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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 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 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
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