ROYAL GREENHOUSES OF LAEKEN
Brussels in spring is gorgeous. The weather gets warmer, people gather on terraces for drinks and dinner al fresco, the parks get all green to accommodate picknickers and some of the city’s most beautiful gardens are in full bloom. Every year I anticipate with the same joy the Floralia exhibition, seeing the giant water lilies in the Botanical Garden of Meise and of course, the opening of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken.
Just like the Royal Palace of Brussels, the Royal Greenhouses are open to the public only for a few weeks every year, so if you happen to be in Brussels during April – May make sure to visit them. The greenhouses were commissioned by King Leopold II and designed by Alphonse Balat, Victor Horta’s mentor, back in 1873. Built with tons of lass and iron, the greenhouses are excellent pieces of 19th century architecture. Every time I visit them I can’t help but admire the detail of the meticulously constructed frames and of course, all the different plants and trees.
The whole promenade takes about an hour normally but I always end up spending a few hours taking pictures while walking around this gorgeous place. There are seven greenhouses in total featuring different plants each but there are three parts I love the most: the view of the Japanese tower against the cherry blossoms, the long domed halls with the colorful hanging fuchsias and the Winter Garden with the gigantic palms touching the glass ceiling. It’s hard to believe that some of these plants actually date back to the time of King Leopold II and I can almost imagine la crème de la crème of this era to walk around and enjoy the beauty of the gardens.
If you want to stretch your feet with a cup of tea after your visit, there’s this little cafe at the exit. I always stay for a while to admire the surroundings and wish it was open all-year round as it’s just so beautiful! Have you been in the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken? If so, show me your pictures by using the hashtag #seemybrussels on Instagram – I’m curious to see your snapshots of this amazing place!
|Address: Domaine Royal de Laeken, Avenue du Parc Royal, 1020 Laeken, Belgium|
|Telephone: +32 2 551 20 20|