Everyone is talking about Royal Greenhouses, so here is a photo story from our contributor Nath… Enjoy!
It’s that time of the year again – the greenhouses of the Royal Palace of Laeken are open to the public! They open for 3 weeks every year and attract many Belgians but also many visitors from neighboring countries. A visit to the greenhouses is a really nice outing, whether alone, with friends or family or even for a first date 🙂 It is free for visitors under 18 years of age while adults pay the very fair price of 2,50 EUR per person. The income (in full) goes to The Queen’s Charities, which you can read more about on www.monarchie.be.
The Greenhouses are beautiful and the flowers smell great, but my favorite part is probably the walk around the paths! You get to walk by a part of the Palace, alongside the Greenhouses and you can enjoy the view on the vast area around the Palace and the Japanese Tower! Yes, we have a Japanese Tower in Brussels and it is just around the corner from the Greenhouses. Both the Japanese Tower and the Chinese Pavilion are part of the Museums of the Far East. Unfortunately, both are closed for renovation until further notice, but they are still worth the 5-minute walk from the Greenhouses just for the architecture.
Your logical next step is to think of the Atomium! A walk across the park from the entrance to the Greenhouses will take you there. It’s a landmark you really can’t miss… But there is even more this little part of Brussels has to offer! In the opposite direction of the Museums of the Far East (and also a very short walk from the Greenhouses), you’ll find the Church of Our Lady of Laken. All royal funerals take place here and the crypt holds the tombs of the Belgian royal family, including all of the country’s former kings. The Royal Crypt is only open to the public on selected days. If however the Crypt is closed when you’re visiting, do not worry – we got you covered with something else to do!
Everyone knows about the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris… Well, Brussels sort of has its own little Père Lachaise right behind the Church of Our Lady of Laken. The Cemetery of Laken is the oldest graveyard in Brussels and is also the last one to be adjacent to a church. Quite some famous Belgians (and dare I say ‘Bruxellois’) were buried there – for example Mayor Emile Bockstael, architect Joseph Poelaert and founder of the supermarket chain Delhaize (‘Food Lion’), Adolphe Delhaize.
If you’re into comics, you must already know about the comic walls we’ve got all over the city. There are two of them hiding nearby and they’re definitely worth seeing so come prepared!
After your busy day of strolling around, reward yourself with a little rest across the street from the Church. There is a little hidden park called the ‘Square du 21 juillet’ and it is usually very quiet. You can choose to walk through the well maintained park, sit on a bench reading a book… or preparing your next Instagram post. Do remember to use #welovebrussels so we can see what you’ve been up to 🙂
Text and pictures by Nath, born and raised in Brussels but with a serious case of wanderlust. She’s traveled to more than 60 countries around the world. To see more of Brussels as well as photos from her journeys, follow her on Instagram @tireless_traveler