Saturday, September 06, 2008

THE ROYAL PALACE IN BRUSSELS

September 9, 2008

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King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium

Once a year during July-September the Royal Palace is open to the public. I thought it would be a good opportunity to take pictures inside, because it is very beautiful and has a lot of history.
Of course already at the entrance I was asked by a guardian if I had a camera. No photos allowed inside. I told him that it is to publish on a blog to let people know how beautiful the palace is, but the poor guy looked at me as if I had spoken Chinese, he didn't know what a blog was. I gave up and made pictures outside.
If you are interested in how it looks inside go here
Here is the outside of the palace.
The facade you see today was only built after 1900 on the initiative of King Leopold II. The first nucleus of the present-day building dates from the end of the 18th century. However, the grounds on which the palace stands were once part of a very old palatial complex that dated back to the Middle Ages, which I show you further down.
The Royal Palace of Brussels is not used as a royal residence, as the king and his family live in the Royal Castle of Laeken on the outskirts of Brussels. It is his office where each morning at 10 am you can see him arriving in his limousine.


The balcony for the royal family to wave to their subjects

Front side left

and front side right.
You may notice that there are no guards anymore. The previous King Baudouin didn't like to see his guardians outside in the heat, rain, snow and cold and had them removed inside.

The gates

In front of the palace is a huge park, the Royal Parc.

a look inside



This was the first palace of Brusselsbuilt on Coudenberg hill between the second half of the 11th and first half of the 12th century. It overlooked Brussels until the 18th century and was destroyed by fire during the night of 3 to 4 February 1731.
Subsequently it was then pulled down and the ground flattened out for the construction of the new royal district. You can see here now the archaeological remains of that palace.

The entrance to the "underground"


The Place royale with its palaces, and underneath the remaining ruins of the ancient palace

at the entrance you are greated by the first king of Belgium, Leopold I

A restaurant inside, before you go down to the :







Useless to say that I felt a little strange there ! It was 10 am and I was all alone ! Above me I could hear the cars and tramways who let the ground shake a bit. There were ways and ways to go but the one I looked for I didn't find.
It is said that King Leopold III (who had the reputation of a terrible womanizer) let built a little way to a district in Brussels where he could join prostitutes without being recognized. But I instead anxiously watched if there also was a sign "Exit" otherwise I would never have found my way out !












9 comments:

Melli said...

Oh wow! It's like going down into the catacombs! I would have LOVED to be there all by myself! What an experience!

My laptop is black and silver -- must have just been the lighting...

I am starting to understand your difficulties in blogging while traveling! OY!

maggie's mind said...

Ooh, those are really just gorgeous! Looks like a wonderful place to visit.

Jientje said...

Wow!!
At least I can honestly sat that I've seen the cellar of our Royal Castle! What an amazing place Gattina!!!

Mary said...

Gattina,

I followed the link from your comment at Hootin' Anni's and so glad I did. This is a marvelous post and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It must have been a wonderful experience. Thanks so much for sharing. Not many can say they've visited a Royal Castle.

Blessings,
Mary

Mar said...

It's amazing how few people know what a blog is...but it's crowded already, so maybe it's better that way!
Interesting visit, Gattina!! you were very brave being down there all by yourself! enjoyed your pictures and story, as always.
Thumbs up, well done!!

Lifecruiser said...

That is a very beautiful palace. I love that Baudouin let the guardians be at the inside. Very human.

But the underground is very special yes. I've seen something like that in the cellar of certain castles, but never with an own entrance.

I think, being there alone, would be a better experience, easier to feel the historic wings....

Isn't it annoying, with the denial of photography... I experienced that in Vienna too. arrrgh.

claudie said...

You did a great great job, Gattina!
I am sure you had great time inside the palace! Wouuuuuuuu, alone in the cellars!!!! What an adventure! I visited the cellars in Venezia and I feel still the atmosphere I found there!!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like a beautiful place. The underground pics do look like catacombs, like someone previously mentioned. You should check out this new travel site I found, baraaza.com. One of the things you can do is upload pics from your travels and I think these would represent Brussels very nicely.

Nicole

Gattina said...

Thank you very much, Nicole, I just visited the site and subscribed !

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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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