum. From there you can get on the top of the Arch. The access is for free and from up there you have a great view over the city.
For more info click here to browse the museum's webpage.
Brussels- Spanjeplein - very close to the Central railway station. A square up on your way to the "Great Market" place.Three remarkable vieuws - the impressing statue of Don and Pancha - an other statue of Bela Bartok and at last the beautiful restored facades of many Hotels - this all on a carless square !
Fondest memory: "Boterhammen in de Stad "- already the 14th edition of a free music festival in the heart of Brussels, conducted by Don Quichote and Pancha himself ??!!
A good place to rest after walking the Upper Town. Surrounded by some of the best buildings in Belgium, Palaces and the Belgian Parliament this park has a lake, fountains and pathways which are surrounded by trees.
Catch the Metro train to station Parc or tram92,93 or 94.
'Brussels' during summer seems
to slow down a lot.
The buildings look much nicer , people
walk slower and the parks and gardens
come to life.
My fovorite spot to lie back is the 'warandepark'
in front of the royal palace.
Lately it got restored , big works...
It got this nice statues , fountains and a geometrical
Take the underground 'parc , park'
designed garden concept.
It is also here that the revolt started against the
dutch domination and a little bit that Belgium
I recommend parks to soak up the sun. Always some place, bench, grass where to sit, lay and even have a good nap.
In summer, Parc Royal is nice.. with some techno music.. a stand for fresh drinks and ice-cream. Many tables where to chill out with friends. I think it's even possible to go there and meet friends, party after some time spent in office. Plus, in summer, days are long so even after work, you can party, chill out socialize in this type of place.
Fondest memory: I was there while spotting the cows in Brussels. Kind of fun I had with Dannie (irisbe). I knew Parc Royal would be crowded but I didn't foresee the refreshment bar and the techno-music mixed by a DJ. Yet, it seems to have been an institution for some time already... every summer, according to friends of mine. Since when exactly? I don't know. I used to flee to Madagascar for summertime so, for a long time, I didn't care much about summer activities on here.
Aaah! Parklife in Brussels. Whilst I use to consider Belgians as "interior people" (as I noticed they tended to cherish their homie interior and take good care of it, for them having only few weeks to enjoy their garden), summer can prove me wrong. Parklife is essential in summer, so is terrasse life. For quieter parklife, hit Parc du cinquantenaire, or even better, Tervueren park where lies the Central Africa museum. For a wilder parklife, step down at Herrmann Debroux station and hit for Domaine du Rouge-Cloître. Also, do not overlook small parks in Uccle (whose sadly I cannot remember the name).
Favorite thing: De Kleine Zavel/Le Petit Sablon (it' s the real name; in Flemish and French languages) was originally a horse market. In 1890 it was turned into a garden. It is surrounded by 48 statues representing the Medieval guilds of Brussels. In the center of the square you can see a statue of the counts of Egmont and Hoorne who were executed at the Grand Place in 1568 by order of Philip II of Spain.
Brussels is among the greenest capitals
worldwide. We have to thank 'Leopold II' for that.
'Parc Tenbosch' or 'Tenboschpark' is one of
the smaller ones and less known.
You wont find it in a tourist guide as 'must see.'
In many ways it is quit charming.
It has some water , a nice little house.
People from the neighboorhood come here
to relax and enjoy this green oasis.
It is not that visible from the street side ,
surrounded by great architecture.
Fondest memory: What I found so remarcable about this
parc is the wildlife. The birds I saw , waw
First I saw a couple of 'vlaamse gaaien'.
Please check on this webpage for some great pictures.
I can assure you we don't seen them that
In Enlish his name would be 'Eurasian Jay'.
He is the only colorfull member of the crow-family.
Next thing we saw is even more weird...
A couple of large parakeets. They absolutely
don't belong in Belgium. Way too cold
for them. But when I took information it
seems that a population of escaped birds
survives in Brussels parcs.
Every building surrounding the parc houses
some birds and these latin-american birds
seem to survive during the winter.
They sounded very happy on this nice
where is the parc?
There is an entrance at the 'vleurgatstraat'...
and the parc is in the middle of the 'louisawijk'
A neighboorhood know for it's restaurants ,
posh shops and great architecture.
Between April 20 and May 9, 2004:
Visit Laeken Royal Greenhouses for its tropical species (orchids, palmtrees, fern species... ) and also superb azaleas...
Laeken Greenhouses are also worth the glance regarding architecture. Glass and iron used together to give Greenhouses an Art Nouveau style.
If you plan to visit (return to) Brussels during mid April - early May, this is the time to see Laeken Greenhouses as it only opens once a year, at the same period... so ... You can check pics here: http://jp.pinguet.free.fr/html/155.htm
This is the time to see Laeken Greenhouses as it only opens once a year, at the same period... so ...
20 april - 22 april : 9h30 -16h
On 23 april : 13 -16h & 20 -23h
24 april - 25 april : 9h30 -16h & 20h -23h
28 april - 29 april : 9h30 - 16h
On 30 april : 13h - 16h & 20h - 23h
01 may - 02 may : 9h30 -16h & 20h -23h
04 may - 06 may : 9h30 - 16h
On 07 may : 13h -16h & 20h - 23h
08 may - 09 may : 9h30 -16h & 20h -23h
What makes it even more special are enchanting night sessions. Night sessions (Nocturnes) : from 8 to 11 p.m on fridays, saturdays and sundays.
(0)2 551 20 20 - (0)2 551 34 00
Ch?teau de Laeken
Avenue du Parc Royal, 1020 Brussels
NB: Picture taken by Thierry Willemsens
Fondest memory: Beautiful and outstanding architecture of buildings, like Royal Greenhouses', Mus?e des Instruments de musique... (cf.. Must see activities tips).
Château de Laeken - avenue du parc royal
From DeBrouckère Metro M station, take tram81 (direction Heizel). After some 12 minutes, you should step dawn at Tram M station: Royauté. Then walk some minutes on Avenue du Parc royal
Favorite thing: There are many parcs in and around Brussels. The Leopold Parc is near the EC area. It's a quite small parc, but it has some great views. It has also got a nice little pond and some small hills that you have to climb.
You find these four statues at one of the entrances to the Jubelpark just opposite of the Arc de Triumph.
The summer statue sympolises the season very good, one can really see how she is sweating ...