Tuesday, May 11, 2010

THE PARK OF LAEKEN (Brussels)

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When I tried to visit the Royal Greenhouses (see post below) I also walked through the Park of Laeken just on the other side of the Palace. On one side the park has a magnificent view of the city, on the other side an impressive view of the royal palace. It is quiet big, 26 hectares, 64 acres) and was created in the 19th century. It also had been used for the World Exhibition in 1958.

the plan

The momorial of Queen Astrid the actual King's mother who died in a car accident in Switzerland at the very early age of 30 years and left 3 small children behind

Neo-gothic Church of Our Lady. The church contains the royal crypt, where the members of the Belgian Royal Family are buried.

Monument of the dynasty, erected in memory of King Leopold I in front of the Royal Castle

View on the gates of the Royal Palace

Tourists watching the Palace

A view to the park

Beautiful flowers and trees

Nice to climb on

When it's warm people use to do picnics here

Amazing very old trees

From far a view on the Atomium

and on my way back I had to drive under it. It was packed with tourists.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

ROYAL GREENHOUSES & PALACE IN BRUSSELS

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On the 1st of May, a bank Holiday in Brussels, I wanted to visit the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken. It is a vast complex of monumental heated greenhouses in the park of the Royal Castle of Laeken in Brussels and one of the major tourist attractions of the city. The complex has been built by King Léopold II King Leopold. He is remembered today as the "Builder King" because he commissioned a great number of buildings and urban projects.

These buildings include the Royal Glasshouses in the grounds of the Palace at Laken, the Japanese Tower, the Chinese Pavilion, the Musée du Congo (now called the Royal Museum for Central Africa), and their surrounding park in Tervuren, the Cinquantenaire in Brussels, and the Antwerp railway station hall.

The Greenhouses by night

The Greenhouses were built between 1874 and 1895, the complex was finished with the completion of the so-called 'Iron Church', a domed greenhouse that would originally serve as the royal chapel. The total floor surface of this immense complex is 2.5 hectares (270,000 square feet). 800,000 liters (over 200,000 US gallons) of fuel oil are needed each year to heat the buildings. That's probably because there is an entrance fee of 2,50 € !

Once a year in April/May the Royal Parc and the Greenhouses are open to the public. It is also an opportunity to see the Royal Palace from very close.

King Albert and Queen Paola

King Albert and Queen Paola should have moved in this palace when his brother Boudouin died, but they prefered to stay in their home they had been living in since their marriage. So today the Palace is occupied by Crown Prince Philip, his wife Mathilde and their 4 children. There is also the former Queen Fabiola still living there. Crown Prince Philip, his wife Mathilde and Queen Fabiola

The with gold decorated gates and the people who walked inside the park

One lion on each side watches

The house of the guards

After the "golden Gate" the entrance where you had to pay your 2,50 €

and walk the long way to the Palace

Usually I only see this in TV when the King receives celebrities from all over the world

I was a little discouraged when I saw the long line of people who waited to get into the Greenhouses

There was at least two hours to wait until I could reach the entrance. I gave up, I thought there are enough beautiful trees and flowers in this park too

The Greenhouse from outside

I peeked through an open door

but couldn't see anything special

outside I admired these gorgeous blooming bushes

and even a lemon tree which had been put outside. Lemon trees don't grow in Belgium the climate is far too cold.

Young couples walking through the park

and still people arriving

this part of the Greenhouse looks rather surreal, like an UFO which just had landed amongst the green trees

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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