Parcs & Gardens, Brussels
If you like cemeteries this one is a must.
Make sure it fits into your planning.
It is rather small but among the most
beautiful cemetaries I've ever seen.
(and belief me I've visited a lot of them).
This one was created because the wife
of 'king Leopold I' wanted to be burried
in Laken. Before the cemetery was the
graveyard of a little farmers village.
A lot of famous 'Brusselaars' wanted to be
buried here. Among them 'Joseph Poelaert'.
The architect of the church , laken where this
cemetery is located behind. He also made
the 'justitiepaleis'. At that time , the largest
The cemetery isn't perfect mainteined ,
but that is part of the special atmosphere.
The sculptures are high quality...
( 'rodin' , 'Brothers Salu'...)
and is still popular with the Brussels high
Pitty the subterraneous vaults are in such
a bad shape you can't go in anymore.
Don't worry , you wont disrupt any of these folks.
These graves are made to be seen!
One of the most remarkable places nearby Brussels must be Tervuren!
Originally it was meant as a resting place between the traveling from Brussels to Leuven, both very important cities in early royal days.
Kings and royalties have had their residence here and I would strongly suggest you read about the history on my my VT Tervuren page, although it is still not completed yet.
Leopold II, King of Belgium would make this place famous because he used this as an off the beaten path location for the World Fair and held his colonial world fair here to introduce the Congolese colony to the Belgians.
Purpose was to build an international institute for Africa but those plans haven't been realised because Leopold II died.
However he left us a brilliant Africa Museum and a beautiful park surrounding it, called the Warande.
If you are curious and want to view all pictures of my visit that daythen do visit
my Fotki album of Tervuren and Overijse
On the Rue des Gaulois, a bording street of the Cinquantenaire Parc (if you are facing the parc from the roundabout of Merode), you will find series of banners with tourist information in English, French, Dutch and German about great places to see in Brussels. Very well done and very interesting!!!! It should be useful to read them all and then select the place that attracts you the most!!!!!
These conservatories were built in the 19th century by king Leopold II to house his collection of plants from the Congo. They consists of 16 connected greenhouses.
This complex can be visited only for two weeks every year; usually between april and may. I was very lucky to be in Brussels at the beginning of may, so that I could enjoy those rich collection of flowers and plants.
Our Hop On Hop Off bus tour took us pat Domaine de Laeken which is the Royal estate and parklands. The Royal Family reside on this estate, some of which is availablle to the public. The Royal Greenhouses stand out and can be seen from the road. My photo was taken from the top deck of the bus.
Public may visit during the period late April to early May. Admission 2 euros. Address :Avenuedu Parc Royal,61.
An off the beaten path and must-see at same time...
When visiting Jardin de l'Albertine (see my Tlog), don't miss this clock. Admire this hidden beauty. Each hour, you will hear the 24 bell-carillon.
If you are lucky enough, you will see the little figurine on top moving, hammering to indicate the hours.
A closer look and you will notice that when I took this picture, some of the 12 wholes that should house the figurines are empty. In fact, those statuettes are part of a collection of Brussels historical and folk figurines: "De sprenkende klok".. so you understand that they are stolen from time to time...
All information on how to access the park, thus the chiming clock are in my Tlog. Have a glance... and don't miss it!
Metro M stations: Gare centrale
Sunny month of June is the best to wander in Foret de Soignes if you like to "harvest" wild cherries *LOL*
I don't know whether they are really "wild" or belonging to someone. My friend told me they were nobody's property, though I think they belong to someone :-) They were sweet by the way....
Le Rouge-Cloitre is the spot where I could pick the cherries. It is also a nice place for nice walks and discovery. Park your car in Herrmann-Debroux avenue, at the entry of the park. Follow the path either with your bicycle or by foot. Very nice walk in wood and near a pond. Plus, there are some reportedly good restaurants there, some place to have drinks, an old abbey (or convent). The area sometimes houses exhibitions and cultural events. I saw two interesting exhibitions there: the first, about Auderghem artists (mostly painters); the second, about patchwroks. During that latter, I was impressed by some old patchworks pieces that were imported from either the US, UK.. some pieces of museum collection. Walking there is just wonderful, in fact, in winter, in spring. If I am not wrong, camping is possible too.
Now about Foret de Soignes itself, this is the green forest of Brabant (Brussels region included). Please check my local custom tips about it.
Le Rouge Cloitre: Metro M station: Hermann-Debroux.
Other areas: you 'll have to fetch a map of the Forest and spot particular areas of interest.
Since I am used to see squirrels in zoos, I was greatly surprised when I bumped into a squirrel in a park near my place... So rare and sooo fun!
Unfortunately, no pic! I saw "my" squirrel while doing my daily walk in the park... and I am not used to bring camera when walking. I should though... Next time
Meanwhile, see pictures of swans and other curios in the park. There are coots there, ducks... If my memory serves me well, a species in this park is imported from Egypt.
May 18 2003: I saw "my" squirrel for second time today, same place. I brought with me my camera but I just finished my film by shooting trees and pounds. Pity! I wil return till I have my pic :-)
By the way, go to my Woluwe Saint Pierre page to see pictures of this marvellous park, just 5 minutes from my apartment.
Used to living in a rural area in Madagascar, this park just off my ex apartment (rather, the latter was off the park !) was a haven, a relaxing place when I wanted to escape from it all! Yes, just 5 min from my ex apartment.
In La Hulpe, just outside Brussels, you find this small castle which you cannot visit but what you CAN do is have a picnic and a game of croquet in its marvellous grounds, enjoying the rhododendron and huge trees. You can also walk around for hours in the nearby forest and only meet the odd walker or rider as the area is full of horses. It's a bit tricky to get to without your own car but it can be done.
Windsor Castle, 19.September.1837
My Dearest, Most Beloved Uncle,
One line to express to you, imperfectly, my thanks for all your very great kindness to me, and my great, great grief at your departure! God knows how sad, how forlorn, I feel! How I shall miss you, my dearest, dear Uncle! every, every where! How I shall miss your conversation! How I shall miss your protection out riding! Oh! I feel very, very sad, and cannot speak of you both without crying!
Farewell, my beloved Uncle and father! may Heaven bless and protect you; and do not forget your most affectionate, devoted, and attached Niece and Child, Victoria R.
— from a letter by Queen Victoria to Leopold, written at the end of a visit of Leopold to England.
The Monument to Leopold I, Belgium’s first king, stands opposite the main entrance to the Château Royal, the palace that serves as the main residence of Belgium’s Royal Family.
Built by Leopold II, the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I, this monument, in the Flamboyant Neo-Gothic style, is located in Laeken Park, not far from the Atomium.
Designed by Belgian architects Louis de Curte and Willem Geefs and constructed between 1878 and 1880 the monument has nine bays and at its center the figure of Leopold I.
Leopold (1790-1865) was a German prince, son of the Duke of Saxe-Coburg. His children included Leopold II of Belgium and Empress Carlota of Mexico. Before her untimely death, he had been married to Princess Charlotte, daughter of George IV of the United Kingdom; he was also a maternal uncle to Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
“Probably the King of the Belgians has the best business head of all the European monarchs. At the same time, he is the most magnificent spender for the gratification of his own desires and the accomplishment of his own purposes. Not that he is personally ostentatious.”
— from “Munsey’s Magazine,” 1906, a contemporary view of Leopold II
Construction techniques progressed during the 19th century to the point that the use of metal and glass as construction materials were able to be made into a new type of building: the greenhouse.
As part of his plan to raise Belgium to international status, Leopold II, King of the Belgians, believed that a royal greenhouse would advance his intentions. The Winter Garden is the centerpiece of the hothouses. It was built between 1874 and 1876, following the design by the Royal architect Alphonse Balat (1819-1895). The Winter Garden was the first among the complex of greenhouses; its dimensions are magnificent. Because of this, the garden is able to house some beautiful species of palm trees.
This series of pavilions, glass cupolas, and wide arcades that cross the hothouses like covered streets are much more than an example of the architectural applications of iron and glass. The greenhouses are a reminder that their style, the Art Nouveau, went on to influence architects throughout the world.
The Royal Greenhouses of Laeken as well as Château Royal de Laeken and belong to the Royal Trust (in Flemish, Koninklijke Schenking; and in French, Donation Royale), has been an autonomous public institution since 1930.
The greenhouses are open from Tuesday to Thursday, from 09:30 am to 16:00; on FridayS from 13:00 to 16:00 and from 8 pm to 10 pm; on Saturday and Sunday from 09:30 am to 16:00 pm and from 20:00 to 22:00. The greenhouses are closed on Mondays.
Only a few minutes from the centre of the city, there's this heaven of peace and greenery. Take a walk through this lovely garden past beautiful statues, visit the plant collection in the green house, sit down and relax on the many benches...
You can feel like a giant in Mini Europe - nice park exhibition in Atomium-Heyzel area.
London's Big Ben, Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Bull Ring in Seville, and Montmartre in Paris, as well as more modern emblems of continental achievement such as the Channel Tunnel and the Ariane rocket. There is also possible to read some highlights about every EU country and even to listen a national anthem.
Between the Royal Palace and the Palace of Nations, there's yet another beautiful place of peace and tranquility.
This used to be the hunting ground of the Dukes of Brabant.
The park was designed by an Austrian and a French architects, Zinner and Guimard, and open to the public in 1775.
When the weather permits, you can listen to the concerts here.
An amusement park near Brussels.
Six Flags will invite you to get unstressed and to make children happy.Btw - it is also enjoyable for grandgrandma - grandma - ma and my daughter !
More info and pictures on my travelogues !