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

14 comments:

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots of the place. Amazing architecture of the palace and glass houses.

Cezar and Léia said...

What a beautiful day!The royal family is adorable!
The Palace is magnificent, but I could not stay on line for more than two hours to get inside the palace as well, I would prefer to visit the garden and all beautiful flowers.Wonderful pictures, thanks so much for sharing this special world!
Hugs
Léia

Loree said...

Beautiful images and interesting information. I am a sucker for royalty. It's nice you can visit the roayl palace at least once a year.

Thom said...

I wish I were a King to live in a place like that. It's beautiful my friend :)

Gracie said...

Thanks alot for sharing it with us, beautiful photos.

Sylvia K said...

What a marvelous post, Gattina, and your photos are beautiful! What a lovely place -- even if you did only get a peek inside! The grounds and the buildings are wonderful, particularly the greenhouse! Hope you have a great week!

Sylvia

A Lady's Life said...

This was very nice. So rare to hear about other Queens and Kings, the palaces they live in and the families they have. We just hear about the Queen of England.lol
I always wanted a house with a few columns and a lion statue or a dog or horse.I am not fussy lol
I think it says something when you have something like that in front of your house with perhaps a little fountain.:)

Maribeth said...

Oh how lovely!

Melli said...

Gorgeous! That picture by night makes it look like a mosque! I would love to tour this! And the gardens - IN SPRING! Yes!

LadyFi said...

Impressive palace. I love that last shot of the rainbow-like UFO greenhouse!

ksdoolittle said...

WOW!! What a place! ~karen

Life Artist ~ said...

Gattina!

what a tour you'd taken us through!
I LOVE traveling ~

thank you for sharing *.*

Lifecruiser Travel Blog said...

Wow! What a beautiful greenhouse! Lovely architecture indeed! No wonder the long lines! But it's a pity it isn't open more days around the year.

I think you succeeded very well with all the photos from outside in the garden! (Perhaps even better than inside?)

Trotter said...

Hi Gattina! Incredible: so many times in Brussels and never went inside... ;)
Wonderul shots!!

Ephesus Masterpieces are at Blogtrotter Two for you to enjoy; I’m sure you’ll be impressed, as you them well!! Have a great week!!

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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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