Chinese & Japanese Towers, Brussels

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44, Avenue van Praet

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  • Chinese Pavilion, Bruxelles, May 2011
    Chinese Pavilion, Bruxelles, May 2011
    by von.otter
  • Chinese Pavilion, Bruxelles, May 2011
    Chinese Pavilion, Bruxelles, May 2011
    by von.otter
  • Chinese Pavilion, Bruxelles, May 2011
    Chinese Pavilion, Bruxelles, May 2011
    by von.otter
  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    The Far East in Bruxelles, Part IV

    by von.otter Written Apr 13, 2012

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    Japanese Tower, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “It may be safely asserted that no barbarous people have ever so readily adopted the fostering care of benevolent enterprise, as have the tribes of the Congo, and never was there a more honest and practical effort made to increase their knowledge and secure their welfare.”
    — Leopold II (1835-1909), King of the Belgians, reinging from 17.December.1865 to 17.December.1909

    Leopold II wanted a bit of the exotic Far East in Bruxelles Château Royal, the Belgian Royal Family’s full-time residence. Along with the Chinese Pavilion (see von.otter’s review of same), the Tour Japonaise, Japanese Tower, was inspired by what the king saw on his visit to the 1900 Universal Exposition in Paris.

    In the northern corner of Royal Laeken Park, on the grounds of Châteua Royal, the splendid red tower has woodwork carved by experts from Yokohama, Japan. The Japanese Tower, the Chinese Pavilion and the Museum of Japanese Art together form the Museums of the Far East.

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    The Far East in Bruxelles, Part III

    by von.otter Written Apr 12, 2012
    Chinese Pavilion, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “The love of one’s neighbors, the sense of duty, truth, and justice, if applied to daily life, would spare mankind countless sufferings, troubles, and anxieties ... The solution of the problems which oppress the world can only be found in the practice of Charity between individuals and between nations.”
    — Leopold III (1901-1983), King of the Belgians, reigning from 23.February.1934 to 16.July.1951

    Behind the Chinese Pavilion splendid rhododendron bushes and small children’s playground can be found. If you visit in early May, as we did, these bushes will be in full bloom. They are spectacular!

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    The Far East in Bruxelles, Part II

    by von.otter Written Apr 9, 2012
    Chinese Pavilion, Detail, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “To open to civilization the only part of our globe where it has yet to penetrate, to pierce the darkness which envelops whole populations, it is, I dare to say, a crusade worthy of this century of progress.”
    — Leopold II, King of the Belgians, 1876, from his opening speech to the geographical conference on Central Africa that he organized

    Here are some fascinating exterior details of the Royal Museums of Art and History’s Chinese Pavilion.

    Open throughout the year, Leopold II’s Chinese Pavilion contains a large collection of Chinese porcelain made for export to Europe and America. The collection and the building illustrate the intriguing contract between East and West.

    The museum is closed on Monday, and on 1/January, 1/November, 11/November, and 25/December. Ticket sales end at 16.30. Free entrance every first Wednesday of the month as from 1 pm. Free entrance for children under 13 years of age.

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    The Far East in Bruxelles, Part I

    by von.otter Written Apr 9, 2012

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    Chinese Pavilion, Bruxelles, May 2011
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    “King Léopold is tall, erect and slender, a man, I should say, forty-seven years of age; no, not so much. His hair, rather thin and gray, he parts a little to the right of the middle; his beard is long and fine, turning a little gray. His eyes, soft and clear, blue I think. His expression is very kind, and his voice matches it. His manner is both bright and gentle, and his English is full, ready and expressive.”
    — from a letter by Samuel Norvell Lapsley, an American missionary to the Congo, written to his father, 1890

    KIND WORDS Mr. Lapsley’s flattering description of the king stems from his compassionate nature. Léopold II ruled the State of Free Congo, from 1890 to 1910, as his personal fiefdom. Then as now, his rule was widely acknowledged as nothing more than enslavement of the area’s population and exploitation of the natural resources.

    After his visit to the 1900 Universal Exhibition in Paris, Léopold II was smitten with oriental architecture. On the northern corner of the Royal Laeken Park, the king ordered that a Chinese Pavilion be built; he used it as his private restaurant.

    He commissioned the Parisian architect Alexandre Marcel to design the Chinese Pavilion. The woodwork was made by specialists from Shanghai. Since 1946, the Pavilion became an annex of the Royal Museums of Art and History; and today, it houses a collection of Chinese and Japanese porcelain.

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  • Maurizioago's Profile Photo

    The Chinese Pavilion and the Japanese Tower.

    by Maurizioago Updated May 29, 2009

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    The Japanese Tower.
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    These were commisioned to a French architect by king Leopold II. They are located on the northern corner of the Royal Park in Laeken area.

    I couldn't see much inside the Japanese Tower, because only the first foor was opened when I went here. Inside there is a collection of Japanese ceramics.

    The Chinese Pavilion has various small rooms richly decorated. There are also Chinese items here, but what impressed me were the decorations of the rooms.

    Thes buildings were made in Belgium, but some parts of them came from Japan and China.

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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Chinese Pavalion

    by Martin_S. Updated Jan 4, 2007

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    Chinese Pavilion, front view, Brussels, Belgium
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    This structure was actually constructed by the Chinese government for the Paris Exhibition and King Leopold II of Belgium, purchased this and the Japanese Tower to transfer to Brussels. Aside from the architecture itself there is a display of porcelin.
    The address is:
    Chinese Pavillion
    Van Praetlaan 44
    Brussels

    http://www.wallonie2006.be/informations/tourisme/en/v/V/17567.html

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  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo

    Japanese Pavilion

    by Martin_S. Written Nov 26, 2006

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    Japanese Pavilion, Brussels, Belgium
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    This structure was actually constructed by the Japanese government for the Paris Exhibition and King Leopold II of Belgium, purchased this and the Chinese Tower to transfer to Brussels. Aside from the architecture itself there is a display of porcelin.
    The address is:
    Japanese Pavillion
    Van Praetlaan St.
    Brussels

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Tour Japonaise

    by Willettsworld Written Jun 19, 2006

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    King Leopold II was so impressed by a Japanese structure constructed for the 1900 Paris Exhibition that he bought the plans for the 125-foot Japanese Tower and had a replica built on the edge of the royal estate at Laeken. The wood doors and sculpted panels are the work of Japanese craftsmen. After the king's death in 1909, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs took over the management of the pagoda and nearby Chinese Pavilion, and turned them into museums for Oriental arts, first opened to the public in 1911 (Japanese Pagoda) and 1913 (Chinese Pavilion). The Japanese Pagoda closed down in 1947, only to re-open after emperor Hirohito's death in 1989. It now houses temporary exhibitions, and since 2005, the Museum for Japanese Arts, which possesses a collection of 17th and 18th-century porcelains as well as various works of arts from the mid 19th to the early 20th century.

    Open: 10am-5pm Tue-Sun. Closed Mondays.

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Pavillon Chinois

    by Willettsworld Written Jun 19, 2006

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    On the edge of the royal estate at Laeken, you'll find a pair of buildings seemingly conjured up from Asia: the Japanese Tower and the Chinese Pavilion. The Chinese Pavilion was constructed on the orders of King Leopold II from Parisian architect Alexandre Marcel between 1901-09. Most of the exterior woodwork was made in Shanghai. It was originally intended to be a deluxe restaurant but it now displays a collection of 17th and 18th century Chinese porcelain and furniture.

    Open: 10am-5pm Tue-Sun. Closed Mondays..

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  • mickebear's Profile Photo

    Japan and China in Laeken

    by mickebear Updated Mar 3, 2005

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    Japanese Tower

    After surviving Atomium, why not treating yourself with the tranquility of Chinese and Japanese Pavillions just off the Laeken residence of the King. These two pavillions contain best display of Chinese and Japanese porcellain.

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  • belgianchocolate's Profile Photo

    The chinese pavillion.

    by belgianchocolate Written Apr 21, 2004

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    If I have to choose a favorite from
    those two : The Japanese tower and the
    Chinese pavillion it would be the last one.

    It is much smaller but on the inside it is really
    stunning. Especially the room at the front side.
    There isn't a single straight line in it.
    Everything is elegant and curved.
    Really overdone in gold. Little statues watch
    you from all over...

    Visit the two attractions at once.
    Last century they got seperated by a road but
    the government made a tunnel to
    connect them again.
    Buy a joined ticket , it's cheaper.

    One thing I found very amusing were the
    Turkish newly weds that drove up here and
    did that especially to make a nice picture.
    Not one , we did see several couples.

    How to get there?
    Easy , take tram 23 , 52 (stop araucaria)
    Bus 53 , 230 , 231 (stop De Wand)

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  • belgianchocolate's Profile Photo

    The japanese tower.

    by belgianchocolate Updated Apr 21, 2004

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    King 'leoplod II' was able to travel at
    a very young age.
    As a teenager he visited the first world-expo
    in London. In 1900 the Paris-Expo was
    organized.
    In that period exotism was hot. 'Leopold II'
    was completely keen on egypt and far
    and distant lands.

    In Paris he was deeply impressed by the
    'tour du monde'. A building compound by
    typical buildings from different countries.
    That is what he wanted round his castle
    in 'Laken' A complete walk round the world.
    Only two building are realised from that dream.

    'The Japanese' tower was the first building.
    It was realised by the architect 'Alexandre Marcel'
    that also designed the 'tour du monde' in paris.
    The entrance pavilion was bought by 'leopold II'
    The 'tour Japonaise' was designed to be
    as authentic as possible.
    Their are no iron construction used , only wood
    for instance. Some of the parths were ordered
    in 'Yokohama'.
    Of course there are some faults made ,
    like the even amounth floors.
    Some stairs and corridors where European
    adjustments.

    After a Belgian treat for years.(neglect , decline)
    the tower got restored in 1987.
    I think it is a fascinating building you need to visit
    when you got the time.
    The tower also contains a collection of
    Japanese art and artefacts.

    You can't go to the top...
    Some say it is because the upper floors aren't
    restored other say it is because the royal
    families privacy.

    How to get there?
    Easy , take tram 23 , 52 (stop araucaria)
    Bus 53 , 230 , 231 (stop De Wand)

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  • KiNyA's Profile Photo

    Chinese Pavilion & Japanese Tower

    by KiNyA Written Aug 31, 2002

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    These beautiful oriental buildings are pretty close to each other in the eastern part of Heysel. From the Atomium you can go there by foot through a big park and passing some nice sights like Monument Leopold I., Chapelle Ste. Anne, and Chateau Royal.
    The frontage of the Chinese Pavilion was made in Shanghai in ctr. 17th – 19th.
    The Japanese Tower was brought here from Paris.

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  • wadekorzan's Profile Photo

    Be sure to head out to the...

    by wadekorzan Written Aug 25, 2002

    Be sure to head out to the chinese Pavilion and Japanese pagoda--they are an unlikely sight in Belgium but they are beautiful!

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  • Nice_Girl's Profile Photo

    CHINESE PAVILLION : avenue van...

    by Nice_Girl Written Aug 25, 2002

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    CHINESE PAVILLION : avenue van Praet 44, 1020 Laeken, major collections of chinese ceramics manufacturated for export to Europe.
    Located in front of the Japanese Tower.

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