Royal Greenhouses of Laeken

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Avenue du Parc Royal, Brussels, Belgium

Royal Greenhouses of Laeken Brussels Reviews

Adrian_Liston Adrian_L…
156 reviews
The gardens of Leopold II May 01, 2010
The opportunity to look inside of the Royal Greenhouses of Laeken is only available for two weeks every year, during the beginning of Spring.

The gardens date back to 1873, when King Leopold II used part of the spoils of the Congo to fund Alphonse Balat to design and build an enormous complex of greenhouses. The greenhouses were unique at the time, both for the size and scale of the indoor gardens (2.5 hectares) and also for the use of just metal and glass to build. In a very real way these greenhouses shaped the next wave of architecture, as Alphonse Balat hired Victor Horta as his assistant on the project, Horta's first position and a strong influence.

The visit is quite regimented, you pay your €2.50 at the entrance and march around the complex in a predetermined regiment. Armed police line the two hour walk and chase any young children that dare to step onto the grass. The building itself is quite interesting and there are quite a few rare plants to see (800,000 litres of fuel oil are used every year to provide the warmth the tropical plants need). Mostly, though, it is the riot of colour and smell, with fuchsias dripping from the ceiling and ferns cascading down the walls.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Adrian_Liston says:
I was saying to Lydia that they should keep small monkeys in there :)
Posted on: May 02, 2010
lamadude says:
The royal greenhouses look even better at night, check out these pictures!
Posted on: May 02, 2010
lamadude says:
Wow, what a coincidence, I went there today! For the first time of my life. I liked it, but it was a little too crowded, and I think the big greenhouses could use some animals walking/flying around in there.
(Like the butterfly garden in Knokke where I went once a verrrrrryyy long time ago )

Also, if you liked this you could also check out the largest greenhouses in the country, the national botanic garden of Belgium, just north of Brussels The buildings are kind of falling apart because of a payment dispute between the Belgian regions (what else ;-) but it's still very nice
Posted on: May 02, 2010
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photo by: Vlindeke